Pretoria — International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will on Friday co-chair the inaugural session of the South Africa-Ugandan Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, Sam Kutesa.
Nkoana-Mashabane will host her counterpart within the context of strengthening and consolidating the cordial relations that exist between the two countries.
Relations between South Africa and Uganda date back to the time of the struggle against apartheid when Uganda provided support to and solidarity with the South African liberation movement.
Bilateral cooperation between South Africa and Uganda spans a wide range of areas including, but not limited to trade and investment, defence and security, agriculture, water and environmental affairs, social development, public works and science and technology.
New areas of collaboration to be considered during the JCC include transport, tourism, human settlements, health and higher education.
The two ministers are expected to witness the signing of an agreement on water and environmental resources; a Memorandum of Understanding on transport cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in defence.
Trade between the two countries shows steady growth. South Africa regards Uganda as a country with good economic potential and an important destination for South African investment.
In view of the country's solid economic performance, Uganda can be regarded as an important trading partner in East Africa. In 2011, South African exports to Uganda amounted toR1.26 billion and imports from Uganda to R50.98 million.
South African companies have a large presence in Uganda and are involved in various sectors such as construction, retail, hospitality, banking, insurance, information technology, communications, and energy.