, KHARTOUM, Sudan, Apr 11 – Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday held talks with Sudan President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum, with focus on the strengthening of trade and investments between the two nations.
The leaders particularly stressed the need for the enhancement of cooperation in areas of manufacturing, agro-processing, textiles and healthcare among other areas.
Bashir and Ruto agreed that Kenya required agricultural and irrigation expertise to assist the country attain its food security, which is one of the Government’s Big Four agenda in the next five years.
Ruto thanked Sudan for allowing Kenya’s tea to dominate 80 percent of its market and stressed that Kenya did not take this for granted.
Ruto urged the business community to take advantage of the cordial relations between the two countries to exploit investments opportunities.
He said the measures taken by Kenya including issuing of visas to individuals wishing to visit the country on arrival were aimed promoting trading activities in the region.
“Our move to issue visas on arrival to people visiting us is in line with the resolve by African countries to eradicate trade barriers within the region. Kenya is implementing it without a demand for reciprocity from other countries,” he said.
President Bashir asked Kenya to consider importing materials for uniforms for security agencies from Sudan.
“I take this opportunity to ask Kenya to consider purchasing uniforms including those of military from our country as we commit ourselves to increasing purchase of tea from your country,” he stated.
President Bashir congratulated President Kenyatta for his re-election.
The leaders said it was high time African countries focused their efforts on building up industries, skills and technologies so they can produce their own high quality products, creating much-needed jobs and income for their people.
“There is no need for the African countries to continue to export raw materials only to buy them back in the form of finished products,” Bashir stated.
He explained that Sudan through its Gezira cotton scheme has embarked on value addition that has led to manufacturing of uniforms in the country.
The Deputy President had earlier on toured the Kenana Sugar factory and sugar cane plantations and also addressed Kenyan businessmen and students living in Sudan.