S Africa’s Zuma arrives in Nairobi for three-day state visit
South African President Jacob Zuma will arrive in Nairobi today for a State visit.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his visitor will discuss trade, security and immigration.
Also among the issues set to be discussed will be the candidature of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the post of chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Kenya has nominated Ms Mohamed to succeed Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who will be seeking an elective post in South Africa. Ms Dlamini-Zuma is President Zuma’s ex-wife.
“President Kenyatta reached out to a number of his colleagues, including President Zuma, before and after the candidature of CS Mohammed was made public,” said State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu during a press briefing at State House on Sunday.
President Zuma will be accompanied by a large business delegation for the three-day state visit.
The two presidents will then have one-on-one talks before holding a joint press conference, which will precede a Kenya-South Africa business forum in the afternoon.
The two leaders will also discuss trade and look into a plea by Kenya that costly tea levies be waived and restrictions on processed Kenyan products such as soda ash and processed meat be removed.
President Kenyatta will also seek the reopening of the South African market to avocados from Kenya.
“What President Kenyatta will now be seeking is to fast-track implementation of the favourable immigration regulations agreed upon earlier in the year, whereby visa service fees will be reduced to Sh 4,900($49) from Sh7,100($71),” said the statement.
The talks will seek issuance of South African visas to visiting Kenyans and businesspeople, a three-year multiple entry visa and a 10-year one, respectively.
Other issues earlier agreed upon and which are yet to be implemented include a request that Kenyan students attending South African universities be granted student visas covering the duration of their stay and extending permanent residency to those studying within the critical skills category.
Kenya does not charge any visa fees on visiting South Africans or those passing through the country.
On security, President Kenyatta will be looking for South Africa’s backing in consolidating and expanding counter-terrorism efforts to stop violent extremism.
They will also discuss Kenya’s progress on refugee repatriation, and President Kenyatta will be seeking President Zuma’s support towards expediting a safe, voluntary and humane process.
Mr Zuma will be received during the formal reception ceremony this morning.