Uhuru returns from South Africa, lays groundwork for State visit

President Uhuru Kenyatta concludes official visit to South Africa. PHOTO| PSCU.
President Uhuru Kenyatta concludes official visit to South Africa. PHOTO| PSCU.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday wound up his official tour to South Africa where he met and held talks with his host President Jacob Zuma and African National Congress leaders.

The President met President Zuma on the first day of his visit in Durban, KwaZulu Natal Province, where they expressed their desire to strengthen relations between the two countries for the benefit of their nations and peoples.

The two leaders discussed trade and connectivity and how these would boost industrialisation and also create jobs for millions of young people.

“Industrialisation is key to creating job opportunities for the youth and wealth for our nations and peoples,” President Kenyatta said.

The two leaders also deliberated on regional peace and security, especially the South Sudan conflict and the “new slave trade in Libya”.

President Zuma announced that he would host President Kenyatta for a State visit later this year.

“We will then conclude key issues when President Kenyatta is back,” President Zuma said.

On the visit, President Kenyatta said: “We have laid the groundwork for my State visit sometime in the first quarter of this year. We look forward to concluding and signing various agreements.”

Since his arrival on Thursday this week, President Kenyatta had a hectic schedule holding talks with government and business leaders.

President Kenyatta attended the African National Congress (ANC) 106th birthday celebrations as a guest of the party and government.

The colourful ceremony, attended by thousands of ANC officials and supporters, was held at East London’s Buffalo City Stadium.

President Kenyatta also met ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also South Africa’s Deputy President, who said the Kenyan leader’s visit was an indication that the two countries want to work together to grow their economies.

The two leaders expressed the need for the two governments to open their borders to citizens of their nations, and thus boost trade, movement of goods and people.

They said Africans have a common heritage, which needs to be exploited for their benefit.

“The fate of Africa is tied at the hip and the relationships should foster partnerships that are beneficial to the citizens,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta also held talks with Volkswagen South Africa head Thomas Schaefer, who said the German carmaker is set to double production in Kenya and to introduce a new model at its plant in Thika.

Mr Schaefer said the company was also planning to produce a second model in Kenya, possibly a hatchback (small SUV), while doubling production of the VW Polo Vivo to at least 300 vehicles.

President Kenyatta also met ANC Deputy President David Mabuza and other party officials together with Jubilee Party Vice-Chairman David Murathe and Secretary-General Raphael Tuju.

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