Kenya and Mauritius have reached an agreement to become Africa’s financial and trade hubs.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the two countries should complement, not compete, with each other as their approaches to economic development are similar.
He said they will sign agreements that will ensure Kenya and Mauritius become Africa’s financial, maritime and aviation hubs.
Uhuru said he wants an aviation agreement between Mauritius Airlines and Kenya Airways quickly implemented.
He said the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement will make the aviation hub dream a reality.
“Africa is a natural corridor linking Asia and Europe, and our two countries should benefit from this key geographical location,’ he said.
He spoke during his meeting with Mauritius International Trade minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo at State House in Nairobi on Tuesday.
The President asked the Foreign Affairs ministry to speed up the process of establishing a Joint Commission of Cooperation, which will ensure the issues they discussed are implemented.
The commission will explore possible areas of cooperation and deal with factors that hinder bilateral trade.
“There could be no better partner for Kenya than Mauritius in financial services, agriculture and other affairs of common interest,” said Uhuru.
“As Asia continues to grow, we are going to become [its important link to the] West.”
The President also said Kenya Ports Authority and Mauritius Ports Authority need to work together for the benefit of their citizens.
“We are looking into ways of making Mombasa a trans-national port. The two ports should partner as important maritime hubs to serve this region,” he said.
The Mauritius minister said his country was willing to work with Kenya.
“We have agreed to the proposal of a Permanent Joint Commission with a team of officials in both countries to actualise our dream,” said Lutchmeenaraidoo.
He pointed out that Mauritius has sought help from the IMF and the World Bank to set up programmes aimed at strengthening the continent’s financial sector.
The partnership will strengthen cooperation in the developing world and create growth and prosperity, he noted.