Kenya-South African defence pact still to be ratified


Kenya’s parliament has yet to ratify a defence cooperation agreement with South Africa, which has been years in the making.

In October 2016, then-South African President Jacob Zuma visited Kenya and reached a number of agreements with his Kenyan counterpart, including police and defence force agreements focussing on counter-terrorism, cyber security, financing of terrorism and halting radicalisation. Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula signed the agreement on 11 October on behalf of the South African and Kenyan governments.

The agreement covers the exchange of information and training, industrial cooperation, defence-related research, development and procurement of equipment, military medical health service, counter-piracy and other maritime safety activities.

“The co-operation framework for exchange, sharing and utilisation of the respective State’s experience, knowledge, military facilities and infrastructure will be instrumental in strengthening bilateral relations between the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of South Africa,” Kenyan defence secretary Raychelle Omamo said at the time.

Defence and security negotiations between South Africa and Kenya began in 2007. The agreement was tabled in Kenya’s parliament for ratification in May 2017. It was resigned in February 2019 after the South African government confirmed that its internal procedures had been complied with, Business Daily Africa reported.

Kenya once again asked parliament to ratify the agreement late last month, according to Business Daily Africa.