A new trade deal signed between Kenya and neighboring Tanzania has seen the two countries lift bans imposed on each other’s exports.
Kenya will lift the ban on wheat flour and gas imports from Tanzania, which will in return remove restrictions on milk and cigarettes from Kenya.
There has been strained business and diplomatic relations between the two countries with Kenya placing a ban on Tanzania’s imports owing to safety and quality concerns, while Tanzania reiterated by prohibiting tyres, cigarettes, margarine and fermented milk imports from Kenya.
Kenya banned the importation of cooking gas from Tanzania in April, with the Energy ministry at the time saying the move was meant to curb the proliferation of illegal filling plants.
Tanzania has often accused Kenya of acting in bad faith, breaching agreements between the two countries and ignoring directives from the EAC secretariat.
The new trade deal was reportedly arrived at following discussions between presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and John Pombe Magufuli.
“The Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania will lift any other restrictions that affect products and services exchanged between the two countries,” they said in a statement read by Tanzania Foreign Affairs minister Augustine Mahiga.
The two countries also agreed to set up a joint technical committee chaired by the Foreign Affairs ministers and comprising the EAC Affairs, Trade, Finance, Interior, Energy, Agriculture, Transport and Tourism ministries and any other relevant government agency.