Kenya seeks to boost bilateral ties with EAC states and revamp intra-African trade
NAIROBI, Kenya - The newly sworn-in Kenya president Willam Ruto began his first day in office on a high note, hosting Sudan's President Salva Kiir and Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at the State House in Nairobi.
"With South Sudan, President Salva Kiir discussed various bilateral agreements and areas of cooperation, including security and regional infrastructure development. We are working with South Sudan in enhancing intra-African trade through the strengthening of the East African Community and other regional economic blocs in the continent." wrote President Ruto on Twitter.
President also assured Somalia's head of state that Kenya will collaborate in tackling Somalia's state of insecurity.
He further assured Mohamud that the trade between the two countries would be expanded to allow for easier movement of key trade commodities such as miraa and fish across borders.
"We will fast track the implementation of the Joint Commission for Cooperation between Kenya and Somalia. This will boost trade in Miraa and fish and ease movement between our two nations."
Both Hassan Mohamud and Salva Kiir were among the 20 heads of state invited to President Ruto's inauguration ceremony in Nairobi on Tuesday.
At the same time, Kenya’s new President William Ruto has announced that the Central Bank of Kenya is working with banks to allow customers to increase the amount they can transact beyond the KES 1 Million limits without having to report to the regulator.
During his inaugural speech, he said that the current limit of KSH 1 million is hindering businesses and driving people away from the formal financial system.
President “Many have reverted to storing money under their mattresses, at a great security risk. This is clearly not the intention of the anti-money laundering regulations. While we remain fully committed to mitigating this risk, we believe that there is scope to make compliance less burdensome on genuine business transactions.”
Currently, the law requires that banks report any of their customer’s cash transactions of more than KES 1 million to the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) to enable the authorities to detect illicit financial flows such as money laundering.
Businesses and individuals transacting more than KSH 1 million are required to declare to their bankers why the money cannot be deposited or withdrawn through electronic means under the Kenya Electronic Payments and Settlement System and Real-Time Gross Payment System (KEPSS/RTGS).
Kenya is a signatory to the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) frameworks, which require the reporting of any cash transactions of $10,000 or more.