Ambassador Barbara Oundo Nekesa’s tour of duty as Uganda’s high commissioner in South Africa has come to an end and on Tuesday she bade farewell to South Africa’s Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Naledi Pandor.
A statement from the High Commission in Pretoria did not say when she’s returning to Kampala nor her replacement but the president is expected to announce ambassadorial reshuffles soon.
As Uganda's envoy to South Africa, she also represented the East African nation in Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.
She got this position in 2017 having lost her parliamentary seat and position as state minister for Karamoja affairs.
Dr. Pandor praised Nekesa for her “excellent performance during her tour of duty in South Africa”, according to the statement.
The duo committed to strengthening ties between the two countries and discussed topical matters on the continent such as Pan-Africanism, Covid -19, conflict situations on the continent, respect for human rights, adherence to rule of law, among others.
Uganda and South Africa collaborate in a number of sectors, including trade, with South African firms like MTN Uganda, SAB Millers, Stanbic Bank, Game, Bokomo, Eskom, among others enjoying a considerable market share in Kampala.
Political and economic relations between South Africa and Uganda have been excellent since 1994 with both former Presidents Mandela and Mbeki having visited Uganda.
These cordial relations were further strengthened when President Zuma and President Museveni paid successful reciprocal state visits in March 2010 and January 2011 respectively.
In the meeting, Nekesa and Dr. Pandor discussed important bilateral issues in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, COVID-19, education, politics, security, technical exchanges and knowledge transfer, movement of people and goods, and the re-invigoration of the Joint Permanent Commission for further cooperation between the two countries.
Barbara O. Nekesa underscored the fact that she remains optimistic about the deep and vibrant relationship between their two countries – and their peoples – will only grow stronger in the days ahead.
She pledged Uganda’s support to South Africa through the various regional groupings such as AU, ACFTA, COMESA among others.