Joint Communiqué issued following the 2nd Session of the Regular Diplomatic Consultations between the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, Pretoria, 26 October 2015
1. The Second Session of the Regular Diplomatic Consultations between Uganda and South Africa was held in Pretoria on 26 October 2015.
2. The Ugandan delegation was led by Ambassador RN Katungye, Director: Regional Affairs, representing the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, Ambassador JM Mugume, while Mr EX Makaya, Acting Deputy Director-General: Africa, representing the Director-General of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Ambassador JM Matjila, led the South African delegation.
3. The Diplomatic Consultations took place within the framework of the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Regular Diplomatic Consultations which requires that the Departments meet regularly.
4. The Delegations discussed issues of mutual strategic importance with a view to further strengthening the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries. Discussions included an exchange of views on developments in the security and political situations in the respective regions, including Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, Eastern DRC, Lesotho and the SADC Mediation Initiative. The Delegations also exchanged views on multilateral issues, including the African Standby Force, Uganda’s recent Presidency of the UNGA, BRICS, G77 & China and CHOGM, amongst others.
5. The Delegations noted that the relationship between the two countries is one of mutual, reciprocal friendship and is grounded on their shared liberation history. In giving effect to the close relationship, over twenty bilateral agreements are in place between the respective countries, covering wide areas of co-operation. There are currently 11 draft agreements being negotiated for signature in the near future. In this regard, the Delegations decided to facilitate the timeous conclusion of these agreements, and in particular, the draft Memoranda of Understanding regarding Transport; and Health, which are both ready for signature.
6. The two Heads of Delegation noted with gratitude the deepening trade relations between the two countries. Uganda and South Africa are healthy continental trading partners and two-way trade amounts to over R2 billion per annum. Over 40 South African companies have operations and investments in Uganda. Whilst trade and investment have shown positive growth, the two Heads of Delegation noted that there is still tremendous potential for improvement and both countries reiterated their commitment to enhancing this partnership in the quest to achieve prosperity and socio-economic stability for their citizens. The Delegations noted with approval the following trade and investment initiatives:
- The Outward Selling and Investment Mission to Uganda in November 2015;
- The Ugandan Investment Authority (UIA) Mission to the Western Cape in November 2015;
- The envisaged establishment of the Uganda-SA Joint Business Forum during the next Session of the Uganda-SA JCC; and
- The envisaged establishment of the Forum for SA Business in Uganda (FOSABU) on 3 December 2015, in Kampala.
7. The prominent roles of both countries as peace-brokers and mediators in their respective regions were noted and commended. The Delegations re-emphasised their support for continental structures and initiatives in addressing the issues that have led to insecurity and instability within the respective regions.
8. Consistent with both countries’ foreign policy approaches of finding African solutions for African problems in the promotion of a peaceful, secure, and economically prosperous continent, both Delegations recommitted their support for the efforts of SADC, the EAC, COMESA and the various AU organs and structures.
9. The Delegations congratulated and commended the peoples of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Cote d’ Ivoire for the conclusion of peaceful and successful elections and the Republic of Congo for a successful referendum.
10. The Delegations discussed the modalities for the Second Session of the Uganda-SA JCC, and taking into consideration the election processes in Uganda until May 2016 and South Africa in May 2016, it was decided to recommend to the Principals that the JCC should be held before the end of June 2016.
11. In conclusion of the Diplomatic Consultations both Delegations expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the fraternal and cordial manner in which the Consultations took place.
Mr EX Makaya Amb RN Katungye
Acting Deputy Director-General: Africa Director: Regional Affairs
South Africa Uganda
26 October 2015
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
460 Soutpansberg Road