Amb. Richard T. Kabonero, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Tanzania.
Uganda’s High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ambassador Richard Kabonero has said that while Uganda and Tanzania partnership has continued to strengthen, trade and investment between the two countries is lower than what is potentially possible.
Kabonero made the remarks at an occasion to mark Uganda’s 59th anniversary celebrations under the theme “Celebrating our 59th Independence Day as we Secure our Future through National Mindset Change” at Serena Hotel, Dar es Salaam on Thursday.
Kabonero said the 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.”
He added: “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. We have 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.”
To this, he appealed for jointed efforts to develop the above sectors to raise manufacturing share of the GDP through bilateral platforms and pool resources as a Region to invest in more robust and modern infrastructure.
To this end, he said, “we sincerely appreciate 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. I also wish to commend 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. I encourage the business community to consider using this route as it significantly reduces the cost of doing business.”
Finally, he said that Uganda and Tanzania together with EAC partners can expeditiously work on domesticating airspace, consolidate one area network in communication, harmonize regulations on emerging technologies, protect environment, allow free movement of goods and services and eliminate the remaining barriers to trade and Investment.
“The future of our people and Region is bright,” he concluded.
Speaking at the same event, Amb. Liberta Mulamula, Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister said that 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,” he said adding that the pipeline will be one of the longest heated pipeline in the world.
“It will be Transformative in generating economic activities along the way,” he added.
Mulamula appealed to the private sector to take interest in the oil pipeline project to employ people and improve livelihoods.
As Amb Kabonero said, he added: “If we have domestication of air devices, it will be better.”
Regarding COVID-19, Mulamula said that Tanzania is committed and through EAC Programmes, and partnerships “we are moving to recovery. We are determined not to give in.”