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Leaders pledge to end Kenya-Tanzania rift
February 23, 2018, 12:30 pm

Kenyatta, center, wants to see trade ties with Tanzania revive and thrive once more following years of disputes [Xinhua]

Kenya and Tanzania are moving closer to resolving a years-long trade dispute that has disrupted the ease of business across their borders.

Earlier in February both Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli agreed to resolve all issues which have contributed to a trade dispute.

The two met at the East African Community (EAC) summit in Kampala, Uganda, which opens today.

The two hoped that trade between them on the one hand, and other East African nations, could thrive again.

In recent years, the two have accused each other of introducing unnecessary levies sometimes reaching more than 100 per cent. Kenya says this has left it with a competitive disadvantage in Tanzanian markets.

For its part, Tanzania says that its products go through a rigorous inspection regimen sometimes leading to three sets of verification thereby raising costs.

The two have also accused each other of putting barriers to each other’s companies to register as businesses.

The business rift between the two neighbors has impeded trade in EAC because the trade between them accounts for some 45 per cent of all goods traveling through the economic zone.

At one point, Kenya’s exports fell by 60 per cent in 2017 due to the rift, the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics said.

The EAC summit meets at a time when many member states have not done enough to fulfill their commitments to the grouping, the secretariat has said.

The Summit will look at ways to increase taxes on imports to the economic bloc, and finding alternative means of financing for business.

The BRIC Post with inputs from Agencies

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