President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the state visit by his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, as a building block to strong political and economic relations between the two countries.
President Museveni was hosted at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday, where the two leaders held talks on political, economic, and regional peace in Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Western Sahara. They also discussed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and and lamented the lack of a permanent representation of Africa in the UN Security Council, calling for reforms.
“This state visit has reinforced the firm political and economic relations between our two countries. By deepening these relations, we aim to better the lives of our people and continue the struggle to overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality,” Mr Ramaphosa said.
He acknowledged the challenges relating to trade and investment but noted that there had been steady progress in resolving them. The leaders tasked the two countries’ trade ministers to put in place a mechanism to protect investments.
The heads of State witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between South Africa’s Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC), Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) and Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL).
Other agreements signed were on tourism, transport, ICT, correctional services and prisons, women, youth and persons with disabilities.
“We have noted significant progress in the implementation of agreements that the two countries have had in the past. As a testament to our growing relations, we have just witnessed the signing of memoranda of understanding in diverse areas of cooperation,” the President said.
South Africa is keen on investing in Uganda, particularly in banking, retail and telecommunications, Mr Ramaphosa said, adding: “We hope that Ugandan businesses invest in South Africa.”
Business delegations from the two countries held a forum presided over by the two leaders.