At the invitation of H.E. Dr. William Samoei Ruto, CGH, President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a two-day State Visit to the Republic of Kenya from 8th - 9th November 2022. The purpose of the visit was to review the current state of bilateral relations and evaluate progress made in the implementation of agreed areas of cooperation whilst exploring cooperation in other areas of mutual interest.
President Ruto was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries in charge of: Foreign Affairs; Trade, Investments, and Industry; Interior and National Administration; Agriculture and Livestock Development; National Treasury; Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts; Lands, Public works, Housing and Urban Development; and the Attorney General. The delegation also included senior government officials.
President Ramaphosa led a high-level delegation from South Africa, which included the Ministers responsible for International Relations and Cooperation; Trade, Industry and Competition; Home Affairs; Human Settlements; Justice and Correctional Services; Sport, Arts, and Culture; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development; Health as well as senior government officials.
The two Leaders held high-level talks in Nairobi on 9th November 2022. These deliberations which centered on bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest, were held in a cordial atmosphere, during which, the two Presidents commended the longstanding warm, cordial and strategic relations.
H.E President Ramaphosa congratulated H.E President William Ruto on his election as President of the Republic of Kenya on 9th August, 2022 and at the same time lauded the people of Kenya for a peaceful election and transition.
On his part, President Ruto congratulated President Ramaphosa on the launch of the Just Transition (JT) Framework for South Africa during the Sixth meeting of the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) held on 27th May, 2022. President Ruto lauded President Ramaphosa's unfaltering leadership which continues to steer South Africa to greater heights by enshrining human rights, democracy, rule of law, and constitutionalism in the pursuit of economic development.
The two Heads of State led their delegations in high-level bilateral talks, which reviewed a wide range of bilateral, and multilateral issues, with emphasis on strengthening existing bilateral ties between the two countries.
In this regard, the two Presidents:
a. Emphasized the importance of strong and strategic bilateral relations between the two countries in pursuit of sustainable development, economic prosperity, peace, and security, both at the regional and international levels.
b. Noted the successful Mid-term Review (MTR) of the Inaugural Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) held from 6th - 7th November 2022, to review the status of implementation of agreed areas of cooperation.
C. Presided over the signing of three (3) Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and one (1) Agreement on: Cooperation in the field of Correctional Services;
Cooperation in the field of Housing and Human Settlement; Cooperation between the Kenya School of Government and the South Africa National School of Government; and an Agreement on Audio Visual Co-Production. Further, the two leaders directed the respective Ministers to ensure the implementation of signed Agreements and MoUs.
d. On trade and investment, directed the Ministers of Trade to develop a sustainable mechanism to identify, monitor, and resolve the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) that limit the trade potential between both countries to strengthen trade and investment. Further noted a meeting between the respective Ministers of Trade which focused on ensuring that the issue of the balance of trade between the two countries is addressed.
e. At the continental level, lauded the just concluded
"Agreement for Lasting Peace through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities" between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) brokered by the African Union and mediated by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and the former Deputy President of South Africa, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
They appealed to the Parties to ensure the full implementation of the Agreement to reach a lasting political settlement.
f. On COP27, reiterated the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), including adaptation and mitigation efforts and delivery of finance to enhance implementation. Further, they urged developed Parties to meet their obligation and work with other Parties to ensure swift implementation of the climate finance delivery plan. In this regard, they called on COP27 to deliver tangible and implementable outcomes.
g. On the issue of visas, it was agreed that from 1st of January, 2023, Kenya ordinary passport holders will be allowed to enter South Africa Visa-free for up to 90 days per calendar year. The two countries have agreed on a returns policy in instances of breach of immigration laws and regulations of both countries.
h. On the issue of the restrictions on meat imports by both countries, the matter is being discussed with a view to the reciprocal lifting of restrictions.
i. Agreed that Kenya and South Africa will continue to consult
and support each other on various matters of regional, continental and international importance. In this regard, the two leaders committed to consult on their respective candidatures to ensure that the priorities of the two nations and the common African Agenda are effectively articulated in the international system.
8. After the visit, President Ramaphosa expressed profound gratitude to President Ruto, the Government, and the people of Kenya for the warm reception and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation.
9. H.E. President Ruto, CGH thanked H.E. President Ramaphosa, for undertaking the State Visit to the Republic of Kenya and conveyed best wishes of peace and stability to the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa.