China commits to upgrade Entebbe airport


China and Uganda have signed multi-billion dollar cooperation deals including an agreement on the upgrading and expansion of Entebbe International airport, the E-Government ICT National Transmission Backbone project phase 3, construction of an Industrial Skills Training and Production Centre and concessional loan agreements worth 1.2 billion US dollars at a colourful ceremony on 31st March 2015 witnessed by President Yoweri Museveni and President President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.

“Your visit is very important. It has opened a new beginning of the China-Uganda relationships. It is result oriented and has achieved fruitful results,” President Xi Jinping said, describing President Museveni as a senior statesman and valuable friend of China.

President Museveni and the First Lady, who is also Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni, yesterday had an eventful day starting with the laying of the wreaths at the monument of the People’s Heroes, in the center of Tiananmen Square of Beijing, which was built to commemorate people’s revolutionary heroes in China’s history.

The President and his wife later paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang.

The President and his wife were later hosted to welcome ceremonies by President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Great Hall of the People.

“Africa is getting readier to cooperate with China in a more meaningful way. The Exim Bank is already supporting the construction of two dams: Isimba and Karuma. The Importance of the standard gauge railway launched on Kenyan side cannot be over emphasized. It needs to be extended to Uganda, South Sudan, DR Congo and Rwanda,” President Museveni said.

The President said in the near future when oil starts flowing, more money will be devoted to infrastructure development, agriculture, tourism development, etc.

“The issue of China giving Africa access to its markets tax and quota free for 440 products is a very big support. We buy a lot from China, exchange through trade is a good way to exchange meaningfully. I invite you, Mr. President, to visit Uganda which is in the centre of Africa,” Museveni said.

The President said Uganda is working with Kenya on the issue of the oil pipeline and that it has already got a developer for the oil refinery.

On the turbulences within the Africa Continent, President Museveni said these are caused by ideological mistakes of wrongly defining what an enemy is and that this coupled with underdevelopment and foreign interference had worsened the situation.

“When I hear your speeches, am happy to know you are talking of a win-win situation, no chauvinism, no arrogance and your position as China has been constant. We are ready to work with China to ensure stability in the world and for UN reforms,” Museveni said.

He invited the Chinese government to introduce Chinese airlines to Africa and Uganda in particular, saying this will help with the human to human contact and promote trade and tourism.

He thanked President Xi Jinping for the medical donations to Uganda and for the scholarships to Ugandan students.

President Jinping said China stands ready to work with Uganda, a country that boasts of rich natural and human resources and said his country was committed to supporting the development of human resource through industrial training.

“We have policies to promote a win-win situation between Uganda and China. China has successfully experimented with economic zones and industrial parks and stands ready to share experiences without any reservations,” he said.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of Works and Transport, Eng. John Byabagambi, that of Energy and Mineral Development, Eng. Irene Muloni, the Minister for Defence, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives, Mrs. Amelia Kyambadde, of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Mr. Matia Kasaija and of State for International Affairs, Mr. Okello Oryem, among other officials.


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