By Mourice Seretta
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday evening arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for an official visit during which he was scheduled to witness the issuance of a telecommunications license to Safaricom consortium.
President Kenyatta, was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Joe Mucheru (ICT), was received at Bole International Airport by his host, Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali.
President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Dr Abiy then joined Kenyan and Ethiopian communications stakeholders at the award of a telecommunications license to Kenya’s Safaricom.
The Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortia, led by Safaricom, will invest over Shs 864 billion in 10 years, making it the largest FDI into the over 112 million population economy.
An international consortium led by Safaricom, and comprising of Vodafone and Vodacom, UK’s CDC Group and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, won a Shs 91.8 billion bid to operate in Ethiopia.
On December 9, 2020, PM Dr Abiy made a two day state visit to Kenya. He was then received by President Kenyatta at the Moyale One-Stop Border Post.
Then, the two inaugurated the Moyale One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) and inaugurated the 500-kilometer Hawassa-Hagere Mariam-Moyale Road which is part of the Trans African Highway and a key segment of Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa transport corridor.
The President said his administration attaches great importance to its partnership with the Ethiopian Government in the roll out of joint infrastructure projects saying such initiatives are aimed at deepening the strong bilateral ties that exist between the two countries.
“Indeed, with the completion of this border post the two countries have demonstrated the political goodwill to address the challenges and impediments facing businesses from both sides.
“In addition to facilitating trade between the two countries, the border post will also enhance mutual interactions among our people and create synergy and unity of purpose,” the President said.
Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed, who spoke during meetings on both sides of the border, said the new Moyale OSBP will help expedite movement of goods and persons across the Kenya-Ethiopia border.
“This artificial border, in my opinion, will be dismantled with the new infrastructure. The new infrastructure will bring the two families together and tap the potential and opportunities of business and economy,” Dr Abiy said.
The Prime Minister said Kenya and Ethiopia will continue working together on infrastructure and in maintenance of peace and security along the border region.