Maputo — Mozambique and Kenya have agreed to scrap entry visas, and this agreement should take effect within a few days when it is ratified by the governments of the two countries.
The announcement was made in Nairobi on Wednesday, the first day of a visit to Kenya by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, at a joint conference given by Nyusi and his Kenyan host, Uhuro Kenyatta.
After his arrival in Nairobi in the late morning, Nyusi met almost immediately with Kenyatta, and their talks were followed by a session of the Mozambique/Kenya Joint Commission - the first time this body has met since the two countries signed a cooperation agreement in 1991.
Details of the visa waiver arrangement were not immediately available - but if it is similar to the visa waiver agreements Mozambique has signed with members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), it will allow nationals of one country to visit the other for up to 30 days without an entry visa.
Nyusi announced that the two countries are also considering the possibility of eliminating dual taxation which should strengthen their cooperation.
According to a report in the independent daily "O Pais", Kenyatta announced Kenya's intention to increase purchases of coal from Mozambique, which will be used in a coal-fired power station that will produce more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity. He added that Kenya is also negotiating to buy Mozambican natural gas.
Kenyatta said Kenya also wants to learn from Mozambique good practices in managing hydrocarbon projects, since it is currently exploring for hydrocarbons. Kenya would be willing to put at Mozambique's disposal its own experience in training tourism staff, and agents in port and logistics services.
Currently there is no Kenyan diplomatic representation in Mozambique, but Kenyatta announced that, by the first quarter of next year, Kenya will set up a consulate in Maputo, that will later be upgraded into a High Commission.
In the afternoon, Nyusi and Kenyatta attended the second session of the Mozambique/Kenya Business Forum. Speaking at the event, Nyusi challenged Mozambican and Kenyan business people to take advantage of the conditions which their governments were creating to facilitate investment.