Guinea-Bissau’s Trade Revamp with Kenya and Support for Raila’s AU Bid: A Game-Changer in African Diplomacy


President William Ruto highlighted the potential for increased trade between Kenya and Guinea-Bissau, acknowledging that current trade levels are low. He emphasized the significance of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement in facilitating improved commerce between the two nations.

President Ruto said Kenya and Guinea-Bissau are keen on implementing the Memorandum of Understanding that established a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) signed in 2022.

He explained that enhanced collaboration between the private sectors of both nations will significantly boost trade volumes.

He made the remarks on Friday during a press briefing following bilateral talks with his Guinea-Bissau counterpart President General Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

President Ruto who is on a state visit to Guinea Bissau was decorated with Guinea-Bissau’s highest medal by President Embalo at the presidential palace.

He said the JCC will facilitate cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including security, agriculture and livestock, fisheries and the blue economy, as well as environment and forestry.

President Ruto pledged to initiate direct flights between the two countries.

He noted that this will bolster trade and strengthen people-to-people cooperation.

On the blue economy, he stated that Kenya and Guinea Bissau will collaborate in the sustainable management of fisheries, protection of marine biodiversity, innovative strategies to combat sea pollution.

He said he will work with President Embalo to push for reforms in the African Union.

He also stated that it was crucial to centralise the position of the Pan-African Parliament as the people’s representatives to provide oversight over the Executive and ensure accountability within the organisation

“It will also be necessary to operationalise the African Court of Justice as a means to creating institutions for making the AU a fit-for-purpose organisation,” he added.

He thanked the President of Guinea Bissau for accepting to support Kenya’s candidature for the position of AUC Chairperson for the 2025-2028 period.

“Kenya’s candidature is informed by the role we play in enhancing and sustaining the Pan-African agenda. We hope to work with all member States in the African Union’s endeavour to achieve Agenda 2063,” he said.

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