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January 21, 2018

Uhuru, SA deputy president Ramaphosa discuss open borders, stronger ties

President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa speaks as President Uhuru Kenyatta looks on ahead of the ANC's 106th anniversary celebrations in East London, South Africa, January 12, 2018. /Reuters
President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa speaks as President Uhuru Kenyatta looks on ahead of the ANC's 106th anniversary celebrations in East London, South Africa, January 12, 2018. /Reuters

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday said Kenya is not in competition with South Africa but in a partnership on improving citizens' lives.

Uhuru after a closed-door meeting with SA Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said Africans have a common heritage, which needs to be exploited for their benefit.

“The fate of Africa is tied at the hip and the relationships should foster partnerships that are beneficial to the citizens,” Uhuru said.

President said there is need for political parties of the two countries to work together and enable the people to interact and do business.

“Political parties are the key engine in ensuring people-to-people connection,” he said.

Uhuru further congratulated Ramaphosa on his election as president of the ANC, and commended him for his message of unity within the party and the country.

He commended Ramaphosa for following in the footsteps of the founding fathers of the ruling party, saying the message of unity resonates well with their ideas.

The President said they discussed various issues aimed at seeking to foster prosperity and movement of the people of the two countries.

Ramaphosa on his part said ties between the two countries can be boosted by opening doors to the citizens to travel and do business without impediment.

“South Africa should open doors for Kenyans and Kenya should open doors for South Africans,” Ramaphosa said.

He said the two countries have a lot to share in exploitation and development of natural resources for the benefit of their citizens.

“We have a common heritage as people of Africa. What we need to do is to develop that relationship to a higher level to benefit our peoples and countries,” he said.

He cited agriculture and renewable energy, saying Kenya has made great strides in the two sectors, and South Africa can learn a lot from it.

On its part, South Africa has a long history of mining gold and diamonds, among other minerals, and Kenya can gain a lot from the experience and expertise.

Ramaphosa a business mogul said the exploitation of natural resources would create job opportunities for the youth.

He is also the new President of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).

Later President Kenyatta met officials of the African National Congress (ANC) and Jubilee.

Jubilee was represented by vice chairman David Murathe and Secretary General Raphael Tuju, while ANC Deputy President David Mabuza led his party team.

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