Uganda, Kenya seal new co-operation deal

By Nicholas Wassajja

The high-level inter-ministerial meeting was also attended by ministries of Trade, Lands, Defence, Internal Affairs, Agriculture and Justice of both countries

Aaaaaaabig 350x210

Uganda and Kenya have concluded an Inaugural Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC).

The JPCC was sealed on Tuesday in Nairobi with a ceremonial signing of minutes of the meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kutesa and his counterpart Monica Juma, Kenya’s cabinet secretary of Foreign Affairs, according to a joint press statement.

“The two delegations among other things agreed to embark on a joint border demarcation exercise and establish a mechanism for sustainable utilization of trans-boundary resources, including Lake Victoria,” the statement reads.

The high-level inter-ministerial meeting was also attended by ministries of Trade, Lands, Defence, Internal Affairs, Agriculture and Justice of both countries which means the JPCC will also touch each of the sectors highlighted.

The ministers also signed the agreed minutes of the Joint Ministerial Commission that will form the basis for the bilateral engagement between Kenyan leader  Uhuru Kenyatta and President Yoweri Museveni who begins a three day State Visit to Kenya today.

Yesterday, Kutesa and Juma acknowledged the strong historical relationship between Uganda and Kenya but welcomed the JPCC as an important step and vehicle to transform bilateral relations to a strategic level in a structured manner.

oreign minister am uteesa signs documents during the meeting ourtesy hotoForeign minister Sam Kuteesa signs documents during the meeting. Courtesy Photo


On her twitter handle, Juma said that their meeting was intended to agree on  modalities of implementing the decisions of the joint ministerial commission that and make final touches to preparations for “Museveni’s historic visit to Kenya.”

While in Kenya, Museveni’s engagements include endorsing a number of bilateral agreements and discussions in the areas of trade, agriculture, defence and customs.

Museveni who will juggle his three-day visit between Nairobi and Mombasa, is also expected to tour the Standard Gauge Railway terminal in Mombasa, attend the Kenya-Uganda business forum and also give a public lecture at Kenyatta University.

The Kenyan High Commissioner to Uganda, Kiema Kilonzo, on Monday, travelled to Kenya as part of the preparations for Museveni’s scheduled visit while the state minister for international affairs Okello Oryem yesterday told New Vision that Museveni was officially invited by his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Tomorrow, Museveni will visit the Kenya Ports Authority and tour the Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway terminal facility.

Kenya completed the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to Nairobi, and works on the second phase from Mombasa to Naivasha are underway. Bilateral talks between Uganda and Kenya on the possibility of extending the SGR spur up to Malaba are underway.

Museveni’s visit comes against the backdrop of Uhuru’s recent one-day visit of Uganda on March 11. During the visit, Uhuru, who had earlier visited Rwanda, held bilateral talks with Museveni on a number of issues.

Uganda exports goods worth sh1.5 trillion to Kenya therefore, by working on the SGR, leaders within the East Africa Community bloc, want to soften the financial burden and cargo delays that many traders face, especially during cargo transportation from Mombasa and other related ports on the coast.