SOUTH African President Frederik de Klerk called on African nations here Saturday to take a lead in African affairs and said South Africa was ready to extend its cooperation with other countries on the continent. South Africa has a role to play in stabilizing the whole continent and in assuring progress and prosperity, he said after arriving for a two-day visit to staunchly anti-apartheid Kenya.
Calling his country the ``Japan of Africa,'' Mr. De Klerk urged closer collaboration in the fields of trade, industry, and agriculture.
It is very important for South Africa ``to extend our cooperation with such an important country as Kenya,'' he said.
He said at a press conference that he did not sign any agreements with President Daniel Arap Moi, but rather discussed future developments of cooperation between their two countries.
De Klerk denounced calls last week by the Organization of African States to maintain sanctions against South Africa, saying the country hopes soon to join the OAS.
A South African government source, quoted in press reports Friday, recalled Kenya's call for a more pragmatic attitude towards South Africa, during the Organisation of African Unity summit last week in Abuja, Nigeria.
Mr. De Klerk's trip was seen in Johannesburg as his most important visit within Africa. Official South African sources were hoping it would further efforts toward Pretoria's acceptance in black Africa.
Mr. De Klerk continues his tour today with an official visit to Swaziland.