Kenya and the Kingdom of Lesotho on Monday signed three agreements geared towards enhancing the bilateral cooperation between the two states.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane signed an agreement on the establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation, a MoU for bilateral consultations and another in sports.
Prime Minister Thabane, who arrived in the country on Sunday, was accorded a guard of a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Kenya Army and a 19-gun salute.
A press release by the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU) said the agreement on the establishment of a JCC will enable the two states to identify and explore areas of cooperation, while the MOU on sports will provide an opportunity for the development of sports as an economic activity.
“The agreement on Bilateral Consultations will pave the way for the two countries to hold consultations on both bilateral and multilateral matters affecting the two countries at regional, continental and global levels,” PSCU statement said.
President Kenyatta said Lesotho continues to be one of Kenya’s strongest allies on the global stage.
“Your endorsement of Kenya as the Africa Union’s candidate for the non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-22 term is an affirmation of the strong bilateral relations that exist between our two sister countries,” Uhuru said at the joint press conference.
He commended the signing of the three agreements, saying it marked the beginning of a new chapter of bilateral cooperation between Kenya and Lesotho.
The President pointed out that the MoU on co-operation in sports will see the two countries enhance cooperation in training and the application of sports operations.
He added that the conclusion of a framework for bilateral cooperation and political consultations will ensure that the two countries bolster their political, diplomatic and trade relations through regular and structured engagements and strategic cooperation.
“I, therefore, urge our respective teams to work expeditiously to ensure that the negotiations are completed and that the framework is put in place,” Uhuru said.
Uhuru said Kenya is keen to learn about developing the textile sector from Lesotho as the country implements its Big Four agenda, especially the manufacturing pillar.
Lesotho has one of the most vibrant textile sectors on the African continent with a growing share of the global apparel market.
The low-income country that currently ranks 160 out of 187 on the UN’s Human Development Index produces 80 per cent of its garments for US mega-brands such as Gap, Levi Strauss and Wal-Mart. The industry contributes 20 per cent to the country’s GDP. At its peak in 2008, Lesotho’s garment and textile exports totalled $340 million.