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Kenya and Uganda Sign Seven MoUs to Deepen Bilateral Relations

Kenya and Uganda have further strengthened their bilateral relations by signing seven Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) during the 2nd Session of the Joint Ministerial Meeting (JMC) held from May 12 to 14, 2024, in Kampala, Uganda. This significant event, attended by high-ranking officials from both nations, marks a deepening of cooperation across various sectors. President William Ruto of Kenya highlighted the historical and cultural bonds that unite the two East African nations. He emphasized the shared aspirations for regional peace and prosperity that drive the continued partnership between Kenya and Uganda.

Key Areas of Cooperation

  1. Foreign Service Institutions: One of the MoUs focuses on cooperation in Foreign Service institutions, aiming to facilitate knowledge exchange and harmonize diplomatic training structures and content. This agreement is expected to enhance the diplomatic capabilities of both countries, fostering a more robust and coordinated approach to international relations.
  2. Public Service Management and Development: Another MoU targets the improvement of public service delivery. By sharing best practices and developing joint initiatives, Kenya and Uganda aim to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their public sectors.
  3. Youth Affairs: Recognizing the potential of their youthful populations, Kenya and Uganda have signed an MoU dedicated to youth affairs. This agreement obliges both nations to implement innovative national policies and programs tailored to young people, aiming to optimize the capabilities of this demographic group.
  4. Sports Cooperation: The two countries have also formalized their commitment to sports development. The MoU on sports cooperation underscores the importance both nations place on promoting and investing in sports. This is particularly timely as Kenya and Uganda prepare to co-host the 2027 edition of the African Cup of Nations tournament.
  5. Education, Training, and Scientific Research: A strategic MoU has been signed to guide cooperation in education, training, and scientific research. This agreement aims to foster academic exchanges and collaborative research initiatives, contributing to the advancement of knowledge and technology in both countries.
  6. Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Another crucial area of cooperation is the SME sector. The MoU in this domain seeks to bolster the growth and development of SMEs, which are vital to the economic stability and job creation efforts in both nations.
  7. Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: The final MoU addresses gender equality and women’s empowerment. This agreement aims to promote policies and programs that support the empowerment of women, ensuring they have equal opportunities to contribute to and benefit from economic and social development.

Energy Sector Agreement

In addition to these MoUs, a Tripartite Agreement on the Importation and Transit of Refined Petroleum Products has been established. This agreement allows the Uganda National Oil Company Limited to import refined petroleum commodities directly from producer jurisdictions via Kenya, effectively resolving previous logistical challenges faced by Uganda’s energy sector. President Ruto expressed confidence that these agreements would consolidate the strong relationship between Kenya and Uganda and set it on a transformative trajectory. “We are committed to implementing all our obligations to reap their full benefits,” he stated.

Both nations have also directed their trade ministers to meet and address any outstanding trade barriers and issues affecting bilateral trade, ensuring that the benefits of these agreements are fully realized. The signing of these MoUs took place during President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda’s state visit to Kenya, underscoring the importance of the bilateral relationship and the commitment of both leaders to fostering closer ties and cooperation.

The agreements signed during the JMC reflect a comprehensive approach to deepening bilateral relations between Kenya and Uganda. By addressing key sectors such as public service, youth, sports, education, SMEs, and gender equality, both countries are poised to achieve significant progress in their shared goals for regional development and prosperity.