Nairobi — Kenya and Tanzania on Tuesday agreed to deepen bilateral relations, after a tense period under the leadership of former President, the late John Pombe Magufuli.
The agreement was made during a bilateral talks between visiting Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and her host president Uhuru Kenyatta in State House, Nairobi.
"Your visit has given us a chance to renew our bilateral relations and my government shall lead the way in working with your government, to ensure we enhance our unity as neighbours and members of the East Africa Community," he said after their talks.
President Kenyatta said their talks revolved around enhancing social integration, trade, tourism, and cultural activities.
"We are united by our heritage and culture language," President Kenyatta said.
During the talks, President Kenyatta said they had inked a deal to have a gas pipeline between Dar es Salaam and Mombasa constructed.
"The pipeline shall reduce the cost of power in our country and shall ensure our industries get environmentally friendly power," he said.
The two leaders explored areas of cooperation in enhancing the security of both states, and more so on the war against terrorism.
On her part, President Suluhu said the Ministers of Health for both countries had been tasked to review the COVID-19 pandemic protocols at the border, to ensure there is a seamless flow of movement and traders between the two countries.
"We discussed ways of improving our relations which is beyond trade. We are also friends," President Suluhu said.
She said Kenya is the first trade partner for Tanzania in the region and fifth globally.
She noted that Kenya had invested in more than 500 trade deals in Tanzania, which has seen more than 50,000 Tanzanians employed.
In Kenya, she said, there are 33 Tanzanian companies that have invested in multi-billion shillings trade deals.
"We have agreed on ways of enhancing trade between the two countries and more so in agriculture, fishing, industries and tourism," she said.
The two leaders also agreed on adopting an expeditious process of dealing with outstanding issues, that might arise in the course of business.
The Tanzanian President further extended an invitation to President Kenyatta, to be the guest of honour during the 60th celebrations of Tanzania's independence in December.