Kenya and Eritrea have agreed to scrap visa requirements for their citizens permanently to ease the relations of the countries.
The move, they explained, will catalyze the country’s economic transformation for both the parties involved hereby.
The announcement was made on Thursday at State House, Nairobi when President Ruto held bilateral talks with his Eritrean counterpart, Isaias Afwerki.
“We must have a regime free of barriers to further integration, strengthen connectivity and enhance regional trade,” said President Ruto.
The two countries agreed that there exists enormous trade and investment potential between them that calls for structured collaboration.
We must have a regime that is free of barriers to further integration, strengthen connectivity and enhance regional trade
They cited renewable energy, water management, agriculture, transport, security, tourism, sports mining, the blue economy, and education.
As of 2020, the trade volume between Kenya and Eritrea stood at Sh73.4 million as compared with Sh257 million in 2015.
President Ruto said the relatively low figures were an indicator that the opportunity in trade is “enormous”.
“With the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area, we must cooperate in mapping out mutually beneficial strands of economic opportunities for our countries.”
He hailed Eritrea’s commitment to peace and stability in the region.
This, President Ruto noted, has paved the way for cooperation for regional peace and development.
President Afwerki said Eritrea was committed to taking measures that facilitate the deepening of economic, social, and cultural relations with Kenya.
“We will keep promoting joint investment and work together towards enhancing sustainable peace and security,” he said during their joint media briefing.