Media Briefing Remarks by President Jacob Zuma at the Conclusion of the Official Discussions with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi, Kenya
11 October 2016
Your Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta,
Honourable Ministers and Cabinet Secretaries,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Members of the Media,
Allow me Mr President to start by extending my sincere gratitude to you for inviting us to visit this beautiful country.
I thank you for your warm welcome and the hospitality extended to my delegation since our arrival.
I concur fully with the remarks by President Kenyatta.
Indeed, we have just concluded our discussions which were quite fruitful and productive.
In our deliberations, we reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The cooperation between our two countries spans across a number of fields and today, we have taken theses relations to a higher level.
We see a lot of room for the further expansion of relations. Over the years, there has been remarkable increase in economic relations between our two countries as demonstrated by the large number of the South African companies operating in Kenya.
To date, over sixty South African companies are doing business here.
Trade cooperation continues to show an upward mobility, thus making Kenya one of South Africa’s top trading partners on the Continent. We will later today interact with the South Africa-Kenya Business Forum and encourage further economic cooperation.
We have also agreed to create an enabling environment to ease the manner of doing business in our respective countries.
The Tripartite Free Trade Area – covering COMESA, East African Community and Southern African Development Community, is one of the practical initiatives taken by Governments to facilitate trade and investment in the Continent, consistent with our determined effort to implement the African Union Agenda 2063 and its Plan of Action.
We welcome the signing of new bilateral agreements today.
The signing of these instruments is a clear indication of our collective determination to take our relations to a higher level.
We are indeed working towards a strategic partnership anchored on economic and security cooperation.
With regard to continental developments, we discussed issues related to peace and security in the continent.
We have noted with great concern the challenges posed by terrorism and extremist groups that continue to affect some of our countries on the continent. We condemn in the strongest possible terms all forms of terrorism and extremism.
We reiterate the need for joint regional and continental efforts towards countering these negative elements.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Since we are in East Africa, it was only natural that we spent considerable time discussing the current challenges in Burundi, South Sudan and Somalia.
We expressed our grave concern about the on-going conflicts in these sister countries which affect the entire region.
We urge the Government of Burundi and people of Burundi to speed up the national dialogue process under the stewardship of the East African Community.
We condemn the recent call by the SPLM- In-Opposition under Dr Riek Machar for a popular armed resistance against the government in Juba. There is absolutely no need for fighting.
Further fighting will only exacerbate the human suffering in South Sudan. We call on Dr Riek Machar to return to Juba and participate in the Transitional Government.
On the DRC, we urge all stakeholders to participate in the national dialogue process. We hope that the dialogue will come up with a clear roadmap towards elections.
Considering our commitment to finding African solutions to the African problems, we have agreed to work together to deal with these challenges.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We concluded our discussions by reiterating our common position on the need to reform the multilateral institutions, including the United Nations Security Council to better represent the interests of the developing world.
We are happy and satisfied that this visit has indeed taken relations between South Africa and Kenya to a much higher level.
We look forward to increased and deeper cooperation, friendship and solidarity between the two nations.
I thank you.
The Agreements signed today are the following:
- Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba signed an agreement on Visa Waiver for Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders.
- Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane signed an agreement on Mutual Assistance between Customs Administrations.
- Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula signed an agreement on Military Training, Visits and Technical Assistance.
- Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Nhleko signed a Memorandum of Understanding on issues related to Police Cooperation.
- Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Management, and
- Minister of Public Enterprise, Ms Lynne Brown signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Lamu-South Sudan -Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor.
Enquiries: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by: The Presidency