New Kenyan envoy presents credentials to Kagame

The New Kenyan High Commissioner to Rwanda, John Mwangemi, yesterday presented his credentials to President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro. He replaces Rose Makena Muchiri, who was reposted to Netherlands as Ambassador.
Mwangemi inspects a guard of honour before presenting his credentials to President Kagame yesterday. The New Times/ Village Urugwiro.
Mwangemi inspects a guard of honour before presenting his credentials to President Kagame yesterday. The New Times/ Village Urugwiro.

The New Kenyan High Commissioner to Rwanda, John Mwangemi, yesterday presented his credentials to President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro. He replaces Rose Makena Muchiri, who was reposted to Netherlands as Ambassador.

Speaking after his meeting with President Kagame, Mwangemi said during his tenure, he intends to strengthen relations between Rwanda and Kenya.

“We discussed issues of long term and strong relations between Kenya and Rwanda. Along the same lines, the President expressed that, Kenya and Rwanda need to deepen what is already the existing relations and I did express to the President that it is my intention to further develop the relations between our people,” he said.

On March 4, Kenyans voted Uhuru Kenyatta as the new President replacing Mwai Kibaki. According to Mwangemi, one of the key priorities  for President-elect Kenyatta is regional integration.

“From the pronouncement of the President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta is that we value very much our African neighbours. So you will see focus on integration and diplomacy around our neighbours in East Africa,” said Mwangemi.

Rwanda and Kenya are both members of the East African Community (EAC).

According to Mwangemi, Kenya has embarked on trade diplomacy through deploying resources within their embassies to be able to drive more relationship in terms of trade.

“We will see more delegations coming over, more agreements between the two governments that enhance trade between the two countries,” he said.

A number of Kenyan firms have established themselves in Rwanda among them, Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank and Nakumatt Supermarket.

Rwandan companies have also opened business in Kenya, including  Bank of Kigali (BK), which opened its office in the Kenyan capital Nairobi this week.

The two nations signed the First General Agreement of Cooperation in 1979. A Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) was consequently established in 1986 to promote and enhance areas of cooperation in various fields of socio-economic development for our mutual benefit.

Kenya-Rwanda trade and investment flows are also on an upward trend.

 In addition, the two countries have committed to eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) in order to facilitate free trade and flow of goods and services.

The government of Kenya waived work permits for Rwandan nationals wishing to work in Kenya. On the other hand, Rwanda has waived work permit and resident visa fees for citizens from all East African Community partner states.

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