What should be done to resolve Tanzania-Kenya trade impasse

Saturday October 7 2017


Omar Swaleh- Mombasa

Trade dispute between Kenya and Tanzania is something beyond gas and milk import-export dynamics. It seems there are deep-lying political issues between the two governments that are a threat to the economies of the neighbouring countries.

The Uhuru-Magufuli tug-of-war deteriorates the diplomatic relations and affects businesses between the symbiotic nations.

Kenya has always enjoyed being at the vantage point in the East African region, but Dr John Magufuli, being the Head of State that he is, seems determined to initiate a paradigm shift geopolitically.

The Magufuli Revolution is rapidly spreading its wings all over Tanzania and the ripple effects are hitting his astonished neighbours.

Maybe, if Mr Raila Odinga, wins the fresh presidential elections in Kenya, bromance between Kenya and Tanzania will be rekindled.

But If Uhuru is re-elected, it will be wise for the two governments to meet and resolve their rows amicably or else wananchi should brace themselves for ‘unofficial’ trade sanctions.

Samson Francis- Ifakara.

These are neighbouring countries and their economic prosperity depends on each other, besides both belong to the East African Community, so there is no way they could cut off trade.

The best solution to the impasse would be to revisit their contracts and agreements on trade.

And, in case there is no any agreement, then they have to sit down and come up with principles that will help put an end to the stalemate.

The countries should agree to iron out the trade barriers that have seen some Kenyan goods locked out of the Tanzanian market and vice versa.

If both countries will express goodwill in addressing the trade barriers that have affected the ease of doing business, then there will be hopes for revival of the economies of business men whose goods were blacklisted.

Batlet Missana- Masasi

The longstanding trade dispute between Kenya and Tanzania is derailing business between the two neighbours. Entrepreneurs have already been hit hard.

Clearly, both countries have issues with products coming from one another’s territory. Resolving this conflict would definitely require levelheadedness and willingness to understand each other’s demands however irrational they may seem.

Negotiators from both sides must be driven by the understanding that the losers in the standoff are ordinary citizens of both nations, who are losing millions of shillings.

Kenya, which has been earning a lion’s share from the trade should also be sensitive to the feelings expressed by Tanzania and address the concerns.

It unquestionable that those traders on both sides of the border want a quick settlement of the impasse in order to resume normal production and keep employees at work.