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February 17, 2019

Kenya, Sudan to deepen relations in oil and mining

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Sudan counterpart Omar al Bashir address a press conference after the signing of bilateral agreements at the Presidents Palace in Khartoum, Sudan./PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Sudan counterpart Omar al Bashir address a press conference after the signing of bilateral agreements at the Presidents Palace in Khartoum, Sudan./PSCU

Kenya and Sudan on Sunday signed agreements to deepen the two countries collaboration in the oil and mining sectors.

Kenya is poised to gain from the agreements as Sudan has made strides in petroleum, gas and mining.

Sudan is an established oil exporting country and has made progress in the mineral business, with the government-owned Sudan Gold Refinery in Khartoum producing 80 tonnes of pure gold in the last one year.

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan witnessed the signing of the two MoUs at the Presidential Palace, Khartoum.

The agreement on mining will enhance cooperation for mutual benefit.

It also aims to strengthen cooperation in mineral research and exploration institutions. It is expected to boost Kenya’s mineral sector through the exchange of expertise and training.

Before the signing of the agreements, Uhuru was taken on a tour of the Khartoum Refinery Company. He also toured the Sudan Gold Refinery and Cofftea Factory, which imports and does value addition for tea from Kenya.

More than 70 per cent of the tea consumed in Sudan is produced in Kenya.

Addressing the press after the signing, the two presidents said Kenya and Sudan will continue to engage each other as neighbours. “Kenya and Sudan are still neighbours, despite the fact that there is a new country in-between us,” Uhuru said. The two countries shared a common border before the creation of South Sudan.

Uhuru said his visit was fruitful and he expects mutual gains for both countries. “We also engaged in discussions on regional matters and how our two countries, which are stable, can contribute to more stability in the region,” he said.

They discussed how to stabilise South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Uhuru said the successful conclusion of the National Dialogue process deserves commendation as it unites the country. He had earlier in the day been briefed on the gains made by the National Dialogue process, whose recommendations await implementation.

The Sudanese officials who briefed Uhuru included Secretary General of the National Dialogue process Hashim Salim.

Bashir thanked Kenya for the role the country played in hosting the Naivasha talks that led to a peaceful resolution of the war that raged in Sudan for more than two decades.

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