The presidents of Tanzania and Kenya have agreed to fast-track the construction of a natural gas pipeline designed to increase trade and lower energy costs for both countries.
The decision was reached Monday in bilateral talks in Dar es Salaam led by Tanzanian President Samia Hassan and Kenyan President William Ruto, during a two-day visit.
Last year, Hassan and Kenya’s then-president Uhuru Kenyatta signed an agreement in Nairobi to start working on the gas pipeline project, but actual construction has yet to commence.
The two countries have generally maintained positive ties in politics and trade, but have occasional trade spats.
Tanzania imposed a 25% import duty on Kenyan confections in 2020, saying the country used zero-rated industrial sugar imports to produce them. In another dispute, Kenya banned Tanzanian tour vans from accessing the Maasai Mara National Reserve, arguing that Tanzania had banned Kenyan operators from accessing the Serengeti National Park.
These differences were resolved when Tanzania’s Hassan visited Nairobi last year to meet with Kenyatta.
There were 68 trade barriers identified between Tanzania and Kenya at the time, Hassan said, and 54 of those non-tariff barriers were resolved. Ministers in the trade and investment sector have been tasked with working to resolve the remaining 14 barriers, Hassan said.
The projected natural gas pipeline would run for about 600 kilometers between Dar es Salaam and Mombasa. There is no projected completion date.