Written by  Mayeso Chikhadzula

Malawi and Kenya have renewed commitment to bilateral relations following the end of the 3rd Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC) on Monday in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sikwese and Namwamba after the discussions Sikwese and Namwamba after the discussions

Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luckie Sikwese said the session which involved officials from the two governments focused on reviewing relations the two countries have enjoyed over the years and how they can benefit in the future.


“The JPCC which is a forerunner to the visit by Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera is aimed to revive and strengthen relationships by ensuring that there are sound MoU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) through the framework of the JPCC.


“Our meeting today is the realisation of various  Free Trade Areas (FTA's) in Africa. Kenya is also a member of COMESA, we need to do a little more than we have done before,” he said.


Sikwese mentioned an example of products from Malawi like legumes which find their way in the country through uncharted routes as one of the focus areas to be discussed in the promotion of trade between the two countries.


His counterpart, Chief Administrative Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the host nation, Ababu Namwamba said the meeting is timely as they are discussing the continental FTA  that is intended to ease the free movement of goods across the continent.


“This meeting has given fresh importance for us to take our relationship to the next level, currently trade between the two countries stands at 7 billion Kenyan Shillings (K51.4 billion) but there is more potential to be realised and JPCC provides a platform for areas of engagement, cooperation, trade and commerce,” he said.


Namwamba further said they want to see more Malawian products including Malawi Gin, sugar, and legumes on the Kenyan market.


The meeting has preceded a three-day visit of Dr  Chakwera who has an agenda of enhancing Malawi's relations with its neighbours. The Malawi leader and his counterpart President  Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya have agreed to urgently revive the Cooperation cognizant of the various opportunities between the two countries.


Kenya is one of Malawi’s strong allies in the East African Block that can ably assist Malawi to penetrate further into the Region’s market. 


Whilst in Kenya, President Chakwera will among other things hold bilateral talks with President Kenyatta. On Wednesday, the Malawi leader will be a  Special Guest at the 2021 Mashujaa (Heroes) Day Celebrations which will be held at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyanga County some 200 km from Nairobi. The day was set aside to honour all Kenyan heroes.


The Malawi leader is also expected to deliver a keynote address at the Malawi Investment Forum and will meet  Malawians living in Kenya among his official engagements.


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