Ethiopia and Kenya sign cross border trade deal

Kenya-Ethiopia border town. FILE PHOTO

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The federal republic of Ethiopia and the government of Kenya has signed a cross-border trade deal, something which is now projected to make business between the two nations easier than before.

Last week, leaders from the two countries signed Moyale One-Stop Border Post Procedure Manual at Addis Ababa, in what could give the two nations a competitive edge with regards to business dealings.

The deal, analysts argue, seeks to encourage small-scale traders by developing a simplified framework to facilitate their business activities at the border.

Further, the deal will also help to harmonize Kenya and Ethiopia's trade regimes, particularly on agricultural products, in order to allow citizens from both countries to conduct business beyond the borders.

Interior ministry Chief Administrative Secretary Wilson Njenga led the Kenyan delegation to Addis Ababa. He said the new deal is a step forward in enhancing cross-border trade and the movement of people.

"Today's event marks an important milestone in managing our borders as it is a culmination of meetings and deliberations between our two governments in ensuring that the Moyale One's Stop Border Post [OSBP] is operational," Mr. Njenga said.

The OSBP, he said, will be relied on by the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor project as it will ensure growth from the accelerated services and improved infrastructure.
He said it will lead to better services through improved infrastructure such as transport and integrated ICT.

The OSPB manual is expected to provide a structured framework for both countries to make cooperation easier. For instance, it includes cooperation on health threats like implementing Covid-19 protocols.

Both governments also agreed on the need to reopen the Moyale border post to encourage legitimate trade and movement of people, while also mitigating security issues like human and drug trafficking.

Kenya and Ethiopia have steadily worked together since independence, and the relationship between the two countries seems to be blossoming under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.


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