Friday, July 06, 2018

President Museveni has congratulated the Government and the People of the United States of America upon celebrating 242 years of self-determination.

He saluted the influential figures and forefathers of the United States of America such as George Washington among others for enduring the struggle that characterized the American revolution to unify diverse colonies into one great and prosperous country.

President Museveni made the remarks in his speech which was delivered by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda during the commemoration ceremony of the 242nd Independence day of the United States of America held at Ambassador Deborah Malac’s residence in Kololo on Thursday.

Museveni highlighted that the relations between Uganda and the United states of America have continued to thrive dating from way back in the Pre- independence times.

He acknowledged the support and solidarity the United States continues to extend to Uganda through the various cooperation programs.

“We have a number of partnership programs with the United States in areas such as governance, peace and security, humanitarian assistance, accountability sector and many others. The US continues to be our strategic ally in professionalizing the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, which is playing key- peace keeping roles in the region,” Museveni said

He also added that USA has been Uganda’s major ally in efforts to stabilize the region by enormously supporting the country in most of its peace and security operations aimed at ending conflicts in the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa.

Museveni also said that the US has been supportive of Uganda’s journey to economic transformation including achieving a middle income status through implementing a number of projects in the country.

“Under the Country Development Cooperation Strategy 2016-2021, the US firmly committed to address the fundamental constraints to Uganda’s development. Areas of strategic importance under this framework include; addressing bottlenecks to agriculture, productivity, environmental degradation, communicable diseases and training and educating Uganda’s labour force,” the President said.

President Museveni pledged Uganda’s continuous friendship with USA, and called upon the US and the International Community to carry on the spirit of partnership and solidarity which will enhance stability and create new opportunities for the region.

Her Excellency, Deborah Malac, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Uganda, highlighted that the theme of this year for America’s Independence Day was in honour of the Mississippi River which has a great influence on the culture, history and development of America.

She said the Independence Day is a great reminder for the Americans about upholding the values of democracy, equality and liberty in their country.

“For Americans, Independence Day is a day to remember the ideals that formed our country, which are democracy, equality, liberty and the power of an individual to control his or her destiny. The Declaration of Independence that was signed 242 years ago helped chart the course of our country and it began our experiment with democracy,” Malac said.

She also noted that United States of America celebrates its partnership and friendship with Uganda and is committed to strengthening the relationship further.

She said the Government of Uganda needs to harness the potential of the youth, who are the majority of the country’s population, adding that there is no limit to what the country can achieve if their potential is harnessed.

“We are all dedicated to the common effort of creating a healthy, prosperous, secure and democratic Uganda, and I am proud of the work we are doing together to accomplish this goal,” Malac said.

Malac also called upon government to elevate the status of women in the country to enable them contribute towards to its growth.

“If Uganda truly wants to prosper, it has to be more supportive of its female population. Uganda should do more to create opportunities for women and encourage them to contribute towards the country’s economic growth,” she said.

Malac noted that the country must do more to counter the widespread problem of gender based violence adding that women and men must be equal partners in building a prosperous Uganda.

She also asked the Government to strengthen efforts in fighting corruption in the country for development and pledged USA’s continuous support to Uganda in this regard.

The United States of America was declared independent from the Great Britain on 4th July 1776.

Ends

BY DOREEN NASASIRA