Uganda, South Africa sign five deals as countries move to strengthen ties

President, Cyril  Ramaphosa and Yoweri Museveni  have witnessed the signing of five MOUs by their respective governments of  Uganda and South Africa in a move aimed building strong political and economic relations between the two countries.

On Tuesday, both governments signed an MOU on cooperation in the fields of women, youth and persons with disabilities, an MOU on cooperation in tourism, an  MOU on cooperation in the field of correctional services and prisons, an MOU on cooperation in transport related matters and  MOU on cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies.

President Ramaphosa highlighted that while economic relations between the two countries have grown over the years, South Africa is concerned over the decline in the number of South African businesses operating in Uganda.

In this regard, the heads of state gave a firm commitment to resolve any challenges experienced by the private sector in both countries.

The two presidents requested the ministers responsible for trade and foreign affairs of the respective countries, to urgently put in place a mechanism, to address these challenges and ensure protection of investments.

The presidents resolved that the mechanism will also enable the business community of South Africa and Uganda, to take advantage of the vast economic opportunities between the two countries, including those presented through the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) and the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) between the South African Development Community (SADC), COMESA and the East African Community (EAC).

They noted with much concern that the TFTA is yet to come into force as it is short of three ratifications to reach the required fourteen ratifications for its operationalisation.

In this regard, they called on the member states in the Southern African and East African regions that have not ratified the TFTA to urgently do so.

Ramaphosa expressed South Africa’s gratitude to President Museveni for Uganda’s steadfast support to Eskom in its operations in Uganda since 2003.

“Eskom’s very successful 20-year concession, which ends on 31 March 2023, symbolises the strong economic relations between South Africa and Uganda,” Ramaphosa said.

In response President Museveni assured South Africa that Eskom’s exit later this month would be managed amicably to allow smooth repatriation of Eskom’s assets.

The two heads of state also  participated in the South Africa- Uganda Business Forum held at Gallagher Estate under the theme “Boosting trade and investment relations between South Africa and Uganda” consisting of the private sectors of South Africa and Uganda as well as state owned entities.

Participants were provided with the opportunity to share information and experiences in the business environment and opportunities in their sectors and explore concrete proposals and projects for trade and investment in both countries.

President Museveni applauded his host,  Ramaphosa and his government  for the warm reception and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the state visit.

Museveni  extended an invitation to Ramaphosa to visit Uganda, on dates to be agreed upon and communicated through diplomatic channels.

Uganda’s delegation included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs; Finance, Energy,Agriculture, Trade, Works and Transport and Tourism.

 

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