Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, has urged improved trade ties among African nations and bemoaned the high cost of acquiring goods and services outside of the region.
Museveni started his state tour to South Africa on Tuesday in an effort to strengthen ties between Uganda and the continent’s most advanced economy.
Members of his cabinet who were due to meet with their South African peers and sign a number of trade and bilateral agreements were present when he met with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Prior to the meeting with Ramaphosa, Museveni made a few brief remarks in which he emphasized the value of intracontinental trade while also outlining some of the obstacles that make it difficult to accomplish.
The purchase of coal from South Africa to be used in the production of steel from Uganda’s high-grade iron ore was one of Museveni’s top objectives, he said.
According to South African official statistics, Uganda is the second-largest trading partner in East Africa and South Africa’s fifteenth-largest trading partner overall in Africa.
Trade between the two nations peaked at $162 million between 2017 and 2021.
In 2018, South Africa exported $169 million to the Republic of Uganda, while it imported $17.5 million from Uganda, up from $6.8 million in 2017.