By Watchdog reporter
After Uganda shunned Kenya in developing a joint oil pipeline project, Nairobi has looked to Ethiopia for a partner.
Kenya announced weeks ago that it would go it alone in the construction of an oil pipeline from its oil deposits in Northern Kenya to the Port of Lamu for refinement and export.
That was after Uganda decided to partner with Tanzania on the project.
Now Kenya has found a new partner in Ethiopia.
On Thursday, a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced that, “the two leaders committed to finalise an agreement on the development and operation of a product oil pipeline from Lamu Port to Addis Ababa by the end of 2016.”
The two leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-operate in the oil and gas sector and committed to meeting up twice a year to ensure its implementation and those of the four other MoUs whose signing they bore witness to.
The four other MoUs are in the fields of health, education, cross border co-operation in health, sanitation and sports.
“The two leaders agreed to explore the possibilities of launching a Joint Grand Kenya/Ethiopia Marathon as a sports brand to promote cultural co-operation and sports tourism,” CS Mohamed announced.
President Kenyatta also reported that security featured prominently in their engagement given both countries are invested in seeing stability return to South Sudan and Somalia.
The question of repatriation of refugees, President Kenyatta said, was also discussed with Ethiopia which is a member of the Security Council and Chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. “And we continue to explore ways in which we can ensure the safe and successful as well as humane repatriation of Somali national living in our refugee camps.”
Desalegn who is accompanied by his Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Transport, Mining, Energy, Livestock and Fisheries Resources is in the country until Friday and on Thursday attended a Kenya-Ethiopia business forum before attending a State dinner in his honour at State House Nairobi