Presidents Uhuru, Zuma hold talks ahead of ANC birthday celebrations

President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa. President Kenyatta is in SA on a three day official visit. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Durban, SOUTH AFRICA:  (BY PSCU) President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Durban, South Africa,  on Thursday for a three-day official visit and held bilateral talks with his host President Jacob Zuma.

Addressing the press after the talks, Presidents Kenyatta and Zuma expressed their desire to strengthen relations between the two countries for the benefit of their nations and peoples.

They both said they discussed trade and connectivity and how these would boost industrialisation and also create jobs for millions of young people.

“Industrialisation is key to creating job opportunities for the youth and wealth for our nations and peoples,” President Kenyatta said.

Apart from the issues of trade and infrastructure, Presidents Kenyatta and Zuma also deliberated on regional peace and security, especially the South Sudan conflict and the “new slave trade in Libya”.

President Zuma announced that he would host President Kenyatta for a State visit later this year.

“We will then conclude key issues when President Kenyatta is back later this year,” President Zuma said.

On the agreed visit, President Kenyatta said: “We have laid the groundwork for my State visit sometime in the first quarter of this year. We look forward to concluding and signing various agreements.”

President Kenyatta also explained that he would “participate in the African National Congress (South Africa’s ruling party) 106th birthday celebrations” on Saturday at East London’s Buffalo City Stadium in the Eastern Cape.

Presidents Kenyatta and Zuma said the two countries’ ruling parties – Jubilee and the ANC – would begin working together.

“I am happy to participate in the ANC birthday celebrations. We want to see how political parties in Africa can cooperate,” said President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta will also meet Deputy President and President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa who was picked to succeed President Zuma as leader of the ANC in a national congress last month.

Ramaphosa is a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and was the lead negotiator in talks to end apartheid and the writing of the country’s constitution.

President Kenyatta will also meet the Johannesburg business community and Volkswagen South Africa CEO Thomas Schaefer, who set up a vehicle assembly plant in Kenya in December 2016.