Joint Communiqué on the occasion of the State Visit of HE Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, to South Africa, from 22nd-24th November, 2021

Joint Communiqué on the occasion of the State Visit of HE Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, to South Africa, from 22nd-24th November, 2021


1. At the invitation of HE Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of the Republic of South Africa, HE Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, paid a State Visit to the Republic of South Africa from 22nd -24th November, 2021. The main purpose of the visit was to take stock of the current state of bilateral relations between the two countries whilst also providing an opportunity to explore other areas of mutual interest and benefit for the peoples of South Africa and Kenya.


2. President Ramaphosa was accompanied by ten Ministers representing the following portfolios: International Relations and Cooperation; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development; Home Affairs; Trade, Industry and Competition; Defence and Military Veterans; Transport; Human Settlements; Public Enterprises; Health and Tourism.


3. President Kenyatta led a high level delegation from Kenya comprising of Cabinet Secretaries in charge of: Foreign Affairs; Industrialisation; Trade and Enterprise Development; Tourism and Wildlife; Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works and Health. The delegation also included senior government officials and representatives of the business community.


4. President Ramaphosa and President Kenyatta held high level talks in Pretoria on 23 November, 2021. The discussions were held in the spirit of friendship, during which the two Presidents recalled the deep-rooted historical links and friendship, forged over many years since the struggle for freedom and equality against colonialism and apartheid. They noted that South Africa and Kenya share friendship, mutual respect, common values, and solidarity not only on issues of bilateral concern, but also on the vision for the Continent. Both countries are proponents of Pan-Africanism and hold a common vision for the development and Renaissance of Africa as encapsulated in Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.


5. The two Leaders reaffirmed the strategic importance of bilateral relations between the two countries and reiterated their commitment to elevate the nature of the relationship through the conclusion of a Strategic Partnership Agreement. In this regard, they directed the respective Foreign Ministers to take this process forward.


6. The two Leaders noted the successful 1st Session of the Kenya – South Africa Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), which took place from 9th – 12 August, 2021, in Nairobi.


7. To upscale the level and the scope of cooperation between the two countries, the Heads of State presided over the signing of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of: Diplomatic Consultations; Diplomatic Training; Tourism; Migration Matters; Return of Nationals Refused Entry and Illegal Entrants; Health; Transport Related Matters; Government Printing Works; and Bilateral Air Services. The two leaders directed the respective Ministers to ensure implementation of Agreements and MoUs executed, and decisions taken.


8. On trade and investment, both leaders agreed that as partners and strong advocates of Pan-Africanism and intra-Africa trade, South Africa and Kenya ought to set the example by increasing both the volume and composition of bilateral trade as well as investing more in each other’s economies.


9. To this end, the two Presidents further acknowledged the signing of the Strategic Partnership Framework between South African Airways and Kenya Airways, which will ultimately facilitate more trade and investment and enhance people to people exchanges between the two countries and ultimately, the region and beyond.


10. The two leaders further welcomed the engagements between the business community from the two countries, which were centred on trade and investment. To this end, the two Presidents noted the successful conclusion of the Business Forum, which took place on 23 November, 2021 in Pretoria, where participants had the opportunity to share information and experiences in the business environment and opportunities in their sectors, whilst exploring concrete proposals and projects for trade and investment in both countries. The two Presidents affirmed the commitment of their respective governments to support and facilitate the business community to implement the commitments arising from the business forum.


11. President Ramaphosa congratulated President Kenyatta on progress made in the implementation of the Lamu Port South-Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project. He noted that LAPSSET, which is a regional multimodal infrastructure programme involves the construction of a port, integrating roads, railway and pipeline components in Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia that would benefit over 150 Million people. The two Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Memorandum of Understanding that was concluded in 2016 and agreed to resuscitate South Africa’s participation in the LAPSSET Project in particular with respect to berths 4 (bulk agricultural terminal) and 5 (bulk liquid fuels terminal) at Lamu Port and to explore further areas of participation.


12. President Kenyatta congratulated President Ramaphosa on the significant success of South Africa in the field of health through its accelerated progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) with health systems reforms. He expressed Kenya’s desire to achieve this agenda through building its capacities in the health sector. He conveyed that Kenya will be looking to South Africa for support in knowledge exchange and human resource development in the areas of primary, secondary and emergency healthcare provision; opportunities for medical training in Kenya’s health priority areas; strengthening disease prevention and epidemic surveillance; technological transfer and capacity building in research, development and production of pharmaceuticals, human vaccines, biologicals and medical devices.


13. President Ramaphosa and President Kenyatta further emphasised the significance of enhancing people-to-people exchanges in the context of bringing into fruition, the objectives of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). To this end, they acknowledged that the immigration departments of the two countries had finalised consultations on the technical requirements on immigration matters and concluded two legal instruments. These instruments as well as the recent launch of the e-visa system will contribute towards simplifying visa processes and enable easier movement of people between the two countries. It was decided to set up a task team at the level of the two Presidents, to look into any challenges pertaining to the visa regime and to address them with the required speed.


