NAIROBI-- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) signed earlier this year offers Kenya and Djibouti the opportunity to increase public and private partnerships towards better prosperity.

The agreement provides solutions to removing bottlenecks which have traditionally hampered intra-Africa trade, he said Wednesday when he and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted a State Banquet in honour of Djibouti's visiting President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who is in Kenya for a three-day State visit.

He said the continental trade pact is a significant milestone for Africa as it heralds the dawn of a new era for Africa. This will provide impetus towards achieving the African Union flagship projects as projected in Agenda 2063, said President Kenyatta.

He thanked President Guelleh for being among the leaders who ushered in the historic agreement for Africa.

Kenya has signed and ratified the agreement is expected to deposit the instruments of ratification of the AfCFTA with the African Union Commission this week.

President Kenyatta said President Guelleh's visit to Kenya will give new energy to drive the co-operation between Kenya and Djibouti especially in people-to-people partnerships.

I am delighted to note that we have a vibrant community of Kenyan diaspora in Djibouti, who have been working well with our Djiboutian friends in the various sectors of the economy, including the education, banking, hospitality, transport sectors and in the non-governmental organizations, he said.

President Guelleh said Kenya and Djibouti had comparative advantage which can be optimized and put into qualitative combination to broaden the scope of regional integration. Kenya has successfully positioned itself as the African leader in geothermal energy exploration and exploitation, and Djibouti is very much eager to learn from the expertise and know how so as to exploit its enormous geothermal resources, he noted.

He pointed out that the signing of Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments would go along way in promoting trade between the two countries as it creates conducive environment for investment.

Earlier in the day the two Presidents oversaw the signing of agreements to deepen the trade and bilateral ties between Kenya and Djibouti.

The agreements signed included Trade Agreement, MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Livestock Sector, Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments and an agreement on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passports.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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