Ugandans living in Southern Africa have requested the government of Uganda to support operations of their association named the Confederation of the Ugandans in Southern Africa (COUSA).
The leaders of the association asked the outgoing Ugandan ambassador to the region Barbara Oundo Nekesa to pass on their request to government officials during a farewell luncheon they organized for her on Wednesday.
Uganda is already funding associations formed by Ugandans living in North American and the UK.
COUSA is the umbrella body that brings together all the Ugandan associations in Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland).
It was formed to, among others, serves as a networking platform, foster unity, culture and economic development, and fight against the stigma of xenophobia attacks.
The Association President General Moses Kibombo Moses described Amb. Nekesa as a “distinguished and exceptional leader who had served Ugandans in Southern Africa diligently and equitably regardless of social strata for the four years she was in South Africa,” reads an official statement.
Amb. Nekesa appreciated the Ugandan community in South Africa in general and specifically the community leadership for the excellent working relations she enjoyed during her tenure in South Africa.
She requested the Community to accord the same support to her successor for continued harmonious work relations with the Mission and furtherance of the development of Uganda.
Nekesa was posted as Uganda’s High Commission to the region in 2017 having lost her parliamentary seat and position as state minister for Karamoja affairs.
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.