14. On Housing and Human Settlements, the two Presidents noted the transformative role the sector plays in creating a decent quality of life and achieving South African National Development Plan and Kenya’s Big Four Agenda. They acknowledged that technical exchanges between the two countries are at an advanced stage and were encouraged by the intention to formalise the cooperation through an Agreement. Upon conclusion, the Agreement will promote conducive frameworks for the development of affordable housing, human settlements, and urban development.


15. At the continental level, the two Leaders discussed the latest political developments affecting the African Continent and the situation in their respective regions: Southern Africa and East Africa. They expressed concern over the unfolding events in Ethiopia and the Sudan. The Presidents regretted the misery and suffering of the people of these two countries and the negative impact of the internal conflict and instability in the region and on the Continent.


16. In support of the mediation efforts of the High Representative for the AU Commission Chairperson on the Horn of Africa, former President Obasanjo, President Ramaphosa and President Kenyatta called for the immediate end to the armed conflict in Ethiopia. Both leaders expressed the conviction that there is hope for dialogue between the protagonists in Ethiopia, and called on all parties to the conflict to urgently commit to an immediate unconditional ceasefire, enhanced humanitarian access and an inclusive political dialogue.


17. The two Presidents further rejected and condemned any attempt at unconstitutional changes of government on the Continent. In this regard, South Africa and Kenya join the Africa Union, the United Nations, the EU and other international organisations and countries, in condemning any actions which would further precipitate instability and derail the Sudanese Transitional process.


18. The Leaders commended the SADC initiative to support the Republic of Mozambique in dealing with the terror threats in the north of the Country and acknowledged support extended by other African countries to Mozambique.


19. Both leaders reiterated the need for long-lasting peace and security in the Continent, which has become urgent following the operationalisation of the historic African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on 1 January, 2021. The leaders commended the successful holding of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021 in Durban, from 15 to 21 November 2021, which was attended by several African Heads of State, as a sign of the commencement of the operationalisation of the AfCFTA.


20. At the global level, the two Leaders underscored the need for continuing consultations in order to build partnerships in multilateral fora and to ensure that the agenda of the South is prioritised. The two Leaders further emphasised the need for the reform of the UN and other multilateral organisations and undertook to enhance cooperation and coordination in this regard.


21. President Ramaphosa re-assured President Kenyatta of South Africa’s continued support during Kenya’s tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2021 – 2022. South Africa continues to work closely with Kenya and the other two African elected members of UNSC to share experiences of South Africa’s tenure in the Security Council, including its chairmanship of the Security Council Ad-hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.


22. President Ramaphosa expressed his appreciation for Kenya’s undertaking to promote the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda during its tenure on the UNSC. While both leaders welcomed progress that has been made in the implementation of the WPS agenda since the adoption of Resolution 1325 in 2000, they expressed their firm conviction that individual States and the international community must take positive actions to accelerate the implementation of the WPS agenda, to address barriers that still impede the full, effective and meaningful role of women in peace processes.


23. President Ramaphosa and President Kenyatta noted the recent UNSC Resolution to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 31 October 2022. They agreed that it is important for the Security Council to support the work of the UN Mission which is primarily tasked with convening the long awaited Referendum and for the Security Council to support the reconvening of negotiations by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy. However, the two leaders expressed concern at the delay in holding the Referendum which is necessary for the realisation of the right to self-determination for the people of the Western Sahara. They further expressed concern at the inadequate protection of the human rights of the people of Western Sahara.


24. President Ramaphosa acknowledged that as a recipient of international solidarity in their struggle for liberation, South Africa appreciates Kenya’s support and stand together with the rest of the international community, in support of similar causes for freedom and justice, such as the cases of Palestine and Western Sahara in their struggle for self-determination and nationhood.


25. With respect to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the two Presidents agreed on the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in line with the two-state solution principle.


26. On health matters, the two Presidents discussed the latest developments around the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the important matter of vaccine manufacturing and distribution. They reaffirmed their call for the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines and urged all Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to support the proposal for a temporary waiver of certain provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights to allow more countries, particularly low- and middle-income countries, produce COVID-19 vaccines. In view of the experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, whereby supply chains were disrupted and countries went into vaccine hoarding.


27. To this end, President Kenyatta’s programme included a visit to the Aspen Pharmacare facility in Gqeberha on 24 November, 2021 to witness South Africa’s technical capacity to manufacture and distribute human vaccines for a global market in accordance with international standards as well as to highlight areas of possible cooperation with Kenya.


28. At the conclusion of the State Visit, President Kenyatta expressed profound gratitude and appreciation to President Ramaphosa, the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa for the warm reception and hospitality extended to him and to his delegation.


29. As a testimony to the existing warm and cordial relations, President Kenyatta extended an invitation to President Ramaphosa to undertake a State Visit to Kenya.


30. President Ramaphosa thanked President Kenyatta for undertaking the State Visit to the Republic of South Africa and for his firm assurance to continue working closely in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. President Ramaphosa graciously accepted the invitation extended to him.


31. While wishing President Kenyatta good health and a long life, President Ramaphosa conveyed best wishes of peace and stability to the Government and the people of the Republic of Kenya.


Done in Pretoria, on this day, Tuesday, 23 November, 2021




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