Suluhu sets the right tone

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Suluhu sets the right tone


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Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan. AFP PHOTO

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Summary

  • After years of trade and diplomatic disputes, Tanzanian new President Samia Suluhu’s reconciliatory tone during her State visit in Nairobi is a breath of fresh air.
  • Ms Suluhu has moved fast to repair the relationship with Kenya after years of deterioration as both countries slapped each other with tariff and non-tariff barriers.

After years of trade and diplomatic disputes, Tanzanian new President Samia Suluhu’s reconciliatory tone during her State visit in Nairobi is a breath of fresh air.

Ms Suluhu has moved fast to repair the relationship with Kenya after years of deterioration as both countries slapped each other with tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Amid the tit-for-tat drama, traders have borne the brunt of the disputes, reporting millions of shillings in losses. Corporations too have also taken a hit from work permit freezes despite the East Africa Community protocols on free movement of goods and persons.

But now Ms Suluhu is promising a new era. During her two-day State visit she was on a charm offensive, urging local businesses to exploit her country’s huge natural resources. She also emphasised the brotherly ties that cannot be broken by geo-political tiffs.

She said all the right things. Now the onus is on her and President Uhuru Kenyatta to push for the speedy removal of barriers that have held both countries from achieving their trade potential.

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