Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni called for bolstering the intracontinental relations in Africa, in a meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday.
The Ugandan government representatives arrived in Pretoria to discuss raising reciprocal investment and increasing the levels of trade between Uganda and South Africa.
Before the meeting, the leaders told journalists about the importance of intracontinental trade, and cited hurdles the African nations encounter in their efforts to uplift trade.
According to Africa news, a pan-African multilingual news network, Museveni said, “Bringing steel products from China, India and Ukraine, in the past, was very expensive, the freight alone is bigger than even the cost of the product itself”.
“So, it is very important that we develop an inland steel industry for Uganda and those areas around there. We need coal from South Africa”, he added.
Ramaphosa implies that the developing ties between significant South African food producers and Ugandan suppliers of products such as vanilla, coffee and cocoa may assist to enhance the broader consumer goods market.
Ramaphosa said, “South Africa is open to increasing the quantity and diversity of products we source from Uganda because the success of intra-Africa trade hinges on each of us sourcing from one another and prioritizing ‘made and grown in Africa’ products and services.”
South African companies prefer the banking, retail and telecommunication sections more for investments in Uganda, Ramaphosa added.
According to him, South African businesses in Uganda have shrunk from 70 firms to 36, while the trade volumes between these nations has decreased significantly.