Your Excellency, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, my dear comrade, brother and friend,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Mr Dali Tambo and Mrs Tambo,
Thank you, Your Excellency, for a warm and wonderful welcome to my wife and I, as well as my delegation.
We wish to convey the warmest greetings of the government and the people of South Africa to Your Excellency, and to the government and the people of Uganda.
As we said earlier today, we are truly honoured and delighted to pay a State Visit to this beautiful country, which we regard as our second home.
We thank you, Your Excellency and your government for your gracious and kind hospitality.
We also thank the people of this country for their enthusiastic and warm reception.
For us this is truly a homecoming. We are indeed truly happy to be back so soon in this country, having visited this country in 2008 on party to party basis, the ANC visiting the National Resistance Movement.
Each time we visit, we are reminded of the fact that we are with people who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their South African brothers and sisters in unwavering solidarity as we waged a long and relentless struggle to achieve our liberation.
Since that momentous day, sixteen years ago, when South Africans celebrated the achievement of democracy, we have sought to strengthen the fraternal bonds forged over years of struggle.
We have been striving to build on our historic relationship through political, social and economic cooperation.
South Africa and Uganda remain engaged in a partnership for peace, security and stability on the continent.
This partnership was exemplified by the cooperation between our two countries in the pursuit of peace in Burundi.
We share a commitment to social development, economic integration and poverty eradication.
We are therefore pleased to see that a good number of South African companies have invested in Uganda, making South Africa one of country`s leading sources of foreign direct investment.
This interaction needs to be deepened and broadened, so that it can form a solid basis for greater intra-African economic activity.
African countries need to trade more with one another. The meeting of the business delegations of the two countries is taking us in that direction.
We must urge them and support them to ensure that the bonds of political solidarity translate into even stronger economic and trade ties which create decent jobs and improve the lives of our people.
Your Excellency and dear Comrade, we are particularly pleased that during this visit we will have the privilege of officially opening the OR Tambo School of Leadership.
Mr Dali Tambo, son of the illustrious ANC icon and leader, President Oliver Tambo, is part of our delegation and has joined us for this very important occasion.
We hope that this school will become a living symbol of the deep sense of gratitude of the South African people to the Ugandan nation.
It must also be a symbol of what President OR Tambo stood for - excellence, peace, harmony and justice all over the world.
In speaking about the pursuit of peace in Africa, I thank you in particular for the personal role you play in this regard. Under your leadership of the Great Lakes Regional Initiative on Burundi, we were able to go through many hurdles and finally found a workable solution.
You dedicated many days, months and years to this initiative. During my tenure as facilitator I could always count on your unwavering support.
Ladies and gentlemen we had a very successful start to the State visit and tomorrow`s programme will no doubt be as fulfilling as today`s engagements were.
Let me remind you that we look forward to celebrating the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup with you in South Africa.
Let us together show the world that Africa is ready to host a tournament of this magnitude! Ladies and gentlemen,
Please rise and join me in a toast to the good health and prosperity of His Excellency, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and to the continued excellent relations and friendship between the wonderful people of Uganda and South Africa!
I thank you.