In Pictures: H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni President of the Republic of Uganda and H.E Jacob Zuma President of The Republic of South Africa

The State Visits by President Museveni and former President Mandela and various working visits by President Mbeki and President Museveni have strengthened bi-lateral relations and inspired confidence in the business community.

Trade relations between the two countries continue to grow from strength to strength even though there is an imbalance in favour South Africa. The  exports from Uganda to South Africa include cotton, gold, fish fillets, tobacco, coffee and fresh flowers. The South African  exports include machinery, motorcars, plastics, chemicals and electronics, parts and accessories, petroleum, live animals, books and news print, textiles, footwear, vehicles, aircrafts and house hold goods. South Africa could strengthen links in a number of areas including information technology, health services, agro-processing, biotechnology and chemicals.

Uganda has been identified as an anchor state for South Africa, particularly given:

  • Its geo-political position within the East African region;

  • Its relative economic size and importance for trade with South Africa and as a destination for South African investment; and

  • Its strategic importance within COMESA, EAC and IGAD and ICGLR for purposes of deepening regional integration, continental development and regional security.

On 8th and 9th  November 2012 the bilateral relations between the two countries were further strengthened when the SA-Uganda Joint Commission of Cooperation was inaugurated in Pretoria.

The two countries had an opportunity to exchange views on a number of political, socio-economic and security issues on the Continent and internationally.

The JCC was concluded with the signing of an Agreement on Cooperation in the fields of Water and Environmental Resources and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Defence.

South Africa and Uganda continue to cooperate closely and coordinate their positions on issues in a number of regional and multilateral fora such as the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) and share similar perspectives particularly on the political and economic integration processes on the African continent.

The two countries have participated as key role players in the Burundi Peace Process, with Uganda as Chair of the Regional Initiative and South Africa as Facilitator.
Uganda is currently playing a major role in maintaining stability within the region. For a number of years Ugandan troops have formed the backbone of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which SA supports. 

The successes of AMISOM have driven out al-Shabaab from Mogadishu and Kismayo and created a number of liberated zones where the newly-elected Government is trying to consolidate democracy and democratic institutions.

On 11 March 2014, Uganda hosted the first Diplomatic Consultations as agreed during the SOM held on 8 November 2012 that the two Foreign Ministries should meet twice a year to discuss important issues of strategic importance.

Uganda remains a strategic country for South Africa in the East African region for trade and investment. This has become increasingly important with the possible  expansion of the East African region to include Uganda as a second largest trading partner, the Republic of South Sudan, as a member of the EAC.

Uganda will continues to be a favourable destination for South Africa in regard to trade and investment. In 2010 President Zuma paid a State Visit to Uganda and President Museveni reciprocated in 2011. Both visits were successful and were concluded by the signing of agreements and memoranda of understanding in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, social development, public works and infrastructure development.

During these visits both Presidents acknowledged the strong bonds between the two countries and emphasised the importance of cooperation to further strengthen the economic ties that will address unemployment in both countries.

Furthermore, the two Heads of State encouraged officials to expand cooperation within different sectors, with a specific call made to strengthen the development and promotion of small and medium enterprises