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Kenya and Uganda sign seven key MoUs, vow to remove all trade barriers

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Ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Odongo Jeje Abubakhar signed seven MoUs to strengthen cooperation in trade and investment and several other key sectors.

Kampala and Nairobi have once again vowed to eliminate all the bottlenecks hindering their bilateral trade, beginning with holding a joint technical committee meeting to address key pending issues.

Kenya's Foreign Affairs minister Musalia Mudavadi and his Ugandan counterpart Odongo Jeje Abubakhar made this decision in Kampala on Tuesday, during the 2nd Session of the Kenya-Uganda Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC), which they co-chaired. The meeting took place on May 12–14.



"They identified challenges that have affected the free flow of bilateral trade and agreed to resolve all the tariff and non-tariff barriers to promote mutual growth, development, and prosperity. In this regard, they directed their technical officials to meet and consult regularly," read a communiqué from the office of Mudavadi, who is also Kenya's prime cabinet secretary.



The two officials spearheaded deliberations that focused on assessing the level of implementation of previous decisions, addressing any outstanding and emerging issues, and exploring new areas of cooperation under the foreign affairs and security, economic, and socio-cultural sectors.

"The ministers hailed the historic and cordial relations that exist between the two countries and underscored the need to continue working together to further deepen political, economic and socio-cultural ties."

Mudavadi and Abubakhar further signed seven memoranda of understanding to strengthen cooperation in trade and investment as well as diplomatic training, public service management, education, SME development, sports, and youth affairs.

They also agreed on the need for Kenya and Uganda to establish a robust Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism to ensure the expeditious and full implementation of decisions reached in all its sessions as well as other bilateral meetings.

There was also an agreement to host the third session of the JMC in 2026 at a date and venue that will be decided later.

Kenya's Foreign Affairs minister Musalia Mudavadi and his Ugandan counterpart Odongo Jeje Abubakhar are pictured during the 2nd Session of the Kenya-Uganda Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) in Kampala on May 14, 2024. (Photo: X/Musalia Mudavadi)


Via X, the Kenyan minister said the JMC paved the way for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's visit to Kenya, which will begin on Wednesday. 

"The visit marks a significant step towards bolstering the fraternal bonds between our nations and fostering mutual prosperity and growth."

Kenya and Uganda recently resolved to end their diplomatic dispute over an oil deal that turned sour. The Kenyan government agreed to license the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), in a move that ended months of a major feud.

The assurances to license UNOC came after petitioners who had filed a case to block Kenya's Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) from issuing the permit withdrew the case.

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