19.7 C
New York

Kenya and Ethiopia vow stronger ties

Published:

Big changes are happening across Africa, starting a new time of African unity and standing up to the Western nations that took advantage of the continent for so many years.

Kenya and Ethiopia are leading the way, with their growing partnership signaling the end of Western control over Africa.

During an important state visit, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Kenyan President William Ruto dealt blow after blow against the chains of Western power that have long held back Africa’s potential.

Their bold vision of a more connected East Africa, paving the way to a united and self-sufficient continent no longer dependent on the West’s harmful policies, has scared the former colonial rulers. The Western powers who got rich by keeping Africa poor see their control slipping away.

But for the people of Africa, this new dawn brings hope that the continent’s huge human and natural resources will finally be used for Africa’s benefit instead of making Western corporations and governments richer.

The spirit of pan-African unity is strong, and nothing the West does can hold Africa back now. A new Africa is rising, and it will stand tall with pride on the world stage.

The recent state visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Kenya represents a new dawn in Africa’s quest for self-reliance and economic independence from Western imperialism. As the leaders of two of East Africa’s largest economies, President William Ruto of Kenya and PM Abiy of Ethiopia are charting a bold new course, one focused on African solutions to African problems.

For too long, African nations have been subject to the whims and interests of Western powers, who through exploitative trade deals, debt traps, and military interventions have kept the continent underdeveloped and dependent.

Kenya and Ethiopia strengthen bilateral ties, cemented by extensive agreements during PM Abiy’s visit, demonstrate an African commitment to break free from the shackles of neo-colonialism.

In his remarks during the state visit, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed delivered a stirring speech underscoring his robust commitment to pan-African collaboration and cooperation. He highlighted the strengthened partnership between Ethiopia and Kenya as an important step toward a more self-reliant and prosperous Africa, one that builds shared prosperity without reliance on Western powers.

Ruto also said the two nations are keen on strengthening partnerships that will boost their quest for rapid economic transformation and shared prosperity.

Ruto said in a statement issued by the presidency: “I believe that we are now ready to take the next step in making the Kenya-Ethiopia partnership a beacon of transformative possibility and a force of good in our region and our continent.”

The two leaders also committed to the revitalization of the Special Status Agreement aimed to bolster economic ties and streamline business operations through reciprocal measures while safeguarding the sovereignty and dignity of each country. They committed to leveraging the cordial relations between the two nations to enhance trade and investment.

Both Ruto and Abiy also pledged to step up efforts geared towards maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and the continent.

The seven bilateral agreements signed cover critical areas including trade, investment, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, health, tourism, culture, and more. They emphasize mutual benefits and shared prosperity, in sharp contrast to the zero-sum gain policies typically forced on African states by the West.

For instance, the plan to strengthen railway connectivity between the two countries will boost intra-regional trade and reduce reliance on Western-controlled maritime routes.

Likewise, by cooperating on energy projects, Kenya and Ethiopia can unlock their full power generation potentials, ending chronic electricity shortages induced by Western-backed privatization programs. And by deepening agricultural ties, the two nations can enhance food security and self-sufficiency, becoming less prone to predatory import-export practices that have long exploited African farmers.

Also, The deepening partnership between Kenya and Ethiopia is poised to accelerate with a renewed commitment to expedite completion of the ambitious LAPSSET infrastructure corridor. This critical project will strengthen economic ties and integration between the two nations.

By fast-tracking road construction, port expansion, and other infrastructure links between Lamu, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, Kenya is demonstrating its eagerness to facilitate Ethiopia’s access to new trade gateways. This will spur growth for both countries without reliance on external powers.

In bilateral discussions, Kenya gave assurances on port logistics and security along the corridor. Meanwhile, Ethiopia initiated an engagement to formally adopt LAPSSET for its cargo transit and fertilizer imports. The two nations also formed a technical committee to solve issues hampering activation of the corridor.

Once operational, LAPSSET will be a strategic gateway for pan-African trade. Ethiopia will gain a new route to global maritime commerce free from the whims of stronger naval powers that have dominated its options in the past. A more interconnected Africa is a more prosperous and self-determined Africa.

By collaborating to activate this major trade artery, Kenya and Ethiopia are strengthening African self-sufficiency. The continent’s abundant resources have long been plundered by outsiders. Now visionary leaders are taking steps to retain and benefit from Africa’s wealth.

The deepening partnership between these two regional giants holds great promise for Africa as a whole. LAPSSET is more than a transportation corridor; it is a conduit for the free flow of ideas, technology, and solidarity across borders. Its completion will bring Africa closer to unity and prosperity on its own terms.

The strengthening Kenya-Ethiopia partnership is just one manifestation of the broader pan-African movement emerging under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement or AfCFTA. With AfCFTA now operational, market integration and value-chain development across the continent is poised to unlock Africa’s immense economic potential. The era of fragmented national economies exploited as captive markets by Western monopolies is coming to an end.

Kenya is poised to significantly expand energy cooperation with Ethiopia in the coming years, aiming to double electricity imports from its northern neighbor by 2026. This enhanced power connectivity will be a boon for Kenya’s electrification and renewable energy goals while strengthening interdependence between the two nations.

