South African president in Kenya to boost ties

Jacob Zuma makes history as first S.African head of state to visit Kenya since its foundation 53 years ago

South African president in Kenya to boost ties

World Bulletin / News Desk

South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday kicked off his tour of Kenya, the first official visit by a South African head of state in Kenya’s 53-year history. 

After a 21-gun welcoming salute by Kenyan soldiers, Zuma and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta proceeded to the State House, where they held talks on how the two African economic powerhouses can better cement ties. 

The two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation between their countries and forge stronger ties to benefit citizens from both countries. 

Kenyatta said that during the bilateral talks, they had agreed to “progressively remove all trade barriers to enable the two countries to benefit from their untapped trade potential.” 

On immigration, Kenya requested that the government of South Africa review its visa rules and reciprocally issue visas to Kenyans immediately on arrival. 

“This is a privilege that Kenya already extends to South African nationals. In our view, there is no reason why both our countries cannot agree on the exemption of visas for each other’s citizens,” said Kenyatta. 

For his part, Zuma said that the issue is getting attention as softening the borders will boost trade not only with Kenya but other African nations, but cautioned that some foreigners with bad intentions could exploit this. 

“The leaders in the continent have realized that the history of colonialism divided us, therefore there is a broader agenda of the AU [African Union] to soften the borders so that we could enhance and create a fertile ground for inter-trade, because without inter-trade we cannot thrive as a continent. We need the quick movement of goods and people,” Zuma told reporters in Nairobi Tuesday. 

Zuma also agreed that his country will remove all barriers to trade starting with non-tariff trade barriers that have always prevented Kenyan farmers from exporting agricultural goods such as coffee and tea. 

The two leaders also spoke on security matters in Somalia, South Sudan, and Burundi. 

According to the State House, the two leaders signed memorandums of understanding on police and defense cooperation, trade and investment, visa exemptions, as well as cooperation in the fields of biodiversity, conservation, and management. 

 
Last Mod: 11 Ekim 2016, 17:33
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