PUBLISHED ON July 24th, 2014


President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on African leaders to work together in removing obstacles that hinder movement across the continent. He was attending the World Economic Forum on Africa hosted by Nigeria under very tight security in Abuja.

The President, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, said free movement of people, goods and services would increase intra-Africa trade and help the continent achieve its development targets.

“Lack of political will and negative perception should not be allowed to undermine Africa’s integration and economic growth,” President Kenyatta said during a panel discussion.

He spoke at a time when leaders of the East African Community (EAC) have upped efforts that will culminate into a Monetary Union and eventually a political federation.

Meanwhile Kenya and Nigeria signed a number of agreements to boost trade and investment between the two countries.

The President said leaders should not block African investors from investing in the continent by imposing stiff regulations including cumbersome visa requirements.

“We need to facilitate our business people to trade within the continent more freely,” he said.

President Kenyatta, who is the current chairman of the East African Community, discussed steps the region has taken to improve trade among East African member states.

He observed that the advent of the single tourist visa has eased travel and effectively turned all the participating countries of the region into a single tourist destination.

President Kenyatta said the move gave impetus to the extension of the visa scheme to business people who can show ability and intent to trade.

“There is no reason why we cannot begin by issuing proven African investors with visas allowing them to do their work with minimum of difficulties,” President Kenyatta said.

He said the introduction of the use of national ID cards for travel within the East African borders has substantially eased movement, opening new opportunities for cross- border trade and integration.

The President added that collaboration between Heads of State in the region has improved movement of cargo along the Northern Corridor.

Source: East Africa Business Week

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