South Africa and Kenya want to boost cooperation and inter-trade relations between the two countries. President Jacob Zuma and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral talks at the President’s Dr. John Dube residence in Durban on Thursday.

Trade between the two countries has over the years been favouring South Africa, and now the countries want a levelled playing field.

This was the first visit by Kenyatta since he was elected President of Kenya in November last year and his visit to South Africa was to cement inter-trade relations and cooperation between the two countries.

South Africa’s imports from Kenya include tobacco, textile fibres, tea, plastic products and copper. While a number of South African companies including pharmaceutical, banking, engineering and retail sectors are already operating in Kenya, peace and security in the continent especially in war torn countries also topped the agenda.

“We also had bit of discussions about the situation is one area in the continent, particularly South Sudan which is quite a challenge to all of us and also the other issues for example you are aware that at the Europe and AU Summit in Ivory Coast the issue of the kind of new slavery particular taking place in Libya was an issue that Africa cannot allow that to happen again, it’s an issue we believe we need to give serious attention. There are things that we believe need to be done right in the continent particularly the respect of our democracy that we have all accepted and how we run our democracies,” says President Jacob Zuma.

Kenyatta believes bilateral talks with President Zuma will pave way for mutual benefit, boost inter-trade relations and infrastructure development between the two countries.

While the two countries have good relations in areas of trade and cooperation, inter-trade relations between the two countries has over the years to a large degree been benefitting South Africa and now the two countries want both parties to equally benefit.

“We had an opportunity to exchange views on a number of issues largely pertaining to how we can strengthen and deepen the relations between our two countries, how we can work together in the mutual prosperity of our people, increase trade between ourselves. How we can also improve connectivity in our continent because that is something critical to our industrial development which will enable us to create the jobs that our young people require.”

After the bilateral discussions, President Kenyatta went to lay wreath on the grave of the late African National Congress (ANC) President John Langalibalele Dube.

Meanwhile Kenyatta will on Saturday attend the ANC’s January 8th statement rally in East London in the Eastern Cape as the ruling party celebrate 106 years of existence. Click below for more on the story: