NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Kenya and Uganda have agreed on an action plan seeking to end the dispute surrounding the Migingo Island situated in Lake Victoria.
According to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, among the issues to be tacked include the demarcation and delineation of boundaries between the two countries and how to reduce tension in the area.
She also pointed out that the plan also deals with how the resource can be utilized amicably by residents of the two countries.
“This is a matter that has been discussed extensively. We have a plan of action that has been agreed upon in terms of dealing with the demarcation and delineation of this border,” she stated.
“We are also having a discussion around the broader issue of trans-boundary resources in this case fish and how this can be sustainably managed and utilised by the people around Lake Victoria region.”
She expressed Kenya’s commitment to improve ties with Uganda.
She was speaking during a press briefing alongside her Ugandan counterpart Sam Kutesa ahead of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s visit set for Wednesday.
“I wish to re affirm Kenya’s commitment to enhance these relations with Uganda and I want once again to congratulate Minister Kutesa for the work that we have done,” she said.
Kutesa on his part expressed confidence that the two countries will find a way to deal with the challenges facing them.
“We have agreed on the work plan, we have agreed to look at it in broader ways as a resource for both our countries and how to sustain it so that it can benefit us. We shall prioritize and work on it,” he stated.
Kutesa further stated the need for both countries to strengthen their relations.
“It is true that we opened a one stop border post, but it is not just going to be one. There will be a number of border posts and one of the discussions we were having was to designate a series of other points because what we aim to achieve is to grow the volume of trade,” he said.
During the talks, the two countries further agreed to increase the number of border points between them to ensure there is ease in the movement of goods and services.
“This will facilitate the movement of goods, person and services. It is true trade is growing. It is true there is more efficacy in crossing the border both ways, but we think there is still potential to continue to grow,” Amb Juma stated.
“Not only are we talking about growth of volume but also about the turnaround time. Turn around period for goods to move from Mombasa to Kampala and vice versa. It has been reduced from nineteen days to four days. I think that is tremendous,” Kutesa added.
Uganda’s President Museveni, is expected to jet into the country on Wednesday for a two-day State Visit.
The visiting Head of State will be received by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa where the State reception ceremonies will be conducted.
Thereafter, the two leaders will proceed to State House, Mombasa, where they will lead bilateral talks with their respective delegations before conducting a joint press briefing.
During the two-day State Visit, President Museveni, accompanied by his host President Kenyatta, will tour the Port of Mombasa.