By Bida Elly David
President of the Republic of Kenya said his government has lifted trade restrictions and charges against South Sudan and promised to provide the country with a plot of land to construct a dry port at Mombasa to ease trade among citizens of the two nations.
This positive development arose during a bilateral meeting between the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit and William Ruto, the President of the Republic of Kenya.
South Sudan traders over the past years have been facing numerous border charges by the Kenyan clearing Agencies at Naivasha and Mombasa ports. The traders raised a lot of concerns to the government of South Sudan following the heavy duties imposed on their imported goods according to the sizes of containers and containerization.
The result of the double clearing charges contributed passively to constant recession of South Sudan’s economy as merchants hiked prices of goods to compensate the cost incurred on their goods at the border.
According to the trade policy between the two countries, Kenya has agreed to facilitate cost effect movement of goods from the port of Mombasa to South Sudan.
Speaking during the meeting with President Salva Kiir, William Ruto, the President of the Republic of Kenya said South Sudan can choose to clear their goods from either the port of Mombasa or Naivasha without any tough restriction imposed by the Kenyan clearing agency.
“The government will freely facilitate effective movement of goods from the port of Mombasa to South Sudan at a lower cost,” he said, adding that “Traders from South Sudan can choose the most convenient point to pick their goods without restriction,” he said.
President Ruto said that Kenya is going to provide South Sudan with plots of land for the establishment of their own dry port at Mombasa to ease trading services between the two countries.
“Kenya Will provide land to South Sudan in Mombasa to build a dry port to ease the cost of doing business between the citizens of the two countries without other hectic challenges or barriers to trade. By doing this, the crippling economy of the two Countries would be strengthened,” he said.
In his part, Salva Kiir Mayardit, commended President Ruto for rescuing South Sudan from the crippled economy through the trade restrictions.
Kiir said that South Sudanese traders had really gone through numerous heavy border charges upon crossing their goods into the Country.
He said that the initiative taken by President Ruto would not aid South Sudan but will strengthen both economic and political ties between the sisterly East African countries aimed at yielding fruitful development.
“On behalf of the people of South Sudan, we are grateful to Kenya for allowing our traders to choose where to clear their goods without any restrictions,” Kiir said.
“We remain committed to partner with you in various areas of development for the progress of our economy,” he continued.
The duo agreed to work together to strengthen the economy of the two countries as well as enhance free movement of people of the two nations.