Deputy President William Ruto has urged states in the Great Lakes region to enhance trade with each other as a way of enhancing peace, stability and security in the region.
Ruto made this appeal to leaders from the regions while officially opening the Inter-Ministerial committee meeting on the Great Lakes Region at the Windsor Golf and Country Hotel.
Ruto said that the duty of promoting collective and state interests is on the current generation of leadership.
"As the current generation of leaders of the region it is our responsibility with the help of others but primarily ours, to turn things around, to give hope to the aspirations of our people to live in peace, security and prosperity," he said.
Ruto decried the continued state of abject poverty, instability and insecurity that states in the region continue to face with no effort to mitigate the situation.
"There is absolutely no reason why half a century later we still wallow in abject poverty, insecurity and instability," the Deputy President said adding that specific, timely and actionable recommendations to prove that the region is in a position to deal with emerging challenges should be formulated.
"It is time we began building trade across the continent to create wealth and raise enough stakeholders for peace to counter stakeholders for war", the Deputy President said.
Other dignitaries who addressed the meeting were; Mary Robinson, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for the Great Lakes Region, Ambassador Aboubacar Diarra Special Representative of the African Union, and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.