Kenya and Ethiopia are set to mutually benefit from each other after President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed yesterday started the ball rolling for implementation of numerous infrastructural projects.
The two leaders committed to the development of Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor , the Northern Corridor including road network between Isiolo, Moyale through to Addis Ababa and the railway from Addis Ababa to Nairobi with both sides agreeing to finalise the Ethiopia-Kenya interconnection transmission line.
They also agreed to jointly supervise and inspect the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo-Moyale and Moyale-Hawassa-Addis Ababa road networks. Kenya will facilitate the formal acquisition of land in Lamu Port given to the Ethiopian government and the Ethiopian side reiterated its commitment to develop the land for logistical facilitation.
To further intensify integration, they agreed to strengthen the collaboration between the two national carriers, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways. Kenya agreed to grant Ethiopian Airlines a second frequency flight to Mombasa and they further agreed to unrestricted marketing to Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways in Kenya and Ethiopia respectively.
Speaking yesterday at State House, President Uhuru said despite the special status agreement between the two countries, the implementation of pacts was very low.
“The general implementation of the agreement remains slow and the envisaged benefits unattained. In this regard, I wish to call for a renewed drive to ensure its effective implementation, by introducing clear timelines and deliverables in our implementation strategies,” said the President.
Set to benefit from the bilateral talks is Moyale town as both sides agreed to jointly invest in “Moyale Joint City and Economic Zone” Project as they welcomed additional investment towards the project.
Further, border towns on the Kenyan side are set to benefit immensely from the enhanced bilateral economic cooperation as plans to implement a Power Purchase Agreement are underway.
If the implementation takes full effect, Ethiopia will supply 400 of hydro-power to Kenya yearly as Africa’s largest hydro dam project, the 6,450 MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is now 66 per cent complete comes to a total close of construction among other power projects.
The two leaders spoke on a number of shared water resources along the common border between Kenya and Ethiopia, notably the Omo River, Lake Turkana and Daua River where both entered into Tri-lateral framework arrangements with IGAD on the Daua River Basin and United Nations Environment Programme on the Lake Turkana Basin.