, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Kenya and South Africa will in the next two weeks enter a Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) that will see the two countries take their relationship to the next level.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterpart President Jacob Zuma instructed the two foreign ministers to move with speed to ensure bilateral issues are addressed for the benefit of the people of the two countries.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amb Amina Mohamed immediately consulted with her South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
“We have consulted and agreed to, in coming days, hold a JCC that will seek to promote political, economic and social cooperation between our two countries,” Amb Mohamed said.
On regional issues, the two leaders resolved to support initiatives that seek to ensure peace prevails. To this end they voiced their support for International Committee on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and East Africa Community (EAC) efforts to restore peace in Burundi.
“South Africa supports the initiative by EAC and the resolutions arrived at Dar es Salaam Summit. I am going to Luanda tomorrow to attend ICGLR summit on the same subject matter,” said President Zuma.
Although Kenya and South Africa relationship is cordial, the two countries have not formally entered negotiations that would have seen strengthening of the bilateral cooperation.
In the meeting between President Kenyatta and Zuma on Sunday, the two leaders identified trade and industrialisation as areas that the two countries could move into to create jobs for their respective young population.
Other sectors include energy, science and technology, sport, arts and culture, mining, tourism, among others.
In tourism in particular both countries have a lot to share from their well developed tourists products in the field of hospitality training and conference.
There is room to explore areas of complimentary as well as establishment of joint ventures.
Kenya will also be seeking the indulgence of South African on its immigration laws have had an adverse impact on Kenyans wishing to travel to South Africa in view of the as they are faced with stringent visa requirements which deter smooth flow of people and goods.
Kenya and South Africa enjoy friendly and fraternal relations, which have been nurtured over the years through robust interaction in various spheres.
President Kenyatta lauded South Africa government on the handling and diffusion of tension following the recent violence directed towards foreign nationals.
“It is an emotive issue that could spiral out of control but the swift action by you and the government to bring the situation to normalcy is appreciated,” said President Kenyatta.
To further cement the relationship between the two countries the two presidents agreed to exchange state visits and instructed the Ministries of Foreign affairs to organise the same.
First such visit will see President Zuma visit Kenya possibly in the course of this year.