Durban – Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, will attend the African National Congress 106th birthday celebrations in East London on Saturday.
South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement on Thursday evening during a press briefing at Dube House in Durban, the official presidential residence, where he was hosting Kenyatta.
Kenyatta arrived in the country on Thursday afternoon on a three-day visit. The meeting marks his first foreign trip since he was sworn in for his second and final term as Kenyan president in November last year.
Zuma said the meeting included a number of “consultations” and said he was looking forward to Kenyatta’s state visit in the first half of the year.
“We want to strengthen our relations, take them to a higher level,” said Zuma, adding that Thursday’s meeting was “absolutely important” as it gave both leaders time to come to conclusions on some issues before Kenyatta’s next visit.
“We also felt that while he was here, he could participate in the birthday of the ruling party, because we have had very good discussions about how to make our parties work together.”
The leaders spoke about challenges being faced on the continent, particularly in South Sudan and how its civil war was being managed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional bloc that negotiated a cease fire between the young country’s warring factions in December.
Kenyatta said the meeting included talks on working together “for the mutual prosperity of our people” and improving connectivity on the African continent, which he said was critical to industrial development.
“It will enable us to create the jobs that our young people require,” said Kenyatta.
“We have also had the opportunity to discuss regional issues that are to do with mutual interest, matters of peace and security. I have had the opportunity to brief [president Zuma] on South Sudan and to discuss other issues,” said Kenyatta. He said the leaders also discussed the slave trade in Libya.
“[Today’s visit] has laid the groundwork for my state visit, which should be sometime in the first quarter of this year, where we hope to conclude some very strong agreements of mutual benefit,” he said.
According to a statement from Kenyatta’s office, he would meet with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday.
He would also meet with the Johannesburg business community and the chief executive officer of Volkswagen South Africa, Thomas Schaefer, who set up an assembling plant in Kenya in 2016.
African News Agency/ANA