Visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has pushed for boosting business engagement between Kenya and Botswana during talks here with Botswana’s President Ian Khama.
At the top of President Kenyatta’s agenda during his State visit here is a review of immigration rules, especially those concerning work permits for Kenyans who want to work in this landlocked southern African nation.
President Kenyatta urged his Botswana counterpart to review the rules to enable Kenyan professionals and business people to engage in more business with Botswana.
Kenya and Botswana have had more than 50 years of human capital exchange in several industries and sectors, including education, health, engineering and architecture.
President Kenyatta also discussed with President Khama here Monday a review of the bilateral air services agreement (BASA) between Kenya and Botswana which allows Kenya Airways to fly to Gaborone three times a week.
He requested for a review of the air services agreement to allow the Kenyan flag carrier to fly to more destinations within Botswana to open up the immense unexploited trade potential between the two countries.
“We are requesting for a review of the BASA in order to actualize the inclusion of the already granted entry points of Maun, Franscistown and Kasane. This review will help improve the free movement of our two peoples,” said President Kenyatta.
The Kenyan leader also requested President Khama for his support to inspire the Botswana business community to exploit the existing investment opportunities in Kenya.
“There is immense unexploited trade potential between our countries. I look forward to your Government’s support in facilitating trade and investment between our countries,” said President Kenyatta.
On Tuesday, the two Presidents are scheduled to address a Botswana-Kenya Business Forum.
Before holding their bilateral talks, President Khama hosted a State Luncheon in honour of President Kenyatta.
Speaking at the luncheon, the Botswana leader expressed gratitude for the support Kenya had offered his country since its independence in developing its manpower. Botswana’s development story can never be complete if it does not include the role played by Kenya, he added.
“Botswana’s development story is not complete without the mention of Kenya, which has for the last five decades rendered true support in the true spirit of solidarity,” said President Khama.
For many decades Kenya has trained Botswana’s government officials in public administration. Kenya has also trained many Botswana nationals in other fields including railway engineering, agricultural experts, journalists and defence officers.
“We express our gratitude to the Government and people of the Republic of Kenya for the invaluable support that has been extended to us over the years,” said President Khama.
President Khama said many citizens from Botswana continued to undergo training in Kenya in areas such as agriculture, medicine, economics, meteorology, defence, aviation and community development.
Kenya was one of the first countries to come to Botswana’s support in 1966 when it gained independence and asked for support from fellow African nations.
Source: Nam News Network