Ugandan has signed a raft of agreements with Kenya aimed at easing trade, cement political ties and improve their social and cultural connections between the two East African countries.
The signing ceremony was conducted at the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, witnessed by President Yoweri Museveni and his host, Uhuru Kenyatta. Museveni is in Kenya for three days visit on invitation of President Kenyatta.
The agreements, clustered into three major categories of defence, trade and social affairs, focusing on not only easing means of doing business between the two countries but also resolve some of the sticking issues that have hampered trade.
The pacts direct Kenya to consider increase of its sugar quota imported from Uganda to 90,000 metric tonnes from the current 36,000 tonnes and Uganda has been tasked to formally lodge a request to this effect that would create market for at least 54,000 metric tonnes of its surplus 90,000 metric tonnes it produces annually.
Kenya agreed to lift the ban on poultry products from Uganda within a week, dependent on Ugandan authorities furnishing then with necessary information making a case for the decision. It also agreed to do away with a host on non-tariff barriers that were affecting their exports.
it is not rosy news for those packaging alcohol in plastic sachets after both countries directed to ban this packaging develop modalities on fighting alcohol use and drug trafficking.
Being security issues, both countries among others agreed to ease the process of getting work permits for their nationals, harmonize methods of verifying temporary travel documents and formally communicate cases of repatriation.
The countries have also agreed to develop formal guidelines within three months to help check human trafficking, with a call to arrest perpetrators.
On the social and cultural front, the key highlight was a request that Kenya ensures a harmonization of fees charged on Ugandan students at its public universities.