Wel­come to Kenya, Pres­i­dent Magu­fuli

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices -

Tan­za­nia Pres­i­dent John Magu­fuli’s first state visit to Kenya is to be highly com­mended. Bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween Kenya and Tan­za­nia go all the way back to Kenyan In­de­pen­dence, 53 years ago. Even be­fore that, Tan­za­nia and Uganda de­clared they would post­pone their own in­de­pen­dence un­til it be­came clear Kenya’s own free­dom was as­sured, a huge fra­ter­nal re­gional ges­ture.

Kenya and Tan­za­nia are strate­gic part­ners in many key ar­eas, among them trade, FDI, en­ergy, se­cu­rity, ed­u­ca­tion and agri­cul­ture.

Re­la­tions have not al­ways been smooth: The breakup of the orig­i­nal East African Com­mu­nity in 1977 saw Tan­za­nia’s high com­mis­sion in Nairobi and Kenya’s in Dar es Salaam closed for six years.

Yes­ter­day, Pres­i­dent Magu­fuli went out of his way to cor­rect the im­pres­sion that his re­la­tions with Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta have been frosty.

The coun­tries that host the world’s big­gest Kiswahili-speak­ing pop­u­la­tions – and in which Kiswahili is the na­tional lan­guage – need to main­tain cor­dial re­la­tions.

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