Kenya and Tanzania on Tuesday signed a deal to start working on a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa, in what their leaders said was part of a long-term project to share energy resources.
At a joint press conference in Nairobi, Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu and Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta generally said they had agreed to build more interconnecting infrastructure, starting with the gas pipeline and roads.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Natural Gas Transportation means the countries' ministers of energy can start negotiating the design, cost and other logistical needs for the pipeline to be erected.
A joint communique said it will enhance "energy sufficiency" with Kenya keen on importing gas from Tanzania's nascent plant.
No timelines were given but President Suluhu said respective technocrats have been directed to start working on it immediately.
"That is a long-term project ... we are thankful that today we have signed an agreement ... what remains is implementation," she said.
"We have agreed on the need to ease the transportation of key energy resources and have reached one such understanding on the transportation of gas. What we need to do now is start implementing the project."
The development means both sides are scoring early wins as Tanzania starts a new life under President Suluhu.
In Nairobi, her host said the two countries must build their close cultural and historic ties to ensure the people benefit from interactions.
"We are connected by a common culture: we have a common language and heritage. We do not take Tanzania just as a neighbourly country. We consider it a brotherly country. We have agreed to work on the main highway between Malindi through Lungalunga to Bagamoyo," President Kenyatta said.
"We also agree that we will work on resumption of transportation services on Lake Victoria, which were useful in the movement of people and goods from Jinja to Kisumu, and to Mwanza and Bukoba."