Kenya Seeks Deeper Ties with Djibouti to Improve its Access to Middle Eastern Markets

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Kenya is seeking to strengthen its ties with the East African state of Djibouti in a bid to improve its access to Middle Eastern markets.

Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta met with Djibouti’s Head of State Ismaïl Omar Guelleh on Monday, January, 29th, 2018 on the sidelines of the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“We agreed on a greater trade and security cooperation, especially in the livestock sector where Djibouti is a leader,” Kenyatta said following the meeting.

“We want to explore an agreement, to work closely with Djibouti in the livestock sector. Using the window offered by Djibouti, we can improve our access to the Middle East markets,” he explained.

The President added that the move will also help Kenya to accelerate development of its leather industry, a key plank in the manufacturing segment of Kenyatta’s ‘Big Four’ agenda.

The Big Four agenda is a government-sanctioned development initiative that focuses on food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.

President Kenyatta last week sought the active engagement of the International Finance Corporation (IFC )in securing cheap financing for the project.

Now the Head of State is looking to Djibouti for more assistance in making the agenda a reality.

“I invited President Guelleh for a state visit to Kenya, during which our two countries can sign agreements in the identified areas of cooperation,” Kenyatta said.

Djibouti and Kenya first established diplomatic ties on June 27th, 1977, after Djibouti’s independence. Both countries are founding members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a free trade area with nineteen member states.

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