By JONISAYI MAROMO
Pretoria – President Cyril Ramaphosa hosts Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta, who is on a state visit to South Africa, at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.
Kenyatta’s visit at the invitation of Ramaphosa began on Monday and will continue until Wednesday.
The two countries share long standing, mutually beneficial relations that predate Kenya’s historic support for the struggle against apartheid and colonialism in South Africa, the Presidency’s acting spokesperson Tyrone Seale said.
“The strategic partnership between the two nations is underpinned by common values and principles. Both nations are committed to democracy, good governance and respect for human rights including the emancipation of women and the full realisation of gender equality,” said Seale.
South Africa established diplomatic relations with Kenya in 1992, with a joint commission for cooperation agreement enabling the highest form of bilateral engagements conducted at ministerial level.
Kenya recently held the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and reinforced Africa’s advocacy for reform of the Security Council and other multilateral forums.
“President Ramaphosa will on Tuesday, 23 November, host a welcome ceremony in honour of President Kenyatta at the Union Buildings. The welcome will be followed by discussions between the presidents,” said Seale.
“President Ramaphosa will lead South Africa’s delegation to the official talks with President Kenyatta where discussions will range between bilateral, multilateral, economic, regional and continental issues.”
Seale added that memorandums of agreement on cooperation in international cooperation and relations, home affairs and tourism were expected to be signed.
The two leaders will also address the South Africa-Kenya Business Forum to further explore new areas of economic, trade and investment cooperation.
Kenyatta’s programme will include a visit to Transnet Engineering in Koedoespoort.
“This engagement will provide an ideal opportunity to showcase South Africa’s capability in the supply and maintenance of rail-related technology,” said Seale.
The two leaders will also discuss the latest developments around the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including “the important matter” of vaccine manufacturing and distribution.
“To this end, President Kenyatta’s programme will include a visit to the Aspen Pharmacare facility in Gqeberha on 24 November 2021 to demonstrate South Africa’s technical capacity to manufacture and distribute vaccines and other pharmaceuticals for a global market in accordance with international standards as well as to highlight areas of possible cooperation with Kenya,” said Seale.
He highlighted that Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy and South Africa’s largest trading partner in Africa outside the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
South Africa exported R7.5 billion worth of goods to Kenya in 2020, against imports of R329.5 million.
There are more than 60 South African companies operating in Kenya, with investments in the financial services, real estate, food and beverages, entertainment services and hospitality sector, among others.