Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What Buhari's visit means for Kenya and Nigeria

Buhari leaving Abuja and arriving in Eldoret, Kenya. 
Received warmly by Uhuru Kenyatta

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has today arrived in Kenya for a 3-day State visit and was received with pomp and colour by his host President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

The 21 Gun-salute and parade

After receiving full state honours including a 21 gun salute from Kenya Defence Forces KDF officers,  Buhari joined Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at Moi Barracks. This, for an interdenominational memorial service in honour of KDF soldiers killed in El Adde, Somalia following an Al-Shabaab ambush.

Speaking at the memorial service, Buhari said that peace-loving nations of the world must now come together and deal with the threat posed to global security by terrorism with greater zeal and cohesion.

"Terrorists should not have a place in our communities, villages, towns, cities and countries. We must all rise against the culture of intolerance, hatred and extremist ideologies, which drive terrorism. 

"We must also act with more firmness against radicalization and all those who promote values and principles that threaten our unity and cohesion as a people."

Nigeria and Somalia presidents join Uhuru
Kenyatta in memorial to fallen soldiers

"Nigeria is willing to work with Kenya, other African countries and the global community at large with a view to defeating these undesirable elements. 

"We must take the battle to the terrorists whoever they are and wherever they are. This requires commitment, sacrifice, resources, collaboration and above all a realization that no country is immune to the scourge, as terrorists do not respect national boundaries, race, colour, religion or creed," President Buhari said.

On Thursday, Kenyatta and Buhari will hold private talks, before a bilateral meeting at State House, Nairobi, according to details of the trip released by Kenya Statehouse spokesperson Manoah Esipisu.

Areas of cooperation that President Buhari’s visit to 

Kenya is expected to bolster. 

Kenya – Nigeria relations

Kenya and Nigeria enjoy warm and cordial relations. The two countries concluded an Agreement for the establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation in July last year.

The Agreement established an enabling framework for enhancing bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest including, Trade, Tourism, Education, Energy, Agriculture and Technical cooperation.

Kenya and Nigeria have exchanged high level visits: Kenya welcomed former President Goodluck Jonathan to Kenya in September, 2013 and Nigeria reciprocated by hosting President Kenyatta in May, 2014. During these visits, a number of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding on cooperation in a number of fields including Agriculture, Tourism, Oil and Gas, Immigration and Trade, were signed.

Notable among the agreements was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on oil and gas matters between the two countries in 2014.

This MOU provided a platform for Kenya to learn from the Nigerian expertise and build capacity in oil exploration. With the discovery of viable oil deposits in the country, Kenya has been working on developing her commercial oil production and such co-operation will go a long way towards achieving that target.

Trade Relations

An active Joint Business Forum has expanded room for further engagement between various sectors, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) launching the Kenya-Nigeria Agro-business Forum which was signed in Nairobi in September, 2014 and an MOU which was signed between the Benue State Chamber and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Busia Branch in January, 2015.

Warm trade relations between Kenya and Nigeria have enabled a number of Nigerian companies to set base in the country. GZ Industries, which has invested in a can-manufacturing facility in Kenya, and the Dangote Group, which is in the process of setting up a cement factory in Kitui, are two examples of major Nigerian companies that have ventured in the country.

Others include Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa and Eco-Bank.

The growth of business between Kenya and Nigeria has enable Kenya Airways to operate six flights per week to Lagos and three flights a week to Abuja.


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