Welcome to Kenya, President Magufuli
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.