President Zuma to undertake state visit to Uganda, 22 March 2010

President Jacob Zuma will undertake a state visit to Uganda on 25-26 March 2010, at the invitation of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda.

President Zuma will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, Social Development Minister Edna Molewa, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, and Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica and Mrs Sizakele Zuma. The President will arrive in Uganda on the 24th of March.

The visit is aimed at further enhancing economic and political relations between the two countries, developments in the East African region as well as multilateral cooperation in the African Union, United Nations and other key forums.

During the visit, South African ministers are scheduled to sign agreements in the fields of agriculture, trade, science and technology, and customs cooperation.

The President will be accompanied by more than 30 businesspersons. A South Africa-Uganda Business Forum meeting will be held, co-chaired by the trade ministers of the two countries. This forum will help to expand the areas of economic cooperation. The key sectors offering profitable investment opportunities in Uganda are agriculture, tourism, mining and energy and ICT.

The state visit will build on the excellent relations forged during the struggle against apartheid, when Uganda provided solidarity and support to the South African liberation movement. Relations between South Africa and Uganda are made stronger in particular by the bonds of solidarity forged between the ANC in exile and Uganda’s National Resistance Movement.

Former President Thabo Mbeki pledged during his visit to Uganda in December 2005, to assist the
Ugandan government to complete the construction and refurbishment of the former ANC military camp in Kawaweta into a school of leadership for senior police, prisons and military personnel. This was to be done by the South African government as a token of appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Uganda for the support and solidarity provided to South Africans in exile during the struggle against apartheid.

The OR Tambo School of Leadership was completed last year and will be officially opened by President Zuma on the 26th. Mr Dali Tambo and his wife Rachel will represent the Tambo family at the official opening.

President Zuma will also unveil the South African Wall of Remembrance built in Kampala to commemorate the ANC struggle heroes who are buried in Uganda.

Since 1994, the two countries have also cooperated effectively in peace-building on the African continent, particularly in the Great Lakes region. President Zuma worked closely with President Museveni when he was still Deputy President of the Republic and mediator in the Burundi conflict.

President Museveni chaired the Great Lakes Regional Initiative on Burundi. Since 2008, and mainly through the facilitation of South Africa, great strides have been made in the peace process. The Forces National de Liberation (FNL) abandoned its arms and registered as a political party and committed itself to participating in the elections scheduled for 2010. This effectively brought the South African Facilitation of the Burundi Peace Process to an end. The last members of the SANDF, the bulk of whom formed the African Union Stability Technical Force in Burundi returned home on 29 December 2009.

Enquiries: Zizi Kodwa on 082 330 4910.

Issued by:
The Presidency
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