Kenya, DRC Reaffirm Strategic Partnership at Bilateral Meeting

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The DRC government has also made a formal application to join the EAC and this was approved at the 18th Extra-Ordinary Heads of State Summit making the nation the 7th member of the trade bloc.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his DCR counterpart Felix Tshisekedi in a joint press address during the signing of of the agreements on Wednesday, Kinshasa, DRC. Image: PSCU

Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reaffirmed their strategic partnership by signing four framework cooperation agreements covering several economic sectors, security and defence as well as maritime transport.

Among the four pacts, signed on the second day of President Kenyatta’s three-day State visit to DRC, is the general cooperation agreement which provides a framework for joint promotion of economic, technical, scientific and socio-cultural programmes.

Also signed were two separate bilateral agreements on security and defence which provide mechanisms for cooperation between Kenya and DR Congo in areas such as counterterrorism, immigration, cybersecurity, and customs and border control.

In a joint press address with his Congolese host shortly after witnessing the signing of the agreements, President Kenyatta said the new pacts signifies the strengthening of bilateral ties between the two sister nations.

“Indeed the relations between our two countries have been cordial over many decades and the relationship has continued to broaden and deepen especially since you ascended to power in areas of trade, security as well as our multilateral engagements,” Uhuru said.

“To further deepen the good relationship between our two countries, Kenya is committed to establishing a consulate in Goma as well as an honorary consulate in Lubumbashi.”

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On regional matters, President Kenyatta welcomed DR Congo’s application to join the East African Community (EAC) saying its admission will help accelerate regional integration and progress.

“I am also delighted that the Democratic Republic of Congo has shown a strong interest to join the East African Community which I believe will further strengthen the bonds of the people of our great region,” President Kenyatta, who is also the current Chairperson of the EAC, said.

On his part, President Felix Tshisekedi thanked his visiting counterpart for the continued support DR Congo continues to receive from Kenya especially in trade facilitation.

“I will never stop to be grateful for the support Kenya continues to offer DRC,” President Tshisekedi said while thanking his Kenyan counterpart for being the only African Head of State at his inauguration ceremony.

He said the visit by President Kenyatta had presented an opportunity for Kenya and DR Congo to renew their bilateral relations and outlined security, regional connectivity, and the fight against corruption and economic crimes as the priority areas.

On connectivity, the Congolese leader said his country will work with Kenya on creating a seamless transport corridor from the Port of Mombasa through Uganda into DR Congo.


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