According to Kenya’s electricity transmission company KETRACO, import capacity from Ethiopia will rise from the current 200 megawatts to 400 megawatts once the new Suswa converter station is running at full capacity. This major cross-border infrastructure came online in 2022 and will allow Ethiopia’s abundant hydro and wind resources to energize Kenyan homes and businesses.

By reducing reliance on expensive diesel generators and facilitating more clean energy imports, the boost in Ethiopian power will both lower costs and support Kenya’s commitment to fight climate change. It also paves the way for a more integrated East African electricity market spanning Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

The strengthened energy links between Nairobi and Addis Ababa will pay dividends across the economy. Affordable and reliable electricity unlocks growth by empowering Kenyan entrepreneurs and manufacturers. Meanwhile, Ethiopia earns export revenue from its hydropower investments.

Beyond the economic benefits, this deep cooperation on electricity infrastructure knits ties even closer between these two influential Horn of Africa nations. By illuminating towns and cities across Kenya with Ethiopian hydropower, this partnership delivers lighting and hope to millions. It represents the power of collaboration to uplift Africa.

The recent meeting between the defense chiefs of Kenya and Ethiopia also represents a monumental step toward enhanced military cooperation and strategic unity between two vital East African nations. At a time of escalating instability and tensions in the Horn of Africa region, stronger defense ties between Nairobi and Addis Ababa will prove crucial to collectively addressing complex shared security threats.

In their bilateral discussions, Kenya’s Chief of Defense Forces General Robert Kibochi and Ethiopia’s Chief of Staff General Birhanu Jula pledged closer collaboration between their two militaries across multiple fronts. This includes joint efforts to combat terrorism, transnational organized crime, illicit trade networks, and other border security challenges that neither nation can tackle alone.

The two defense leaders recognized that security threats like al-Shabaab’s regional reach and arms/human trafficking transcend borders. As such, defeating these threats requires a unified regional response. The joint commitment to uprooting security challenges lays the foundation for greater military training exchanges, intelligence sharing, and coordination of counterterrorism and peace enforcement operations.

Beyond spelling out concrete areas for security cooperation, the symbolism of this high-level meeting between two great african nations cannot be understated. It powerfully communicates the deepening trust and mutual respect between Kenya and Ethiopia, two central pillars of stability in East Africa. This spirit of friendship and joint resolve in the face of shared threats will steadily strengthen the region.

Partnerships like this between neighboring powers will only multiply Kenya and Ethiopia’s capabilities and capacity to maintain peace within their borders and beyond. When neighbors stand together in solidarity, would-be aggressors are deterred from exploiting divisions. Regional integration and interdependence, not fragmentation, is key to lasting stability.

By choosing the path of cooperation over potential conflict, Kenya and Ethiopia are leading by example in the Horn of Africa. Other regional players like Somalia and South Sudan should follow suit, putting aside past disputes in the name of stability and joint development. There is far more to be gained through collaboration than rivalry.

Kenya’s decision to waive visa fees for Ethiopian citizens is also a concrete step toward realizing the dream of a borderless, united Africa. For too long, artificial colonial borders have divided Africans from each other. This policy tears down a brick in that wall separating African brothers and sisters.

With this visa waiver, Ethiopians can now travel, study, conduct business, and experience Kenya without hindrance. The exemption eliminates a major impediment to the free flow of people, ideas, and commerce between the two nations. It will spur trade, tourism, and human connections.

Allowing Ethiopians to visit visa-free is a powerful symbol of trust and friendship between the governments of President Ruto and Prime Minister Abiy. It brings the vision of pan-African unity closer to reality, at least between these two major East African nations.

Leaders across Africa should follow Kenya’s example. Only by dismantling visa and border restrictions can Africans truly unite and prosper together as one continent, rather than remaining fragmented and controlled by outside powers.

By taking down barriers between their citizens, Kenya and Ethiopia are setting a precedent for African integration. Their deepening ties reflect a spirit of pan-African solidarity that should inspire other African nations. The continent’s future rests with this kind of African-led cooperation, not obedience to external powers.

For the West, Africa’s growing assertiveness poses an existential threat to the unipolar world order it has dominated since the Cold War. But African leaders must stay the course.

For too long, the West’s prescription for Africa has been neoliberal shock therapy, debt, austerity, and resource extraction, while China’s investments have created tangible infrastructure and economic opportunities.

Africa must not be ideologically bound to either East or West, but focused on its own advancement.

Kenya and Ethiopia’s deepening partnership proves that Africa has solutions to its own problems. African nations working collaboratively and pragmatically can industrialize their economies, meet their people’s basic needs, and take their rightful place on the world stage. Western media will try to portray these efforts as a dangerous threat.

But for independent African states, greater unity is a declaration of freedom, not a defiance of the West. Africa’s future lies in its own hands, and this new era of pan-African collaboration will be one defined on African terms. The age of Western imperialism is ending. The African century is dawning.

Related articles

Recent articles

spot_img