NAIROBI, September 24 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga left the country on Wednesday for a three-day working tour of Tanzania to solidify bilateral ties and widen trade interests in the East African region.
The premier was accompanied by Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi and Dr Sally Kosgey of Higher Education.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to Tanzania Boaz Mbaya who was expected to receive the delegation said the visit was critical in promoting economic interdependence in the East African region.
He said at least 270 Kenyan companies had invested more than US $1.78 billion in the Tanzanian industrial market thereby creating employment opportunities to thousands of job seekers in the neighbouring country.
“Kenya is the leading foreign investor in Tanzania due to the long historical ties the two countries share. The bilateral engagement has increased by four percent over the last three years as the region focuses on faster economic growth,” he said.
He said Kenya exports goods worth Sh22.3 billion to Tanzania who in turn ships goods including farm produce amounting to Sh6.9 billion every year adding that the opening of cross border trade when the East African Cooperation takes root would spur regional development.
The Prime Minister is expected to meet top Tanzanian officials in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar Island during the visit.
The team is also scheduled to meet Chief Minister of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar Shamsa Vuai Nahodha on arrival before paying a courtesy call on President Amani Abeid Karume.
The premier is expected to grace the launch of New Habari Media Group at Kilimanjaro Kempinski hotel after touring the East African Cables premises while in the company of Tanzanian Minister for Information, Culture and Sports George Mkuchika.
The entourage will also meet the Kenyan delegation in Tanzania on Thursday during a dinner party before Tanzania’s Prime Minister Mizengo Pinde sees off the entourage.