Kenya and Tanzania agree on gas pipeline deal
By Elkanah Nyauma
Kenya and Tanzania today signed an agreement to start working on a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa. Presidents Suluhu Hassan and Uhuru Kenyatta said this is part of a long-term energy sharing project.
The two presidents met to discuss strategic issues as they seek to repair and restore damaged bilateral relations under the presidency of John Pombe Magufuli.
President Uhuru and Suluhu held talks focusing on trade and economic opportunities within the two countries as well as other key issues.
Key fact about the meeting
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan arrived in Kenya on Tuesday on a two-day state visit to Kenya at the invitation of President Uhuru Kenyatta as the two countries seek to repair and restore damaged bilateral relations under the presidency of John Pombe Magufuli.
Access to energy is essential to reduce poverty. Energy makes possible the investments, innovations and new industries that are the engines of jobs, inclusive growth and shared prosperity for entire economies. – World Bank
The relationship between the two countries has been strained in recent years when their capitals were at loggerheads over trade. For example, in the last four years, Kenya and Dar es Salaam have been embroiled in a bitter feud over work visas, tariffs and market access rights for items such as milk and sugar among other commodities.
This affected trade between the two countries, leading to a series of meetings. One of them was held in Arusha last year in an attempt to curb the cold relationship tackled by the late President Magufuli.
The late Tanzanian premier’s leadership tactics of anti-corruption, hard work, relations, religious and mining with significant investment in major public works jeopardized the relationship between the two countries.
President Hassan reiterated hers and her administration’s willingness to work closely with Kenya with a view to strengthening bilateral trade ties and mutual interests.
At a press conference in Nairobi, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya said they had agreed to build more infrastructure to connect their countries, starting with the gas pipeline, roads among others.
The MoU on cooperation in natural gas transport means the respective energy ministers can begin to discuss the design, cost and other requirements of the pipeline equipment being built.
Although there is no set time for the pipeline construction journey, President Suluhu said she and President Kenyatta had agreed on the need to reduce the transportation of essential energy resources and that they had reached one; gas transportation and that what is needed now is to start implementing the project immediately.
The development means both sides win early as Tanzania begins a new life under President Suluhu.