South Africa President Ramaphosa due in Kenya tomorrow, to hold talks with William Ruto

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa is due in Nairobi on Wednesday for his first official visit.

The two-day State visit will enable South Africa to deepen economic, political, cultural, and social relations with Kenya, the leading economy in the East African region.

Ramaphosa will meet his Kenyan counterpart President William Ruto, who jets back into the country from COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. 

Though the visit will provide a platform for both countries to review progress on key areas of bilateral cooperation, the thorny issue of 'harsh' South African Visa policy towards Kenyans is expected to dominate the talks.

Kenyans hope that a deal to ease the South African restrictive visa regime will be signed.

Pretoria has for long remained noncommittal on reviewing visa requirements for Kenyans visiting South Africa making it an uphill task to secure one.

Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta set the stage for discussions in 2016 when he said the two countries needed to do away with the restrictive visa requirements.

South Africans visiting Kenya do not need a visa, whilst Kenyans pay for a South African Visa.

According to VFS Global, Kenyan nationals are exempted from paying Visa fees if their stay in South Africa is less than 30 days. If the stay is over 30 days, the Visa fee is Sh4,800.

Ruto and Ramaphosa will also exchange views on pertinent regional, continental and global issues of mutual concern including the promotion of peace, security, and stability.

This is the first bilateral visit President Ramaphosa is making to Kenya as the South African leader.

The Standard
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