Analysts in the country have described President Samia Suluhu Hassan's visit to Kenya as an opportunity to strengthen diplomatic ties and lay the foundation for a more comprehensive economic partnership between the two countries.
President Samia arrived Tuesday in Kenya for a two-day State visit, where she held bilateral talks with her host, President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.
She is also scheduled to address the Kenya's Parliament, consisting of two houses; the Senate (upper house) and the National Assembly (lower house) today.
The visiting President was received at the JKIA at 10:30am by Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Amina Mohamed (Sports).
Upon arrival at State House at around noon, Suluhu inspected a Guard of Honour and received a 21-gun salute. She, thereafter, proceeded for bilateral meetings and consultations with Uhuru.
The State visit comes at a time when Kenya and Tanzania are working closely to deepen ties in the area of trade and people-to-people relations including the private sector, arts, culture, wildlife matters, tourism and cooperation at the continental and multilateral levels.
An economist-cum-banker Dr. Hildebrand Shayo told the 'Daily News' yesterday that President Samia's visit to Kenya holds a very special meaning for both the Kenyans and Tanzanians as business industrialists from both parts are facing pressure from their citizens on many vexed issues including cross border trade.
"When speaking to journalists in Kenya, President Samia stated clearly these trivial issues will be dealt with and this will open up a swift flow of goods and services," Dr. Shayo said.
He said the President's visit will bridge trade disputes between Kenya and Tanzania... "Imagine Kenyans investment in Tanzania and compared to Tanzanian investment in Kenya. If they walk on their talk, it is an open ticket for the Tanzanian business community to extend to Kenya."
Dr. Shayo added that President Samia rhetoric statements at the brief meeting clearly suggested that the possibility of something great from President Uhuru and Samia summit will remain high in particular, when Strategic projects including gas pipeline from Mombasa to Dar es Salaam is completed to get the long-awaited trade agreement in the background of Tanzania-Kenya.
"In overall, expectations remain high on achieving a bilateral mini-trade deal, which hopefully lays the foundation for a more comprehensive economic partnership between these two nations," he said.
He said that, as Tanzanian industry enhances its investment and job creation in Kenya the interaction of the two Presidents will open up new opportunities, noting that their subordinates need to make things happen to benefit both parties. <
A lecturer at the Centre for Foreign Relations, Mr. Innocent Shoo said that President Samia's trip came at a time when both countries are looking to repair diplomatic ties and bring solutions to the perennial standoff on cross border trade activities, including non-tariff-barriers and commercial disputes.
Other concerns will be corporation on handling / management of COVID-19. "Those two Heads of State will spur the spirit of East Africa Community on its pillars among them being common market and custom union," he said.
On his part, University of Dodoma (UDOM) Lecturer Dr. Paul Loisulie said that the visit by President Samia will strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries for a win-win situation.
"Tanzania has long standing relations with Kenya thus her visit is going to strengthen the ties between the two countries by clearing trade uncertainties," he said.
He said that when the uncertainties are cleared both countries will benefit from the cooperation. This is President Samia's second trip outside the country since assuming the Presidency following the death of President John Magufuli in March 17, this year.
She made an official trip to Uganda on April 11 for the signing of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline deal.