Visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on both Botswana and Kenyan business community to exploit the existing trade opportunities between the two countries. Giving a keynote address at the Kenya-Botswana Business Forum, Kenyatta – who is on a three-day state visit to Botswana – said it is worrying that the trade between the two countries have been decreasing recently. He said African countries need to increase trade between themselves as the current statistics have shown that Africa trades more outside the continent.
The Kenyan President said that he believes in Inter Africa trade as it has the potential to develop the continent. Currently intra Africa trade stands at 10% and 12% of Africa’s total trade. Comparable figures are 40% in North America and roughly 60% in Western Europe. Over 80% of Africa’s exports are shipped overseas, mainly to the European Union (EU), China and the US. One of the issues that have been hindering intra Africa trade is the non-tariff barriers which are mostly poor infrastructure that stifle the movement of goods, services and people across borders.
Kenyatta called on the two countries to invest more in infrastructure development and raised a security concern especially the terrorism which he said had impacted negatively on the economy of Kenya due to the recent spate of attacks. He thanked Botswana for their support during the trying moments when they were attacked by terrorists.