Kenya, Tanzania ties headed for better days as Suluhu visits Nairobi

Monday, May 3rd, 2021 00:00 |
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

 Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan will make her first visit to Kenya—as Head of State—tomorrow, as she continues with her efforts of mending diplomatic ties with her neighbouring East African countries.

In a statement yesterday, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo said President Uhuru Kenyatta will receive his Tanzania’s counterpart “at State House, Nairobi on the same”.  President Suluhu will be making a two-day State visit.

“Other details of Her Excellency visit will be shared in due course,” the statement.  President Uhuru officially invited President Suluhu to Nairobi on April 10 in a bid to end years of frosty relations between the two countries. 

Message was delivered by a Kenyan delegation, led by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.

A statement released by Tanzania Director of President’s communication, Gerson Msigwa, indicated that besides the meeting with Kenya’s Head of State, Suluhu will make an historic address of a Parliament as well as a session with Kenya-Tanzania traders based in Nairobi.

Msigwa said President Suluhu is visiting Kenya at the invitation of President Uhuru.

“The President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu, will visit Keya for two days from May 4 following the invitation of Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta.

During her visit, President Suluhu will engage in talks with President Uhuru and address MPs in both the Senate and National Assembly.

Later she will address a meeting of business people of Kenya –Tanzanian traders on various issues,” Msigwa’s statement.

Contacted for comment, Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau said President Suluhu’s itinerary had not officially been released. “It is not yet out,” the PS said.

In a speech to Parliament last week, President Suluhu told legislators that her administration would pursue economic diplomacy with partners in the region and across the world, signaling intent to repair relations with the outside world.

Renewed effort

 “If you call it a change, then it will be a renewed effort on economic diplomacy,” she said, referring to better ties with the EAC, Southern Africa Development Community and the recent Africa Continental Free Trade Area.

This will be the Tanzanian leader’s second State visit since taking power, after she made an official trip to Uganda on April 9 where she, together with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, signed a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline deal with French oil giant Total and China’s CNOOC.

President Suluhu assumed power following the death of her boss, President Pombe Magufuli on March 17.

She was sworn in on March 19, becoming Tanzania’s sixth president and most significantly, the first woman president

During the tenure of her predecessor, relations between Kenya and Tanzania were marred by diplomatic tiffs, specifically triggered by cross border Coronavirus containment measures that had been reached by the EAC Heads of State.

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