Zimbabwe and Kenya have held bilateral talks aimed at strengthening economic, political, and social ties between the two countries. The meeting was held on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at State House in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya presided over the negotiations. The two leaders spoke about a variety of topics, including security, commerce, investment, agriculture, and tourism. In his opening remarks, President Mnangagwa stated that the two nations shared many similarities and could benefit from closer collaboration. He claimed that while Kenya might profit from Zimbabwe’s mining experience, particularly in the diamond and platinum industries, Zimbabwe was eager to explore prospects in Kenya’s agricultural and tourism sectors. On his part, President Kenyatta declared that his administration was dedicated to strengthening ties with Zimbabwe. He claimed that Kenya was interested in investigating potential in Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector as well as investing in the country’s energy sector, particularly in renewable energy.
The two leaders also talked about measures to increase trade between their two nations. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a regional economic union that encourages trade and economic integration, has both Zimbabwe and Kenya as members. They decided to look into methods to improve commerce both within and outside of COMESA.
The discussion also centered on methods to increase connectivity between the two nations. Several flights run by Kenya Airways and other airlines connect Zimbabwe and Kenya at the moment. To enhance trade and tourism, the two leaders did talk about the potential for direct flights between Harare and Nairobi. Regional security, notably the threat of terrorism, was discussed as well. Members of the regional organizations that support peace and security in the region, the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), include Zimbabwe and Kenya. The two leaders vowed to cooperate in fostering regional peace and stability as well as fighting terrorism.
The discussions between Zimbabwe and Kenya take place as both nations struggle with economic issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on Kenya’s economy, while Zimbabwe is currently experiencing hyperinflation. The two leaders agreed that their nations had difficulties and promised to cooperate to solve them. Overall, the discussions were viewed as a move in the right direction towards improving the ties between Zimbabwe and Kenya. The two leaders decided to form a joint committee to supervise the execution of the deals made during the negotiations. Additionally, they agreed to hold frequent meetings to assess progress and find new opportunities for collaboration.
The discussions between Zimbabwe and Kenya are part of a larger initiative by African nations to improve social, political, and economic relations among themselves. Africa is becoming more aware of the value of cooperating to address shared problems and advance shared wealth as the world becomes more interconnected.