By Oleen Ndori
THE ministerial meeting of the 3rd session of the Zimbabwe-Kenya Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCCC) got underway this Tuesday, with Zimbabwe calling for the broadening of the scope of cooperation between the two countries.
The meeting, which comes before the Heads of State and Government meeting set for this Wednesday and Thursday, deliberated on several issues including trade, tourism and economic sectors.
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Fredrick Shava stressed the importance of concluding outstanding memoranda of agreements and establishing new areas of cooperation.
“Zimbabwe and Kenya share common membership in COMESA, the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and should make use of these regional and continental trade arrangements to improve bilateral trade. I have been informed that some Zimbabwean companies such as Liquid Telecoms (Pvt) and Innscor have managed to set up shop in Kenya. We should work together to encourage this mutual investment and, in this regard, I call on Kenyan companies to consider investing in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“There is great scope for our two countries to work closely in the areas of cooperatives developments and the small and medium enterprises sector. Both our countries’ economies are being largely driven by small businesses and cooperatives and Zimbabwe stands to benefit from the experiences of Kenya in establishing the Cooperative Bank and other initiatives in this area,” he added.
He also applauded strides that have been made by Kenya in the sporting sector.
“Zimbabwe cherishes the great strides made by Kenya in the area of sport that has seen the country winning many international athletics awards. Kenya makes Africa proud during global events like the Olympics or world championships with the remarkable performance of your athletes. I must admit that whenever such global events take place, it awakens the African spirit of unity that I happily don the Kenyan flag with pride. It is for this reason that Zimbabwe desires to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Sport and Recreation with Kenya.”
Ambassador Shava further applauded Kenya’s move to grant citizenship to 4 500 Shona speaking people, who migrated to the East African country in the 1960s for Missionary work.
Zimbabwe and Kenya held the last JPCC in 1995 and hopes are high that the 3rd session of the partnership will look at ways of enhancing relations that exist in different sectors that include tourism, agriculture and trade.