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February 20, 2018

Uhuru jets back from SA, to return for pacts with Zuma

President Uhuru Kenyatta leaves South Africa after his three-day visit, January 14, 2018. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta leaves South Africa after his three-day visit, January 14, 2018. /PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has wound up his tour of South Africa where he held talks with President Jacob Zuma and African National Congress leaders. 

Uhuru travelled on Thursday and returned on Sunday.

The president met Zuma on the first day of his visit in Durban, KwaZulu Natal province, where they expressed the desire to strengthen relations between the two countries for the benefit of their nations and peoples. 

The two leaders discussed trade and connectivity and how these could boost industrialisation and create jobs for millions of young people. 

“Industrialisation is key to creating job opportunities for the youth and wealth for our nations and peoples," Uhuru noted.

More on this: Uhuru, SA deputy president Ramaphosa discuss open borders, stronger ties

Also read: Uhuru urges political cooperation in Africa

The two leaders also deliberated on regional peace and security, especially the South Sudan conflict and the new slave trade in Libya. 

Zuma announced that he will host Uhuru later this year, saying: "We will conclude key issues when he comes back."

Uhuru said they laid the groundwork for his state visit sometime in the first quarter of the year and they were looking concluding and signing various agreements.

Since his arrival, Uhuru had a hectic schedule that saw him hold talks with government and business leaders.

He attended ANC's 106th anniversary celebrations as a guest of the party and government. 

The colourful ceremony, attended by thousands of ANC officials and supporters, was held at East London’s Buffalo City Stadium.

More on this: Pomp and colour as Uhuru, Zuma and Ramaphosa mark ANC's 106 years

Uhuru met ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also South Africa’s deputy president. Ramphosa said the Kenyan leader’s visit indicated the two countries wanted to work together to grow their economies. 

The two leaders expressed the need for their governments to open their borders to citizens of their nations, and thus boost trade, movement of goods and people. 

They noted 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.

Uhuru also held talks with Volkswagen South Africa head Thomas Schaefer, who said the German car maker is set to double production in Kenya and introduce a new model at its plant in Thika.

Schaefer said the company was also planning to produce a second model in Kenya, possibly a hatchback (small SUV), while doubling production of the VW Polo Vivo to at least 300 vehicles.

Uhuru also met ANC deputy president David Mabuza and other party officials with Jubilee Party vice chairman David Murathe and secretary general Raphael Tuju.

Read: VW to double production in Kenya, explore second model

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