President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday sought deeper economic cooperation with Sudan to boost production of low-cost sugar and expand Kenya’s tea exports to the Arab nation.
He also said Kenya could learn from Sudan’s oil contracting and extraction arrangements, as the country nears commercial production of oil from Lokichar in northern Kenya.
President Kenyatta spoke when he met Kamal Ismael, special envoy of President al-Bashir, who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.
The development followed past meetings with Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir where they had agreed to collaborate on sugar production.
Kenya was to learn from the technologies that have made Sudan one of the low-cost producers in the world.
The envoy had come to Nairobi to seek President Kenyatta’s support for his candidature of the executive secretary of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Ismael told the President that Sudan itself was committed to stronger Kenya-Sudan relations, and would this year increase its imports of Kenyan teas by 20 per cent.
Sudan is one of the leading buyers of Kenyan tea.
“Sudan is also working with neighbours Chad, and other Arab nations to see how to increase availability of Kenyan teas in those countries,” Ismael said.
President Kenyatta also said he wanted to see an agreement for Kenya to learn from Sudan on expanded cotton farming come to fruition.
He said this was at the base of a plan to increase textiles and apparels manufacturing under the President’s Big Four agenda.
The President has put food security and nutrition, affordable housing, increased manufacturing, and universal healthcare for all, at the heart of his second term agenda.