Kenya, Burundi sign deals to rev up agriculture industry

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Burundian counterpart Evariste Ndayishimiye have unveiled a number of deals they agreed on between the two countries.

Speaking during a joint press conference, at State Lodge, Kisumu, Mr Kenyatta noted that the countries had signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) that would facilitate better relations between the two countries.

Amongst the deals included a pledge to collaborate in agriculture, livestock, and fisheries industries.

In public affairs, the two nations agreed to work together for joint capacity building and training especially on foreign affairs and security.

“Burundi has stabilized and enhanced its security, it’s now safe to do business in the country and we welcome foreign investors especially from Kenya to invest,” said Mr Ndayishimiye.

President Kenyatta further encouraged people-to-people relations between the two countries through trade investments.

On the other hand, President Ndayishimiye stated that the visit is an opportunity for the two countries to strengthen existing bilateral ties.

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“We hope the MOUs we have signed will be implemented as soon as possible. We are committed to improving the business climate in our countries,” he said adding that: “Burundi is ready for investors, I urge Kenyan investors to take advantage of the opportunities in Burundi.”

At the same time, Mr Kenyatta commissioned two key projects; road and water projects in Siaya County, ahead of the 58th Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, where his Burundian counterpart was the chief guest.

The President, who arrived at the Lake region on Sunday afternoon for a three-day working tour, officially opened the KES1.6 billion Kodiaga-Wagai-Onyirore/Akala, and Nyangweso-Muhanda road circuit, and the KES2.4 billion Siaya-Bondo water supply and sanitation project.

The 38Km long road network opens up the fish and sugarcane-rich region to markets in Kisumu and beyond.

On the other hand, the Siaya Bondo water project, funded by the Government and the African Development Bank, raised the volume of freshwater supply to the two towns by rehabilitating and expanding the Sidindi Malanga processing plant.

Further, the water supply project sought to improve the quality of life of the people, catalyze commerce, drive economic growth, and build resilience against climate change.

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Addressing the residents at Wagayi trading center in Gem Constituency, President Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga said the fruits of the handshake are manifest throughout the country as peace and harmony continues to prevail while development projects are rolled out.

“All these projects you are seeing us commissioning are as a result of peace and unity, and I won’t stop appreciating my brother because of the handshake,” he said.

In Yala, the President said clean water is the basis of good health and pointed out that the project will supply 200,000 households across Siaya County.