Uganda, Botswana to strengthen bilateral trade

Botswana President  Eric Mokgweetsi Keabetswe Masisi (centre) with Uganda’s High Commissioner to Botswana Paul Amoru (right) in Gaborone on February 8, 2024. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The meeting came as the newly appointed ambassador of Uganda to Botswana, Mr Paul Amoru, presented his letters of credence to President Eric Masisi.

Uganda and Botswana have agreed to establish a joint commission for cooperation, which will deepen collaboration between the two countries in various sectors, starting with agriculture.

This was reached during a meeting last Thursday where the non-resident high commissioner of Uganda to Botswana, Mr Paul Amoru, presented his letters of credence to President Eric Mokgweetsi Keabetswe Masisi.

Mr Amoru is accredited to six countries including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho as high commissioner. He resides in South Africa.

Mr Amoru described the meeting that took place in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, as a milestone in strengthening relations between the two countries.

“This significant event marks a new chapter in the diplomatic relations between the two sister countries, paving the way for deeper cooperation and mutual benefit,” he is quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

President Masisi (left) and Ambassador Amoru during the meeting on February 8, 2024. PHOTO/HANDOUT 

According to the 2021 Observatory of Economic Complexity report, Uganda exported goods worth $13,300 to Botswana. These included; toilet paper worth $3,300, broadcasting equipment ($2,070), and computers ($16,800) and others.

Botswana on the other hand exported goods worth 297,000 to Uganda including; vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins, and cultures at $212,000, house linens at $41,000, and delivery trucks at $36,500, according to the same report.

In January, President Museveni hosted Mr Masisi in a bilateral meeting that underlined the strong ties between the two nations.

The bilateral discussions held during the G-77+ China summit brought to light key areas of collaboration between Botswana and Uganda, including the urgent need for intervention in the current outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in Uganda, as well as potential partnerships in the dairy industry and animal health technology transfer.

During the state visit, Mr Masisi also visited Makerere University Innovation Hub, Kiira Motors Corporation Plant and the Source of River Nile in Jinja.

Mr Amoru last week expressed gratitude to Botswana for providing a home to hundreds of Ugandans working in various sectors, including health and education.

“High Commissioner Amb Amoru also took the opportunity to present the Letters of Recall of his predecessor, Amb Barbra Nekesa Oundo, and the Letters of Credence appointing him as High Commissioner Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uganda to the Republic of Botswana,” the statement from the Foreign Affairs ministry added.

At the same event, Mr Amoru also conveyed Mr Museveni’s message to his Botswana counterpart, pledging continuous cordial relations and bilateral ties.

“This gesture set the tone for a ceremony marked by respect and significance. President Masisi warmly welcomed High Commissioner Amb Amoru and expressed gratitude to President Museveni for the warm reception and hospitality he accorded to him while in Kampala on the sidelines of the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit and the 3rd South Summit of the Group of 77+ China,” the ministry added.