H.E. Amb. Richard T. Kabonero, High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda, has hailed the bonds of friendship and brotherhood between Uganda and Tanzania which he called historical, excellent and growing in breadth and depth.
He was speaking on the occasion of the 59th independence anniversary celebrations at Serena Hotel, Dar Es Salaam on 21st October, 2021.
The Guest of Honour was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Amb. Liberata Mulamula.
Others present at the event were; Hon. Dr. Peter Mathuki, Secretary-General of the East African Community, Ms. Angelina Ngalula, Chairperson, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, Gen. Kasita Gowa, Director, Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration, Uganda, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Agencies, Distinguished Captains of Industry and Private Sector, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Heads of International and Regional Organizations.
This Year’s Independence Anniversary theme is “Celebrating our 59th Independence Day as we Secure our Future through National Mindset Change.”
The Theme is in line with the four principles of the National Resistance Movement (NRM): Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, Social-Economic Transformation and Democracy. We believe these four principles will help us achieve our Vision 2040.
Amb Kabonero said every Independence Anniversary marks a key milestone in the quality of life of the citizens of both Countries because it represents the fulfilment of the dreams and visions of founding fathers, who longed to see the people of Africa self-governing, independent, prosperous and co-existing happily with each other.
“Our bilateral cooperation is anchored by the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) due to meet in Kampala next month to review progress of our agreements. For these engagements to be meaningful, the results have to be felt by the ordinary people of our two Countries and this is only possible through the rapid implementation of the agreed-upon decisions of the JPCs. Therefore, I pledge the commitment of my Government to walk the talk and fulfill our commitments as contained in the various MOUs and Agreements.”
While Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania partnership has continued to strengthen, Amb Kabonero acknowledged that trade and investment between the two countries is lower than what is potentially possible.
“We at the Uganda Mission will continue to work tirelessly towards creating an enabling environment that will allow the private sector to share experiences, start business to business networks, identify opportunities and eliminate challenges to trade and investment and ultimately lead to greater integration of our Region.”
“Our efforts to achieve Sustainable Economic Development must prioritize Regional Infrastructure Projects and Programs that will require an investment of approximately 80 billion U.S. dollars over the coming decade.”
Among the flagship infrastructure projects earmarked for coordinated development and implementation are the Standard Gauge Railway, the construction of new container terminals at Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mwanza, Port Bell and Bukasa Ports, and the expansion and construction of regional priority Airports.
He said Uganda has also prioritized Energy Projects, including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), power generation from the various sources of hydro, geothermal, gas and coal, as well as power transmission connecting our two countries and the Region’s power pools.
“We need to work together to develop these sectors to raise our manufacturing share of GDP through bilateral platforms and pool our resources as a Region to invest in more robust and modern infrastructure.”
He appreciated the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for fast-tracking the designation of Uganda Airlines to operate scheduled international passenger and cargo services on the Entebbe-Dar es Salaam – Entebbe, Entebbe-Kilimanjaro-Entebbe and Entebbe-Zanzibar- Entebbe routes. We believe that this has eased travel within the Region and promoted tourism, trade and investment.
He further commended the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania on the recently launched Southern route (Central Corridor) from Dar es Salaam port to Port-bell via Mwanza through Rail-Lake-Rail Multimodal Transport.
He said the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda together with EAC partners can expeditiously work on domesticating our airspace, consolidate one area network in communication, harmonize regulations on emerging technologies, protect the environment, allow free movement of goods and services and eliminate the remaining barriers to trade and Investment.
In her turn, Hon Amb. Liberata Mulamula, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of The United Republic of Tanzania, said at a time when Tanzania was ready to get independence, Mwalimu Julius told the British that “can we delay so that our Neighbour’s get it and we celebrate on the same day?”
He sacrificed a few resources for the liberation of African countries. Among those he supported included Yoweri Museveni.
He took the courage to rid Uganda of brutal regime if IDI Amin, which opened a new chapter with the people of Uganda.
“We have had close bilateral relations. We share a lot in terms of history, demographic affinities and being members of EAC. These relations have now been transformed into economic partnerships. We have to celebrate our relationship through regional integration Cemented by JPC. This has become our new norm of our commercial diplomacy,” Amb Mulamula noted.
The pipeline will be one of the longest heated pipeline in the world. It will be Transformative in generating economic activities along the way.
“We encourage the private sector to take interest in this project to employ people and improve livelihoods. As Amb Kabonero said, If we have domestication of air devices, it will be better.”
She added: “Regarding COVID-19, we are committed and through EAC Programmes, and partnerships we are moving to recovery. We are determined not to give in. I look forward to being in Kampala next month for our Joint Permanent Commission.”