The new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will arrive in the country on Sunday for a two-day State visit to bolster already strong relations between Kenya and Ethiopia, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu has announced.
This will be Mr Ahmed’s first visit to Kenya since his elevation to the PM’s office following the resignation of his predecessor Mr Hailemariam Desalegn in February in the backdrop of ethnic strife in the country.
“Kenya and Ethiopia have enjoyed strong bilateral relations, and deepened further by the Special Status Agreement between the two countries,” Mr Esipisu said, pointing out the two countries are also key partners in seeking to secure security and peace in the region.
He added that the two countries have both committed time and resources in the fight against terrorism, fight to bring Somalia to sustainable peace and the initiatives to bring a lasting solution to the challenges in South Sudan.
“It is the Prime Minister’s first foreign trip since he took office in April of this year, and we feel deeply honoured that he chose Kenya for this,” Mr Esipisu said on Sunday during a press briefing at State House, Nairobi
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to formally receive Mr Ahmed at State House on Monday where bilateral and regional issues will dominate their discussions.
Coming hot on the heels of the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s state visit, will be a similar two-day visit by Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh on Wednesday and Thursday.
The State House spokesman said the focus areas of discussion between Presidents Kenyatta and Guelleh will be cooperation in trade, livestock management, vocational training, promotion and protection of investment and exemption of visa for holders of diplomatic and service passports.
Additional areas of discussion between the two leaders include partnership in the tourism sector, geothermal energy and expansion of bilateral trade and investment.
Collaboration in the Air Transport sector by increasing Kenya Airways passenger flights to Djibouti and introduction of cargo flights to increase the volume of trade in Kenya’s assorted agricultural products, including coffee and tea, among others, will also feature in the talks.
Kenya’s exports to Djibouti include petroleum and bituminous products.
Medicines, especially for vet purposes, also remained a common export between the two countries in the last five years.