Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan will be addressing a joint sitting of the Kenyan Parliament today at 2.30 pm at the National Assembly Chamber.
In doing so, Samia Suluhu will be the third foreign head of state to address the bicameral Parliament (both the National Assembly and the Senate) and the second Tanzanian president to do so.
No female Commander-in-Chief has addressed the Kenyan Parliament, she will make history today as the first.
She will be following in the footsteps of former Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (2015) and former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (2013). Both addresses were before Kenya’s 12th Parliament.
Addressing a foreign Parliament is considered an honour to any visiting head of state.
What Suluhu will be addressing
Only that Suluhu’s address comes at a different time to that of Kikwete. During Kikwete’s term as President, ties between Kenya and Tanzania were arguably the strongest. At the time, the former president assured that Tanzania will continue forging stronger ties with Kenya.
“The ties between Kenya and Tanzania have been their strongest during my term as president and that will not change,” Kikwete told MPs.
But during Kikwete’s successor, the late John Pombe Magufuli, the relationship between the two East African countries has been cold. Suluhu will be keen to amend this.
Yesterday, Kenya and Tanzania agreed to remove trade barriers that hinder smooth trade between the two nations.
Her address is expected to highlight the steps her government will take towards improving the bilateral ties.
Hers will be the message of comradeship between the two East African states who share a forum at the East African Legislative Assembly.