Tuesday, December 18, 2018

BY DOREEN NASASIRA

The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has said Uganda appreciates the strong bond of cooperation and friendship it shares with the Province of Hunan, adding that the two countries have witnessed frequent exchanges at the technical and enterprise level.

The Premier made the remarks while chairing the bilateral talks meeting between Uganda and Hunan delegation which took place at the office of the Prime Minister in Kampala on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister said the relationship which binds Africa and China is historical and fundamental and remains strong up to date.

“China stood with the African people during our liberation struggle against the yoke of colonialism and imperialism. China helped to construct a railway line from Zambia to Tanzania to defeat the blockade that the racist colonial regimes in Southern Africa had placed on Zambia,” Dr. Rugunda said.

 Rugunda also noted that Africa supported China at the United Nations Security Council during the Post- colonial era, adding that Uganda has established and maintained diplomatic relations with China since 1962.

The Premier highlighted that a general memorandum of understanding on economic and trade cooperation between Uganda and the Province of Hunan was signed in June, 2018, and it was agreed that other specific memorandums of understanding in the areas of agriculture, mining, energy, industrialization and tourism will be signed simultaneously.

Dr. Rugunda also said developmental projects between Uganda and Hunan Province are already underway in the areas of industrial park construction, mining and energy.

“Uganda has now earmarked land for the development of the Ugandan Hunan industrial park. The technical officers of both Uganda and Hunan province have had discussions on the matter of assisting Uganda to develop fully the laboratory capacity so that the country does not externalize mineral samples for testing in the future. We are also ready to work with Hunan to develop a power planning and management strategy,” the Premier said.

Rugunda noted that Uganda is committed to working with China to boost trade relations aimed at increasing the country’s agriculture commodity exports to China. The commodities include, coffee, mango chips, sesame, chia seeds, processed cassava products, cotton and honey among others.

The Deputy Governor of Hunan Province, His Excellency, He Baoxiang, noted that Uganda and Hunan Province have striking similarities in terms of the economic activities carried out especially in the areas of agriculture, mining and tourism.

He pledged Hunan’s commitment and support to the development of Uganda especially in the field of agriculture.

He said Uganda has great potential in the area of agricultural development and therefore the Province of Hunan support it by working on projects that will enhance agriculture as well as other sectors such as mining, construction of industrial parks and Energy in the country.

Mr. Boaxiang thanked the government for supporting the cooperation between Uganda and Hunan Province. He emphasized that the strategies being discussed between the Presidents of China and Uganda shall be implemented.

A solar and biomass development memorandum of understanding was signed during the talks.

The Meeting was also attended by the Vice Secretary General of Hunan Province, Luo Jianjun, the Minister of Tourism, Prof. Kamuntu, the Minister of General Duties in OPM, Mary Karooro, the Minister of Energy, Irene Muloni, Uganda’s Ambassador in China, Dr. Cripus Kiyonga and other senior government officials.

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