President William Ruto and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday witnessed the signing of
three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and a cooperation agreement to augment bilateral relations between Nairobi and Pretoria.
The deals, which will see Kenya and South Africa cooperate in the fields of correctional services and housing among others, were signed when President Ruto hosted Ramaphosa at State House Nairobi on Wednesday.
“We are delighted to have presided over the signing of four instruments of cooperation that will play a definitive role in Kenya-South Africa relations. They are three MoU and one agreement on cooperation in the fields of correctional services, cooperation in the fields of housing, human settlement, cooperation between Kenya School of Government and the National School of Government from South Africa and agreement on audio-visual co-production,” said President Ruto.
On trade and investment, the two presidents directed their respective ministers of trade to come up with a means to identify, monitor, and resolve the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) that limit the trade potential between both countries to strengthen trade and investment.
The two heads of state likewise agreed to hold further talks in regard to addressing the issue of restrictions on meat imports by both countries with a view to rescinding the limitations.
According to President Ruto, from January 1, 2023, Kenyans holding passports will be allowed to enter South Africa without any VISAs for up to 90 days per calendar year.
“The two countries have also agreed on a return policy when immigration laws and regulations are breached to make sure that bad elements that try to infiltrate our borders are dealt with firmly,” said President Ruto.
“Our officials will fasten the process of putting this into effect. We will review this in a year’s time or so to see how this is functioning,” added Rampahosa.
President Ruto and Ramaphosa likewise pledged to play their roles in the pursuit of sustainable peace and security in Africa and the world through the Africa Union Peace and Security Council and UN Security Council Frameworks.
“At the continental level, we the just concluded “Agreement for Lasting Peace through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities” between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) brokered by the African Union and mediated by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and the former Deputy President of South Africa, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,” said President Ruto.
“We are concerned over the continued threats to international peace and security particularly conflicts in the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes region and the Sahel and we appeal to all parties to ensure the full and comprehensive implementation of the agreement,” said Ruto.
Ramaphosa correspondingly underscored that both Kenya and South Africa are committed to fully implementing signed MoUs and agreements.
“There are definitive opportunities for South Africa and Kenya to share experiences and good practice in the implementation of these various economic opportunities that have been given rise to by the plans we both adopted,” said Ramaphosa.
He added: “This gives an opportunity for both Kenyans and South Africans to make new contacts and undertakings in various sectors of our economies. We will increase volumes of trade and foster greater investment in each other’s economy.”