Kenya's Ambassador to Ethiopia Catherine Mwangi called on both governments to use the long and peaceful relations that exists between the countries to exploit economic opportunities.
While talking to The Ethiopian Herald, Ambassador Mwangi stated that both countries need to enhance their economic engagement via the construction of infrastructures, such as roads, railways and cross-border trade corridors, as well as power transmission lines.
Despite the two countries sharing longer border and having exemplary diplomatic and political ties, their economic relations have not yet reached at the desired level.
With this in mind, the Ambassador pointed out that Ethiopia and Kenya need to maintain the ongoing extensive infrastructural development activities and invest in mutually-benefiting projects to replicate the strong diplomatic and political ties in the economic sphere.
Ethiopia and Kenya are working on the completion and operationalization of the Ethio-Moyale asphalt road and the power transmission line that would further boost intra-trade.
According to the Ambassador, the strong partnership between Ethiopia and Kenya would be the centerpiece in enhancing the economic integration of IGAD member States.
She said: "Given the relatively peaceful condition of both Ethiopia and Kenya; their robust economic cooperation would have a pivotal role in pacifying the volatile East Africa and bringing prosperity to the region."
She remarked that the two countries' collaboration would also contribute hugely to AU's vision of economic integration, and intensify trade and people-to-people relations in the IGAD region.
Ethiopia and Kenya have waged war on poverty and are improving the living standard of their citizens by planning and undertaking huge projects, and setting effective trading system, Mwangi added.
Moreover, the Ambassador stated that Ethiopia's massive infrastructural development would enable the country to be the major player in intensifyingeconomic integration in the East African region.
She said that Ethiopia's huge mega projects, coupled with its extensive development of road and railway networks as well as installation of power transmission lines will put the country in a position to supply power to neighboring countries and enhance the region's economic integration efforts.
Mwangi also noted Kenya's commitment to implement the economic integration agreements signed at various times, including the Special Status Agreement that aimed at boosting the two countries trade and investment relations. Kenya has also a desire to bolster its trade relations with Ethiopia while giving textiles and agricultural items the utmost priority, the Ambassador underscored.
Ethiopia and Kenya have initiated a massive transport and infrastructure project - dubbed Lamu Project - to make link Addis Ababa to Kenya's port town of Lamu. The project also incorporates South Sudan, and comprises construction of ports, pipelines, new roads, airports and standard gauge railways.