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Bill the Fifth in Tanzania: Cumbersome Barriers to Trade irk Ruto

Bill the Fifth hits ground running as he tours Uganda and Tanzania, seeking ironed out borderlines

Bill the Fifth and Samia Suluhu

President William Ruto, Kenya’s fifth head of state has just concluded a two-day working tour of Tanzania.

But while people expected more from the new Kenyan leader, Ruto simply repeated the usual song of removing non-tariff barriers to trade.

During a joint meeting with his host, President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, Ruto insisted that East African countries must be unified if the region is to realize speedy development.

“We reaffirm our commitment to further strengthen existing bonds of friendship and mutually beneficial relations on common interest areas,” says President Ruto in the usual repertoire of politically correct statements.

The Meeting in Dar-es-salaam

He would also speak against the non-tariff barriers to trade including unnecessary and cumbersome hurdles stifling free movement of people, goods and services across borders.

Previously, when attending Uganda’s Independence Anniversary, in Kampala Ruto, in presence of President Yoweri Museveni, also called for removal of borders within the East African Community Member States.

William Ruto’s trip to Dar-es-salaam is his first journey to Tanzania after becoming President.

The last time ‘Bill the Fifth’ visited Tanzania was a few years ago, then Vice-President of Kenya, when he toured Serengeti National Park for mostly leisure.

His predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, on the other hand, was in Tanzania, in July 2022, when together with Ugandan Head of State, Yoweri Museveni and Presidents of Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan attended the East African Heads of State Summit meeting in Arusha.

Upon becoming president of Tanzania, following the death of John Pombe Magufuli, in 2021, Samia Suluhu Hassan travelled to Kenya to heal and rekindle the two countries’ previously severed relations.

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