NAIROBI, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and visiting Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday launched two key infrastructure projects in northern Kenya to help boost trade between the two neighboring countries.
Kenyatta and Ahmed inaugurated the Moyale One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) and the 500-km Hawassa-Hagere Mariam-Moyale road which is part of the Trans African Highway and a key segment of Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa transport corridor.
Ahmed, who spoke during meetings on both sides of the border, said the new Moyale OSBP will help expedite movement of goods and persons across the Kenya-Ethiopia border.
“This artificial border, in my opinion, will be dismantled with the new infrastructure. The new infrastructure will bring the two families together and tap the potential and opportunities of business and economy,” Ahmed said according to a statement from Kenyan presidency.
The Ethiopian PM said Kenya and Ethiopia will continue working together on infrastructure and in maintenance of peace and security along the border region.
“Just as in infrastructure, we will work on peace and security of this area because peace is the foundation of everything we aspire to transform the lives of these people,” he added.
Ahmed is on a two-day visit which will also take the two leaders to the coastal Lamu County where they will inspect the ongoing construction of the new Lamu Port, an anchor project of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor.
In his remarks, Kenyatta encouraged traders from both countries to utilize the new infrastructure, especially the OSBP to boost cross-border trade.
He said his administration attaches great importance to its partnership with the Ethiopian government in the rollout of joint infrastructure projects saying such initiatives are aimed at deepening the strong bilateral ties that exist between the two countries.
Kenyatta said with the completion of this border post the two countries have demonstrated political goodwill to address the challenges and impediments facing businesses from both sides.
“In addition to facilitating trade between the two countries, the border post will also enhance mutual interactions among our people and create synergy and unity of purpose,” the Kenyan President said.
He said the region has huge untapped potential for trade and investment, and encouraged the local business communities to capitalize on the OSBP to boost trade and investments across the border.
The Kenyan leader said his government will continue working closely with its neighbors to eliminate the identified trade barriers so as to increase the flow of business across regional borders. Enditem