Tanzania’s president Jakaya Kikwete on Sunday launched the Taveta-Mwatate road construction project on the first of his three-day state visit to Kenya.
According to The Star, Kikwete and President Uhuru Kenyatta officiated the launch of the construction to the road, with an upgrade concurrently happening along the Arusha-Holili section on the Tanzanian side of the border.
The heads of state said the construction of the 90km Mwatate-Taveta road is in the East African Community plan of developing missing links along the regional infrastructure corridor.
“This is one of the missing links aimed at enhancing the East Africa. Integration objectives, and a crucial link between Kenya and Tanzania,” Uhuru said.
“The people of Kenya and Tanzania are one and their governments should help them trade more and do business.”
Uhuru said EAC member states and the region will benefit more with a larger market than their individual ones.
He added that the region has 200 million people, a big market for goods and services.
Kikwete on the other hand said the past five years, trade between Kenya and Tanzania has grown by 40 per cent.
“When the road is complete, trade will go up by another 10 per cent,” Kikwete said.
He said the road will not only serve Kenyans and Tanzania, but the greater East African region as it links other roads with Burundi-Rwanda and even to Uganda.
The project is jointly funded by the African Development Bank, and the governments of Kenya and Tanzania.
Later, Kenyatta hosted his guest to a State Banquet at State House, Nairobi.