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Economy

Disappointment for Kenyan travellers as SA maintains visa rules

South African President Jacob Zuma (left) speaks next to his Kenya's counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta during a press conference on October 11, 2016 in Nairobi. AFP PHOTO | SIMON MAINA
South African President Jacob Zuma (left) speaks next to his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta during a press conference on October 11, 2016 in Nairobi. AFP PHOTO | SIMON MAINA 

Kenya and South Africa have inked deals in military and police cooperation as well as agreeing to jointly invest in the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor even as the country remained non-committal on easing visa restrictions for Kenyans.

South African President Jacob Zuma, who is on three-day state visit to Nairobi, however said the issue was still being discussed and pledged to bolster ties with Kenya.

"It is a matter in progress and it is being worked on by the two countries," Mr Zuma said Tuesday when pressed by a journalist on the timelines for easing its visa rules.

"We have to ensure that there are no loopholes for criminals to take advantage of," he added.

The news will be a disappointment for Kenyan travellers to the southern African country which has tough visa conditions for Kenyans, including a Sh4,200 processing fee that takes at least five working days to process.

South African nationals have it easier as they can get a Kenyan visa for free on arrival to the country.

Economic, financial cooperation

While speaking during the joint press conference at State House, Mr Zuma said further economic cooperation would create a favourable environment to ease doing business between Kenya and South Africa.

"We have agreed to increase trade between remove trade barriers between our two countries," the South African leader said.

Mr Kenyatta said they have instructed their respective finance ministers to develop a special framework for engagement in the financial services sector.

Mr Zuma also urged South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar to return home and participate in President Salva Kiir's transitional government.

The leader said he and Mr Kenyatta had agreed that there was need for structural reform in multilateral organisations such as the United Nations for the benefit of developing countries like Kenya and South Africa.

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