, ABUJA, Nigeria, May 7 – Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has reaffirmed that Kenya and Nigeria will coordinate and enhance their efforts in the fight and elimination of terrorism and extremism in the two countries.
Noting that good governance, peace and security were essential ingredients for sustainable development, the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary said the two countries will work together in resolving conflicts in the continent.
“I wish to acknowledge the great challenges and equally great efforts made by both countries towards the improvement of the security situation in our respective countries and regions,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
She was speaking in Abuja, Nigeria, when she opened a business forum that brought together leading Kenyan and Nigerian businesspeople to explore ways of deepening their cooperation.
The Cabinet Secretary pointed out that the volume of trade between Kenya and Nigeria was unacceptably low and called on businesspeople to take advantage of the huge trade and investment potential that remain untapped in the two countries.
“This is part of the reason why fora like these are critical, they help to increase our commercial interaction, enrich our synergies at the practical level of actual doing business and great access into each other’s markets,” she said.
She said it was Kenya’s desire to sign and implement instruments that are necessary to support growth of commercial interactions between the business communities of the two countries.
“These include Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement, Bilateral Trade Agreement, and Investment Protection Agreement among others,” she said.
The Cabinet Secretary noted that the challenges of achieving rapid economic growth, poverty reduction and improving people’s lives required a vibrant private sector that takes into account inclusive growth, job creation and access to critical goods and basic services, and support government functions by providing tax revenues.
To encourage private sector growth, Mohamed said Kenya and Nigeria will strive to maintain a conducive business environment that promotes generation of profits by businesses operating in either country.
She said the two countries will also cooperate in fostering efficiency and growth by supporting fair competition.
“It will then be your responsibility to develop our countries and ensure sustainable economic growth,” Mohamed told the businesspeople.
She appealed to the business champions in Nigeria and Kenya to establish long-term networks that will enable business to drive trade and investment relations upwards in the quest to achieve greater prosperity for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries – PSCU.