The 34th Kenya- Ethiopia Joint Ministerial Commission meeting has been held in Nairobi, this week, (November 19th - 21st), preceded by a meeting of senior officials and experts.
Ambassador Berhane Gebrechristos, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia told the commission that Kenya and Ethiopia have had unprecedented levels of co-operation in bilateral and multilateral fora. Indeed, he said, the new political dispensation in Somalia and the hopeful development between the Republic of the Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan would not have been possible without coordinated efforts of the two countries. Kenya and Ethiopia working together were, in fact, a potent force for peace and stability in the region. Nevertheless, the Minister noted, trade and investment relations remain low.
This was why the last year's Joint Ministerial Commission meeting in Addis Ababa agreed to improve economic relations by expanding trade and investment ties and expanding infrastructural networks. Road transport and passenger road transport service agreements were signed as well as power purchase and standard gauge railway agreements. He noted the launching of the LAPSSET project which is a remarkable achievement both for Kenya and Ethiopia and for the region.
He emphasized that the Special Status Agreement to be signed at the conclusion of the meeting would raise overall economic ties to an even higher level, and noted that draft agreements in the fields of media, youth and sport, women and children, health, science and technology as well as extradition were ready to be signed. These would help to provide the necessary legal framework to enhance bilateral relations.