Ruto visits Rwanda amid Kenya, Tanzania trade competition
President William Ruto is in Rwanda to intensify trade relations between Nairobi and Kigali.
President Ruto will, among other matters, attend the 9th session of the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC) amid increased trade competition between Kenya and Tanzania.
President Ruto and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame are expected to deliberate on areas of mutual interests and cooperation including the northern corridor integration projects, food security, innovation and ICT, Health, and Education.
Tanzania has steadily overtaken Kenya as landlocked Rwanda’s preferred route to the Indian Ocean for imports and exports mainly owing to the political instability in Nairobi and the closure of the Rwanda/Uganda border at Katuna, which is a gateway to Kenya, between 2020 and 2022.
This follows the increased competition between Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam Port and Kenya’s Mombasa Port to landlocked countries.
Rwanda and Kenya enjoy good relations since establishing diplomatic relations in 1965.
There are an estimated 6000 Kenyans living and working in Rwanda.
At the same time, several Kenyan-owned businesses including Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, and Mount Kenya University thrive in Rwanda.
Rwanda’s GDP is an estimated $12 billion with Kenya’s sitting at $115 billion.
President Ruto was accompanied by several cabinet secretaries including Alfred Mutua (Foreign Affairs), Mithika Linturi (Agriculture), Aisha Jumwa (Gender), and Peninah Malonza (Tourism)