Kenya and Ethiopia renewed their commitment to the full implementation of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) projects as key enablers meant to transform the two economies.
On Friday, 1 March 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the regional infrastructure initiative is central to the unlocking of the economic potential of not only Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan but that of the entire East African region.
Speaking when they presided over the official opening of a two-day Kenya-Ethiopia high level trade forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the two leaders promised to deepen trade and economic ties between the two countries.
“In my mind, the LAPSSET project has great promise of transforming our countries and improving the living conditions of our people [sic],” Kenyatta said.
“Kenya and Ethiopia resolved to partner in developing first class infrastructure projects connecting our great nations and the continent. By this I have in mind the LAPSSET project which Kenya is, for sure, still fully committed to,” he added.
Kenyatta is in Ethiopia on a two-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and is accompanied by a high powered trade delegation.
Besides pursuing joint infrastructure projects, Kenyatta and Abiy called for the fast-tracking of the ongoing transformation of Moyale town into a cross-border trade hub in the region in line with the 2012 Special Status Agreement (SSA).
“The SSA provides a good framework for today’s discussions. The four main areas covered by the Agreement-Trade; Investment, Infrastructure, Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods, are key in building our relations, promoting our economies and more so, enabling the private sector to thrive [SIC],” Kenyatta said.
The SSA, signed in November 2012, is a framework of collaboration between Kenya and Ethiopia, and was the enabler for the Moyale-Addis Ababa highway, the On-Stop Border Post at Moyale and several other joint initiatives.