Kenyatta Eyes Work Permits, Aviation Pacts in Botswana Visit

Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has put work permits and aviation agreements between Kenya and Botswana on top of the agenda in his three-day visit to the southern Africa country.

On Monday, the President asked Botswana to expedite issuance of work permits to Kenyans seeking jobs in Gaborone. He also pushed for increased flights to Botswana by Kenya Airways in efforts to boost bilateral investment and trade.

Mr Kenyatta is seeking to have the national carrier fly to more destinations in Botswana. Mid-this month, he also lobbied for increased flights to Angola when he visited the oil-rich nation.

“This review will help improve the free movement of our two peoples,” said the President when he met his counterpart Ian Khama.

“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,” he added.

President Kenyatta’s frequent foreign trips have recently been criticised as his office has in the past overshot travel budget, prompting the Treasury to allocate extra cash through mini-budgets.

Critics say he has tended to assume bilateral negotiations that could have been executed by diplomats already posted to those countries.

State House, however, maintains that a majority of the travels have the potential to attract mega investments that would help lift the country’s economy and generate more employment opportunities.

Prof Macharia Munene, History and International Relations lecturer at the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi said Monday the country’s visibility on the global map has grown manifold as the President reaches out to other nations.

“We have seen reciprocity not seen in the country’s history largely due to these engagements,” said Prof Munene, citing the upcoming visit by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following a recent visit by President Kenyatta to Israel.

Source: The East African