Uganda’s High Commissioner to South Africa Paul Amoru has on Thursday August 11, presented presented his Letter of Credentials to President Cyril Ramaphosa accrediting him as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Uganda to South Africa.
Mr. Amoru who was in the company of his wife Ms. Eunice Chelangat, expressed gratitude to President Ramaphosa for the immediate opportunity granted to him to present his Letter of Credence to which would fully operationalise his duties in Pretoria South Africa.
During the private meeting that followed the official ceremony at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria, Mr. Amoru and President Ramaphosa exchanged views on the status of diplomatic relations between the two countries and acknowledged the significant growth in relations between Uganda and South Africa in recent years.
They also shared views on the need to broad- base the bilateral relations into many new areas of cooperation especially in trade, investment and other economic activities to reach its true potential.
Amoru highlighted to President Ramaphosa that Uganda provided a sanctuary for the South African freedom fighters of uMukonto Wesizwe the military arm of ANC after the UN Security Council Resolution 435 that led to withdrawal of ANC from Angola to the Camp in Kaweweta- Luwero, which later in 1998 became the Oliver Reginald Tambo School of Leadership & Pan – African Centre of Excellence and a home and training ground for the ANC freedom fighters.
This shared history of struggle for the freedom and progress of our people remains the umbilical code that connects our two great countries.
He also emphasized that this gesture remains a key building block for the foundation of friendship between the two countries and added that his government and the people Uganda take pride in the support shared by the two countries for the uMukhonto Wesizwe team during the struggle for freedom and democracy for the Republic of South Africa.
He expressed to President Ramaphosa the need for the two countries to augment the outcomes of the recently concluded Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) meeting hosted by Uganda in Kampala between 7-11th August, 2022— observing that economic cooperation is another significant part of the relationship between the two countries.
Concerning the task of promotion of economic relations, the High Commissioner informed the President Ramaphosa that during the last 25 years, the exports of South Africa to Uganda have increased at an annualized rate of 6.82%, from $36M in 1995 to $187M in 2020, while exports of Uganda to South Africa in the same period increased at an annualized rate of 12.8%, from $1.01M in 1995 to $20.7M in 2020.
He pointed out that the main products that South Africa exported to Uganda are Gold ($58.4M), Delivery Trucks (ZAR20.8M), Hot-Rolled Iron ($9.76M) Uncoated Paper (ZAR10.9M), Pesticides (ZAR8.58M), Laboratory Reagents (ZAR3.91M), and Processed Cereals (ZAR3.69M) while the main products that Uganda exported to South Africa were Packaged Medicaments ($13.1M), Coffee ($2.88M), Raw Tobacco ($1.28M), other live plants, cuttings and slips; mushroom.
The two exchanged views on topical matters on the continent such as Pan-Africanism, impact of Covid-19, socio-economic and security issues, politics, climate change and its impact, collaborative exchanges in various fields, among others.
President Ramaphosa while appreciating the economic relations
pledged to offer him support during his tenure.
The Uganda High Commission in South Africa is responsible for five (5) other countries in Southern Africa which include; Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
On top of its core role of fostering diplomatic relations and promotion of trade, tourism and investment in the Southern Africa Region, the Mission also offers consular services to Ugandans such as e-passports, national identity cards and temporary travel documents issuance as well as e- visas to travellers to Uganda. There are over 50,000 Ugandans living, working and studying in South Africa.