ADDIS ABABA, Nov 17 – Kenya and Ethiopia have agreed to work together and implement infrastructure projects critical to the development of both countries.
Speaking during a bilateral meeting in Addis Ababa ahead of the African Summit of the Group of Ten on Climate Change, President Mwai Kibaki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi expressed the need to facilitate the implementation of joint projects that will improve the lives of the people of Kenya and Ethiopia.
On infrastructure development, President Kibaki said plans were at an advanced stage to put up a port in Lamu which would be used by neighbouring countries, including Ethiopia, as an outlet to the rest of the World.
The Lamu Port project is part of a second transport corridor project that includes construction of a railway line and tarmac road to Moyale.
On his part, the Ethiopian Prime Minister said his government was working towards constructing a railway line from Addis Ababa to Moyale to boost trade between the two countries.
The two leaders also discussed the need for the two countries to maintain peace along the common border by containing cattle rustling and the influx of small arms and light weapons.
President Kibaki and Prime Minister Zenawi also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen IGAD by making it play a leading role in promoting security and economic development in the region.
They also expressed their support for the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in its endeavour to address the challenges it is facing in restoring peace in the Horn of Africa country.
The Kenya delegation at the bilateral talks included ministers Moses Wetang\’ula, John Michuki, Yusuf Haji and Dr Noah Wekesa and Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode.
At a separate function, President Kibaki held talks with a leading Saudi investor Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi who paid him a courtesy call at his presidential suite in Addis Ababa.
During the meeting, the President reiterated his government\’s determination to create and maintain a conducive environment that would attract both local and foreign investment to spur economic growth and create jobs for the Kenyan youth.
President Kibaki pointed out that the government has been steadily working towards removing all hurdles that hinder investment in the country.
On his part, Sheikh Al-Amoudi indicated his interest in investing in Kenya\’s infrastructure development, livestock sector, conference and tourism.