President Uhuru Kenyatta has lauded the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty that opens up business borders and opportunities throughout the African continent and improves the ease of doing business in the African continent. While addressing a joint Kenya-Mozambique business forum in Maputo, Mozambique, he said the deal which was signed last week will enable business people to freely move with their goods and services across the continent. He said it presents an opportunity for the private sector to grow, adding that closer partnerships between members of the private sector in Africa were key to helping countries achieve their development and economic goals, “The private sector is the key for people to people exchange. It is the key to economic growth and through the private sector, you help us deliver jobs and prosperity for our respective nations,” said President Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta embarked on the trip to Mozambique on Wednesday, aimed at developing closer business ties and holding bilateral talks covering various issues including boosting the blue economy. He was welcomed by Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, and so far, they’ve witnessed the signing of two agreements covering political and economic cooperation which will be the heart of closer cooperation between Kenya and Mozambique. President Kenyatta also announced that Mozambican nationals wishing to visit Kenya will no longer require visas, during a State Banquet hosted by President Nyusi.
During the business forum in Maputo, President Kenyatta reiterated that Kenya will benefit from the experience garnered by Mozambique in the area of extractive industries, mining, “Kenya stands to benefit considerably from importing coal and natural gas to power our energy sector,” he said, “Kenya also stands to benefit from your experiences and your investment in our growing mining sector. You are well ahead of us in that sector and we believe we can gain a lot from the investment that can be obtained from Mozambique in these sectors in Kenya.”
He further urged African nations to look at the countries as one large market, instead of viewing each other as small nations. He said doing this will facilitate job creation and large investments. The President noted that Africa is currently exporting jobs to China and other markets because as a continent we haven’t been able to open up our markets in order to attract the kind of capital that is needed to create jobs in the continent. Other key speakers at the business forum included Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma, Industrialization CS Adan Mohamed, the head of the Confederation of Business Associations of Mozambique Mr. Agostinho Vuma.