24 November 2021

South African Government and the people of South Africa, welcomed His Excellency Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and his delegation on the occasion of the historic state visit. The visit is another manifestation of the very strong and cordial bilateral relations between our two countries.

In his opening remarks during official talks President Cyril Ramaphosa said while relations between South Africa and Kenya were warm and constructive, it was time to elevate the ties to that of a strategic partnership.

Our historic ties are rooted in Kenya’s principled support for our struggle for liberation, racial equality and democracy. For this, we remain eternally grateful to the people of Kenya. Solidarity, mutual respect and a common vision of a better Africa and a better world form the foundation of our relations today and into the future”

This State Visit takes place after the successful inauguration of the Kenya – South Africa Joint Commission for Cooperation, which took place on 11 August 2021 in Nairobi.
The Joint Commission for Cooperation provided an opportunity to take stock of our current bilateral relations while laying the foundation for more regular exchanges and meetings between our government officials.

This would signify the importance of our political, economic and social
ties and the leadership role we play in our respective regions. We need to consolidate those areas of cooperation that anchor our
relations, explore new ones within the current state of global affairs and address challenges that will affect our people in the future.

A good starting point are the economic ties between our two countries. Over the past five years bilateral trade has been constant, while
investment has mainly been characterised by South African companies investing in Kenya.

Much more can and ought to be done.
I am therefore most pleased that His Excellency has brought along a
Kenyan business delegation that is currently participating in the Business Forum

As vocal advocates of Pan-Africanism and intra-African trade, South Africa and Kenya ought to set the example by increasing the volume and composition of our trade and investing more in each other’s economies.

We are committed to taking practical measures to address the imbalances in bilateral trade between our two countries, ensuring that South Africa becomes a ready destination for goods and services from Kenya.

I would like to request our respective Ministers to remove any unreasonable barriers or challenges that are stifling these efforts.

As part of our contribution to intra-African trade, we should give
preference to our own state-owned companies and private businesses when
bidding for significant procurement contracts in each other’s
countries instead of sourcing these from outside of the Continent.

Each of our countries has the indigenous knowledge and expertise to
benefit the other.

These efforts to strengthen economic ties are not possible without the facilitation of movement of people between our two countries.

In this regard, we are most pleased to witness the signing today of the Memorandum of Understanding on Migration Matters and the Agreement on
the Return of Nationals Refused Entry and Illegal Entrants.

The strong foundation of our bilateral relations has ensured excellent
cooperation and coordination of our positions on multilateral issues.

South Africa and Kenya both seek to strengthen multilateral approaches
to improve global peace and security.

Please be assured of our continued support during Kenya’s tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2021-2022.

President Ramaphosa congratulated Kenya for its successful chairing of the Security Council
in October, when it strongly voiced the concerns of our Continent and emphasised the need for a rules-based multilateral approach to global challenges.

As a recipient of international solidarity in the struggle for liberation, we stand together with the rest of the international community in support of the people of Palestine and Western Sahara in their struggle for self-determination and nationhood.

We note the recent Security Council Resolution to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara until 31 October 2022.

South Africa agrees with Kenya that it is important for the Security
Council to support the work of the UN Mission and the reconvening of
negotiations by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy.

Like Kenya, we remain concerned at the delay in holding the long-awaited referendum, which is necessary for the realisation of the right to
self-determination for the people of the Western Sahara.

We are also concerned at the inadequate protection of the human rights
of the Saharawi people.

We commend Kenya for having undertaken to promote the Women, Peace and
Security agenda during its tenure on the UN Security Council.

It is a concern that while most of the African Continent enjoys peace, democracy and stability, there are still pockets of insecurity and conflict within countries and between neighbouring countries.

The reality is that much more still needs to be done to ‘Silence the
Guns’ in Africa.

In particular, we note with concern the recent conflicts and resultant
suffering in our sister countries, Ethiopia, Sudan and Mozambique.

South Africa remains committed to regional peace, security and stability.

To this end, we will work closely with Kenya on all platforms to promote
peace and security on the African Continent.

We fully support and align ourselves with the SADC position to support
and assist Mozambique as directed by the 40th SADC Summit.

We strongly condemn any attempt at an unconstitutional change of
government in the Sudan and call on all the parties to engage in
constructive, good faith and peaceful dialogue to restore the Sudan’s
constitutional order.

We are most alarmed by the unfolding situation in Ethiopia and the
consequences it may have for the stability of the country and the

There is an urgent need for all parties to the conflict to commit to an
immediate, indefinite, negotiated ceasefire and an inclusive political
dialogue to begin the difficult work of forging a lasting resolution to
the country’s ethnic and political divisions.

The need for lasting peace and security on our Continent becomes more
urgent with the operationalisation of the historic African Continental
Free Trade Agreement on 1 January this year.

I wish to congratulate Kenya for being among the countries that have
ratified the AfCFTA, which aims to accelerate intra-African trade and
industrialisation, and which offers great opportunities for Africa’s
economic integration and development.

We meet at a time of great distress and devastation caused by the
COVID-19 pandemic.

Although there has been great progress in the development and
distribution of vaccines, as well as acts of solidarity and cooperation
across the world, the global response to the pandemic has been uneven.

It is a grave concern that the global community has not sustained the
principles of solidarity and cooperation in securing equitable access to
COVID19 vaccines.

While we welcome some of the recent developments in making vaccines more
accessible, the strategic goal for both of our countries and others on
the Continent should be to acquire and manufacture vaccines on the

South Africa and Kenya have proven capacity and expertise in this

I am pleased to see that His Excellency’s programme includes a visit
to Aspen Pharmacare in Gqeberha, which will provide first-hand
experience of our capacity to produce vaccines and highlight areas of
possible cooperation with your Government.

Your Excellency, in conclusion, I thank you once again for your presence
here today.

As is customary among close friends, I trust that we will have frank and
fruitful discussions on the current state of our bilateral relations.

We call on all relevant role players to work towards finding sustainable solutions to these conflicts “President Cyril Ramaphosa”

The Diplomatic Informer
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