This move is indicative of both country’s current administrative ideologies. The presidents of both nations, president Willam Ruto of Kenya and President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, have spoken passionately about strengthening trade ties with fellow African nations, and have been very proactive in pursuing this goal.
Co-incidentally, they both initiated plans to build railways that cut across their borders and into other East African territories, in order to reduce logistics when transporting goods to their partner states. So the move between both nations to tear down their trade barriers comes as no surprise.
An extract from the Report for General Economic and Commercial Affairs Sector, a sector working group for the budget preparation, reads; “The over achievement was as a result of collaborations between Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania to resolve NTBs to create market access.”
A new document reveals that President Ruto had initially initiated plans to deconstruct about seven of these non-tariff barriers, in 2021, but later decided to address 31 of them.
13 of these were resolved in 2021, easing Kenya’s trade access to Tanzania and boosting the country’s bottom-line with Tanzania to Sh192.4 billion.
This milestone follows President Hassan’s visit to Kenya in May 2021, and marks the first time trade between Kenya and Tanzania crossed the Sh100 billion.
The month after President Hassan’s visit to Kenya, the Joint Trade Committee, a bilateral organ comprising officials from Kenya and Tanzania was established, and mandated to identify and resolve trade complications between both nations, to which the body quickly pointed out 60 tariff and non-tariff barriers.
Among these were, customs clearance of soft drinks made in their territories, removal of inspection fees on processed products with a standardization mark including wheat flour, and elimination of roaming calling fees following Tanzania’s entry into the Common Network Area.