Nairobi, Saturday February 18, 2017 (MFA Press) — President El-Sisi today made a one-day State Visit and held bilateral talks with his host President Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenya and Egypt ties go back to pre-colonial days, when President Gamal Abdel Nasser provided assistance to Kenyan freedom fighters through Kiswahili broadcasts from Cairo.
The friendship is so deep that Kenya now regards Egypt as one of its most valued strategic partners. In order to add impetus to help forge closer strategic cooperation and partnership, Kenya and Egypt have agreed to elevate the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) into a Joint Ministerial Commission, under whose auspices Ministers will meet biennially to explore new areas of mutual opportunity, and to deepen existing ones. It is essential that economic ties and investment continue to grow for enhanced trade.
Kenya and Egypt enjoy cordial relations and have resident Ambassadors in their respective capitals. Kenya’s Embassy in Cairo was opened soon after independence in 1964, becoming the second Kenyan mission abroad after London.
The total volume of trade between Kenya and Egypt is at about Kshs 42 billion in 2014 while the highest value was Kshs 51 billion in 2012 according to official statistics.
Kenya’s total exports to Egypt were valued at approximately Kshs 17.5 billion with a negative trade balance of Kshs 8 billion in 2014. Kenya commands a very minimal market share of only about 0.4% . These exports comprise a limited number of products dominated by tea at 96% of total exports.
Egypt is the second largest importer of Kenya tea. However, there has been a decline in tea exports over the last few years. This may be attributed to the high cost of Kenya tea and aggressive marketing by India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Kenya and Egypt have a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) aimed at promoting bilateral cooperation. Since its establishment, six (6) sessions have been held, alternating between Nairobi and Cairo. The 6th Session was held in Nairobi on January 12-14, 2015 during which five Agreements/MoUs were signed.
Within the framework of the JCC, Kenyans continue to receive specialized training in the fields of medicine, agriculture, security and diplomacy in various Egyptian institutions.
The Egyptian economy is the second largest in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia and the third largest in Africa, after South Africa and Nigeria. In 2015, Egypt’s GDP stood at about US$ 286.5 billion with a per capita income of US$ 3,187.
Egypt is a significant oil producer and a rapidly growing gas producer. The Suez Canal and Sumed pipeline are strategic routes for Persian Gulf oil shipments, making Egypt a strategic focal point in world energy markets. Its main revenue, however, comes from tourism as well as the traffic that goes through the Suez Canal.