SA and Kenya commit to “significantly increase” trade volumes, promote greater investment



President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa and Kenya are committed to “significantly increasing” trade volumes and promoting increased investment in each other’s economies.

Ramaphosa is in Nairobi on a state visit following an invitation from the President of Kenya William Ruto.

The two leaders on Wednesday discussed bilateral political and economic issues, regional and continental issues as well as global developments.

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The state visit comes after Ramaphosa was in Egypt for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known as COP27.

Areas of mutual interest

Ramaphosa said he and Ruto have concluded very productive and constructive talks, which advanced South African-Kenyan cooperation in several areas of mutual interest.

He said the state visit confirmed that the two countries’ bilateral relations were built on a solid foundation of mutual respect, shared values, friendship and democracy.

“We used our discussions to take stock of the current state of our bilateral relations, while exploring other areas of mutual interest and potential cooperation.” The agreements we have witnessed today are indicative of new areas of cooperation that our countries have identified.

“We are determined to ensure that the agreements and memorandums of understanding that we have signed in recent years are fully implemented,” the president said while speaking at a joint media briefing with Ruto.

Bilateral trade and investment

Ramaphosa said South Africa and Kenya face similar challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The president said that there are opportunities for the countries to share experiences and good practices in the implementation of their economic plans.

He added that he was also pleased with the business forum that took place during the state visit.

“This is an opportunity to create new relationships and create new business ventures between the private sector and state-owned enterprises.”

“As the leading economies in our regions, our bilateral trade and investment should be greater and more diverse.”

Regional and continental issues

On regional and continental issues, the leaders discussed several issues affecting the African continent, including the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Western Sahara.

They both agreed on the need for peace and stability on the continent and an end to conflicts both within and between countries.

“We have therefore agreed that we need to continue to focus on issues that affect our region and continent and not be distracted by other global issues that are out of our hands.”

“We are advocates for African solutions for African challenges. We have the necessary expertise, experience, wisdom and institutions to resolve issues affecting our continent,” Ramaphosa said.

Kenya and South Africa shared a common commitment to strengthen and enable the African Union (AU) to fulfill its core role of social and economic development for the African people, Ramaphosa added.

He said the two countries also agreed on the need to reform the United Nations (UN) system, particularly the UN Security Council, and the transformation of international governance institutions.

Composed by Thapelo Lekabe

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