, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – Kenya is seeking to establish a strategic partnership with the Republic of South Africa in order to boost cooperation in trade, cross border investments, promotion of tourism, conservation and regional matters, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said on Thursday.
Mr Musyoka acknowledged that balance of trade is heavily in favour of South Africa, but urged South Africans to buy more from Kenya and invest more to correct the imbalance.
The Vice President spoke when he received the South African Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe at his Jogoo house office.
Mr Motlanthe is on a three-day official visit at the invitation of Mr Musyoka.
The SA deputy president said Africa would succeed in becoming a global economic power house if it builds strong markets within the continent.
"Kenya is a strong economic hub in East Africa and I am certain her influence will grow under the new Constitution dispensation," Mr Motlanthe said.
He urged Kenyans to take advantage of her political strength by encouraging cross border investments.
Mr Musyoka expressed gratitude for the support the South Africans gave Kenya during the aftermath of the post-election chaos and also acknowledged that one of experts who helped write the new constitution was from South Africa.
He said Kenya will turn its 60 percent youth population into an opportunity to encourage innovation and creativity in its economic revival.
The visit of the Deputy President who is accompanied by four cabinet ministers will pave way for the visit of President Jacob Zuma next year.
Present were Minister for Trade, Chirau Ali Mwakwere, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr Ludeki Chweya and South Africa Ambassador to Kenya, Ndumiso Ntshinga among other dignitaries.
Meanwhile, Mr Musyoka opened a joint Consultative forum between the two countries held at a Nairobi hotel.
He said for Africa to achieve its development goals, there is need for leaders in the continent to work together in confronting the challenges facing the region.
"I am sure the mutual relations between Kenya and South Africa will be of great economic benefit to the citizens of the two nations," he added
The talks were attended by Ministers George Saitoti (Internal Security), Najib Balala (Tourism), Joseph Nyagah (Cooperatives), Prof Hellen Sambili (East Africa), Chirau Mwakwere (Trade) and assistant ministers Richard Onyonka (Foreign Affairs) and Beatrice Kones (Home Affairs) among others.