President William Ruto has said Kenya is keen to widen and deepen its trade relations with Rwanda as part of efforts to diversify its products.
He praised the cordial relations between the two countries, saying it was for the mutual benefit of their citizens.
President Ruto said Kenya and Rwanda share values and aspirations in various sectors, including political, socio-economic, cultural and diplomatic exchanges.
“Rwanda remains key of strategic importance to Kenya as a springboard to the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the wider Great Lakes Region,” said President Ruto.
He urged Rwanda to take advantage of the more efficient Port of Mombasa for import and export business, which allows cargo owners the option to collect goods at the Naivasha Inland Container Depot.
This, President Ruto said, would save on time and costs, thus boosting trade and benefiting the citizens of the two countries.
President Ruto made the remarks when he held a press conference with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, in Kigali, during his two- days state visit.
H also expressed appreciation that the ten memoranda of understanding between the two countries have been finalised.
He said the memoranda focused on education, ICT, gender and child development, youth, capacity development for public service, correctional services, health, diplomatic training, agriculture and cooperatives.
During the meeting, the memoranda of understanding between the two countries including Diplomatic Training, Education, ICT, Gender and Affirmative Action were signed.
President Ruto assured of Kenya’s commitment to working together with Rwanda in championing the ideals of the EAC and the African Union .
He said this will go a long way in advancing peace and security, trade and investment and the implementation of Agenda 2063, among others.
On technology and mobile telephony, President Ruto said Kenya and Rwanda have signed and ratified the One Area Network.
He said the move will facilitate communication and trade between the two countries.
“The time has come for us to advocate, champion and encourage Member States to embrace the One Area Network so as enhance communication and trade in our region,” said President Ruto.
The Head of State expressed concern that insecurity challenges facing some countries in the African Continent were slowing down development efforts.
“Our region currently faces tremendous and complicated peace and security crises. Ethiopia still struggles with the Tigray crisis, while the conflict in Eastern DRC remains unresolved,” he said.
President Ruto said there was need to deepen and sustain dialogue and take advantage of the existing regional and continental mechanisms to address challenges facing the Continent.
“We must desire and solve our differences and to entrench peace and security as the foundation of the stability that guarantees sustainable development and shared prosperity,” said President Ruto.
He also invited President Kagame to the 5th Mid-Year Africa Union Coordination Meeting to be held between July 13 and 16, this year, in Nairobi.
President Kagame on his part said Rwanda and Kenya will continue to collaborate in areas aimed at improving the lives of their citizens.
“We have developed new areas of cooperation to bring us closer for the benefit of the people of our two countries, ” said Mr Kagame.
President Kagame praised the role played by Kenya’s leadership in the search for lasting peace in Eastern DRC.
“I want to commend Kenya’s leadership in exploring ways of solving the Eastern DRC crisis. We will put together our resources for the sake of development, ” said Kagame.