Hon. Ababu Namwamba, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Honourable Chairpersons of Parliamentary Committees,
Heads of Ugandan Universities and Tourism Agencies,
Visiting Delegation of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces,
Ugandan Diaspora in Kenya,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
As we commemorate 59 years of Uganda’s independence, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to celebrate with us this evening. This afternoon, I officially closed a hybrid Exhibition and Conference that Uganda’s Missions in Kenya organised to celebrate the Independence Anniversary as well as promote tourism and education opportunities offered by the Pear of Africa. The week-long event in Kenya was informed by the national theme of “Celebrating our 59th Independence Day as we secure our future through national mindset change”.
As you join us to celebrate our self-rule for 59 years now, we Ugandans feel sense of pride and respect as we exercise our right to self-determination. We have built ourselves the foundations of a free nation; a nation characterised by unity, respect and solidarity; a nation in which there is no discrimination; a nation in which we all affirm one human equality and deserve equal respect; a nation in which land and other natural resources are a common and shared heritage of all of us; and a nation that promulgates equal opportunities for self-development for everyone.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Uganda’s Vision 2040, envisions “A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years”. In pursuit of this vision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our Diplomatic Missions abroad have a duty not only to pursue traditional Political Diplomacy but also to focus implementing Economic and Commercial Diplomacy. The successful Agri-business Symposium and Exhibition held in Mombasa last month and the current focus on Tourism and Education promotion during the Independence Week are welcome efforts in the right direction. Cognisant that Agriculture is the mainstay of our respective economies, it vital for the two Governments deliberately facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for the private sector to engage in a range of activities and partnerships to enhance trade in diverse agricultural products. It is urgent to address the identified challenges and constraints, including the tariff and non-tariff barriers that hinder the smooth flow of trade, as we also work together to secure new markets for our products beyond the region.
Uganda and Kenya enjoy excellent historical bilateral relations and close cooperation. Our political leaders, His Excellence President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and His Excellence President Uhuru Kenyatta, have been an embodiment of friendship and close working relations between our two countries; characterized by close cooperation, good neighborliness and inherent relationship that has existed among our people for centuries.
Similarly, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs continue to consult, coordinate and cooperate at various levels on areas of mutual interest, especially through the Joint Ministerial Session. During the Joint Ministerial Commission held in Nairobi in 2019, the two countries discussed a number of issues, mainly regarding economic, political and security cooperation. Uganda looks forward to hosting the second session in Kampala before the end of this year.
Our Guest of Honour,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Cooperation reinforces our shared desire and joint efforts for peace, stability and prosperity. There is a nexus between peace and security and development. There cannot be enduring peace without development; and neither can there be sustainable development without peace and stability. Cognisant of this reality, Uganda and Kenya have no option but to continue working together, addressing any identified constraints through established bilateral channels and fostering tourism, trade investment in the spirit of the East African Community integration as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The two countries have stood shoulder to shoulder in implementing initiatives aimed at promoting peace, security, stability and development within the region and the continent. Our political leaders and Diplomatic Missions work together to address or mitigate such challenges, including global terrorism, climate change, Covid-19 pandemic and United Nations Security Council Reform for fair and equitable representation. In this regard, I take this opportunity to congratulate the Republic of Kenya for assuming the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the Month of October 2021, and wish you an impactful stewardship; in furtherance of Agenda 2063 to build the Africa we want.
Currently, the world is faced with multiple international challenges of accelerated global warming, erosion of biodiversity, and pollution in different forms. Consequently, the Government of Uganda has presented its Candidature for the Presidency of the Sixth Session of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA6) in 2022 – with a vision of strengthening UNEP leadership role, visibility and impact to create the World We Want. The valuable support of Kenya, African and the world will facilitate Uganda’s election and effective leveraging of UNEA6 Presidency to rally and galvanise the world to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Ladies and Gentlemen
As I conclude, I joyfully reiterate my open invitation to you all – to visit, study, trade, invest or settle in Uganda; the Pearl of Africa; a free, friendly, hospitable, and independent nation in the heart of Africa.
It is now my honour and privilege to invite Hon. Ababu Namwamba, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya to address our Independence guests.
STATEMENT BY HON. JOHN MULIMBA
MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
IN CHARGE OF REGIONAL COOPERATION
ON THE OCCASION OF BANQUET DINNER
UGANDA’S 59TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY
AT SERENA HOTEL, NAIROBI, KENYA
SATURDAY, 9 OCTOBER 2021