NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Kenya and Tanzania have now lifted bans placed on products imported from both countries bringing an end to a stand-off between the two countries that was threatening to derail the East African Community cross-border trading.
According to a joint statement read by Tanzanian Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga, Kenya will allow free movement of wheat flour and Liquefied Petroleum gas from Tanzania with immediate effect.
He stated that likewise, Tanzania will lift the ban placed on milk, milk products and cigarettes from Kenya.
“The United Republic of Tanzania will lift restrictions on milk and milk products and cigarettes manufactured in Kenya with immediate effect. The Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania will lift any other restrictions that affect products and services exchanged between the two countries,” he said.
He says the decision was arrived at following a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed further stated that a Standing Joint Technical Committee will be formed between the two countries to deal with any other outstanding issue.
“The Committee will be chaired by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs and will comprise of the Ministries of EAC, Trade, Finance, Interior, Energy, Agriculture, Transport and Tourism and will incorporate other key government agencies as the need arises,” she said.
The tit-for-tat came about when Kenya submitted that the products from Tanzania did not meet the quality and safety standards as per the EAC standards.
On April 24, Kenya’s Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau announced the ban on gas imports through Tanzania, a move meant to eliminate illegal cooking gas filling plants that posed safety and security risks.
Besides imposing a ban on importation of cooking gas through the two countries’ borders, Kenya had imposed a ban on importation of wheat.
Tanzania in response slapped retaliatory bans on Kenyan products entering their country.