, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7 – One of the key highlights of the visit to Kenya by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete was the presentation of a key to Nairobi City and the renaming of a road after him.
These two are symbolic gestures of trust and kindness which foreshadow a deep and strong working relationship between the two countries.
Speaking to the Tanzanian Head of State on Tuesday morning, Governor Evans Kidero pointed out that this will enable the relationship between the two countries to grow.
“The relationship between Kenya and Tanzania has grown from strength to strength and the handing over the keys has further strengthened it,” Kidero stated.
While accepting the keys, President Kikwete acknowledged that Nairobi being the hub of trade, finance and communications had contributed immensely to the relations between Kenya and Tanzania. “This will ensure that the relations between the two nations continues to prosper.”
The Milimani Road which passes along Integrity Centre was also renamed Jakaya Kikwete Road in a move that Kidero indicated will further cement the longstanding friendship and trade relations between Kenya and Tanzania.
He pointed out that 90 percent of Trade in East Africa is between Kenya and Tanzania and we will therefore continue to forge ahead with it for growth and prosperity for our respective citizens.
Kikwete expressed confidence that Kenya and Tanzania’s deep economic ties would grow even stronger as a result of the visit and promised to make more trips to Nairobi even after his retirement.
The event-packed visit saw President Kikwete launch the upgrading of the 90km Tavate-Mwatate road together with President Uhuru Kenyatta over the weekend.
The Head of State was also accorded top State honours including a 21-gun salute by his host President Kenyatta before the two leaders held bilateral talks at State House, Nairobi.
On Tuesday, Kikwete addressed a joint Kenya-Tanzania Business Forum at a Nairobi hotel and later the visiting Tanzanian leader gave a farewell address to a special joint sitting of Kenya’s National Assembly, Senate and East African Legislative Assembly.
Kikwete assured Kenya that there will be no policy shift that will undermine cooperation between the two neighbouring countries even after he vacates the office.
Speaking during a State banquet hosted in his honour at State House Monday night, Kikwete said stronger ties with Kenya were in the best interest of his nation.
“You can’t have a policy that takes your hand elsewhere unless it is towards your mouth, there is clarity on the Tanzania side on this policy,” he said.
He noted that Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa and the largest market for Tanzanian products, adding that it would be absurd for the two countries to have friction.
The Tanzanian leader urged Kenya to ignore the few detractors who are out to cause animosity and misunderstanding between the two countries.