Mauritius and Kenya have agreed to pursue consultations with regards to legal cooperation, standards, and connectivity. This is one of the outcomes of the first Ministerial Session of the Mauritius-Kenya Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), which aimed at providing a platform to consolidate bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.
The Session, held on Tuesday 9 April 2019 at the Trou-aux-Biches Beachcomber Hotel, was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, and the Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Ambassador Monica K. Juma, DPhil.
It was organised in the side-lines of the four-day State Visit of the President of the Republic of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, who is currently in Mauritius. The Ministerial Session examined the progress made since the holding of the inaugural session of the JCC held in Nairobi in August 2018. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to implement the decisions of the Joint Commisssion.
'We are going to open a new chapter in the relations between our two countries' stated Minister Bodha in his address. He expressed satisfaction that the Ministerial Session of the Joint Commission was taking place in the context of the historical visit of the President of Kenya to Mauritius.
Both sides will advance discussions on the proposed Agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, the transfer of prisoners and the establishment of an extradition treaty. Mauritius and Kenya have agreed that the legal texts of these three agreements should be finalised within a timeline of two months.
As regards standards, both parties agreed that the Standards Bureau will continue to engage constant dialogue to establish a structure of cooperation. As for connectivity, Mauritius and Kenya an agreement between the Mauritius Ports Authority and the Kenya Ports Authority will be signed in Mombasa, Kenya, shortly.
Discussions also took place on the opportunities for exporting refined sugar by Mauritius to Kenya and on standardisation issues regarding Mauritian products entering the Kenyan market.
Moreover, the Ministerial Session took note of the areas of cooperation identified as well as progress made to finalise the six agreements of bilateral cooperation that were signed on 10 April 2019. The agreement were signed between the delegations of Mauritius and Kenya led respectively by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, and the President of the Republic of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta.
These are: a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA); an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA); a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation for Development of Special Economic Zones and Export Processing Zone in Kenya; a MoU in the field of Tourism; a MoU in the field of Higher Education and Scientific Research; and a MoU in the field of Arts and Culture.