President Uhuru Kenyatta and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa have said there is need for the two governments to boost trade, movement of goods and people between the two nations.
Addressing the press after a closed-door meeting at Uhuru’s villa in East London, South Africa, the leaders said Africans have a common heritage, which needs to be exploited for their benefit. Uhuru said the two countries are not in competition but in a partnership that complements each other to improve the lives of their citizens.
“The fate of Africa is tied at the hip and our relationships should foster partnerships that are beneficial to the citizens,” he said. The President said there is need for political parties of the two countries to work together and enable the people to interact and do business. “Political parties are the key engine in ensuring people-to-people connections,” he said.
Uhuru congratulated Ramaphosa on his election as president of the African National Congress (ANC) and commended him for his message of unity within the party and the country.
He lauded Ramaphosa for following in the footsteps of the founding fathers of the ruling party, saying the message of unity resonates well with their ideals. Ramaphosa said ties between the two countries can be boosted by opening doors to citizens to travel and do business without impediment.
“South Africa should open doors for Kenyans and Kenya should open doors for South Africans,” he said. He added that the two countries have a lot to share in exploitation and development of natural resources for the benefit of their citizens.
“We have a common heritage as Africans. We need to develop that relationship to benefit our people and countries,” he said. Ramaphosa cited agriculture and renewable energy, saying Kenya has made great strides in the two sectors and South Africa could learn a lot from it.
On its part, South Africa has a long history of gold and diamond mining among other minerals and Kenya can gain a lot from their experience and expertise.
Ramaphosa said exploitation of natural resources would create job opportunities for the youth. Uhuru also met ANC and Jubilee Party officials including vice chairman David Murathe, Secretary General Raphael Tuju, ANC Deputy president David Mabuza and his team.