High Commissioner designate Paul Amoru has presented his Letter of Credence to Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria accrediting him as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uganda to the Republic of South Africa.
In his remarks, Mr. Paul Amoru the High Commissioner, expressed gratitude to his host for the immediate opportunity granted to him to present his Letter of Credence to which would fully operationalise his duties in Pretoria, South Africa.
He underscored to his host the existing excellent and cordial bilateral relations between Uganda and South Africa which are anchored on a blood bond that dates far back before South Africa got her Independence.
Amoru highlighted to his host 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 and 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 cord that connects our two great countries.
The High Commissioner 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.
Mr. Paul Amoru, Uganda’s High Commissioner expressed to his host 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.
He observed that economic cooperation is another significant part of the relationship between the two countries. He highlighted 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.
“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.” he said
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.
On behalf of Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni President of Uganda the High Commissioner commended his host for the role he played in ensuring the equitable distribution of the Covid -19 Vaccine on the African Continent as the Champion of the African Union Covid-19 Response Fund.
The High Commissioner pledged his commitment to work with his host to deepen and expand the scope of cooperation in advancing the common goals of serving the people of both countries to the best of his abilities.
He committed to focus on the agenda of the Abuja Treaty of 1991 which is anchored on accelerating intra-African trade and enhancing coordination with regional and international organizations.
“President Museveni and the government of the Republic of Uganda believe that the future of Africa in this new global environment lies in deeper economic integration, continent wide that will strengthen Africa’s common voice and policy space in the global trade negotiations.” he said
Ramaphosa welcomed Ambassador Amoru Paul, pledged to offer him support during his tenure. His host wished President Museveni good health and the people of Uganda and South Africa lasting friendship and cooperation.
“I wish you the very best in your new assignment as the High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda to the Republic of South Africa,” he said.
The Uganda High Commission in South Africa is responsible for five other countries in Southern Africa which include; Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.