Zuma eyes Uganda oil

March 25, 2010
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, KAMPALA, Mar 25 – South African President Jacob Zuma arrived in Kampala Thursday for a two-day state visit, heading a large delegation expected to explore investment opportunities in Uganda\’s new-found oil wealth.

"The visit is a big opportunity for Uganda and South Africa, now that our country has discovered oil, they can help because they have the expertise in that field," Uganda\’s junior foreign minister, Isaac Musumba, told AFP.

"Other than oil, we have a lot of potential in many areas which I am sure the South African delegation will be interested in," he added.

Zuma, whose delegation includes several cabinet ministers and business leaders, received a 21-gun salute in Entebbe before going into a one-on-one meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

South Africa has a relatively small indigenous oil and gas industry but is exploring for more offshore and has several companies offering consulting services in refining and processing.

Uganda does not yet produce oil but is believed to have a large potential and giants such as France\’s Total and China\’s CNOOC are vying for a share of the country\’s existing oil fields.

Zuma, whose country is the world\’s leading producer of gold and platinum, was also expected to address members of Uganda\’s National Chamber of Minerals and Petroleum.

The South Africa leader was later scheduled to address the east African nation\’s parliament and is due to unveil the cornerstone of the Oliver Tambo Leadership Institute on Friday.

The school was named after one of Nelson Mandela\’s late comrade to honour 14 ANC anti-apartheid heroes who are buried in Uganda and in recognition of Museveni\’s historical support for the ANC.

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