The President made the call today at State House Entebbe where, accompanied, by the First Lady, Hon. Janet Museveni, he received and hosted Turkish President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has been in the country on a 2-day official visit at the invitation of the President Museveni.
The Turkish leader, together with his wife, Ms. Emine Gulbaran, was accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister, Veysi Kaynak, Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu and the Minister of Economy, Nihat Zeybekci.
Upon being received by his host and the 1st Lady, President Erdogan was treated to a red carpet welcome and a 21-gun salute, among other ceremonies.
Welcoming his guests, President Museveni said that Uganda has got a lot of potential.
“Our struggle is to have more entrepreneurs to transform the potential into opportunities. We have got scientists who have patent without money. The Government supports them but we have got several commitments,” he said.
He expressed his pleasure over President Erdogans visiting Uganda with a delegation of 115 business people. He said that the Uganda Government strongly encourages the system of the business community building, operating and later transferring to the Government the various projects.
He, therefore, directed the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to identify a suitable site on River Nile for the construction of a hydro power station adding that such a site should be allocated to a Turkish contractor.
He urged President Erdogan to look into the abundant opportunities in the steel processing industry in Uganda and revealed that Uganda has supported Turkish Contractors who are building roads in the country.
He assured the delegation of continued support from the NRM Government. He informed his guest that the Government allocated 18 square miles of land in Kaweweta to a Turkish investor with the aim of promoting industries.
President Museveni also disclosed that a Turkish contractor would build an airport in Hoima in Bunyoro Sub-Region.
He congratulated President Erdogan for transforming Turkey, which he said, had stagnated in development. He observed that in the past Turkey was known as the sick man of Europe.
“I thank you because your contribution has totally transformed Turkey.”
In response, President Erdogan congratulated his host for starting a new term of office adding that the election result of 62% was such a big achievement. Mr. Erdogan said that the election result is testimony that the people of Uganda have shown their confidence in Mr. Museveni.
“As your friends in Turkey, we will always be there to support you,” said Mr. Erdogan who observed that Uganda has a population of 38 million while Turkey has got 39 million people.
He noted that this offered big markets for our goods and services.
President Erdogan further said that Uganda and Turkey are ready to collaborate in deference and security noting that terrorism is the common enemy of all regardless of where it comes from. He gave assurances that his Government would collaborate with Uganda in fighting the vice.
He, at this juncture, revealed that he would provide office equipment to Makerere University.
The Turkish President also disclosed that an investment agreement will be signed by the two governments in August this year noting that Uganda and Turkey have at their disposal several sectors in which the two countries could cooperate especially in infrastructure development, tourism and mining. He requested the Government of Uganda to work out an agreement on double taxation.
Mr. Erdogan thanked President Museveni for showing interest in Turkish companies and said through cooperation, Uganda would benefit by having direct employment of 200,000 people in the cotton industry. He also revealed that the Turkish Government is working on the rehabilitation of the Mission founded Kitovu Hospital in Masaka District.
President Erdogan further disclosed that his Government will facilitate the construction of water wells, water tanks and classrooms adding that Turkey has already availed 200 scholarships to Ugandan students. He pledged that Turkey will lift visa requirements on Ugandan diplomatic passports.
President Erdogan saluted President Museveni and the people of Uganda at large for supporting the peace process in Somalia through African Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
Commending his guest for the remarks, President Museveni concurred with Mr. Erdogan that the double taxation agreement should be signed quickly.
He assured him that direct taxation was not a priority, noting that the people employed would contribute through the taxation of consumer goods. He thanked the Turkish Government for the rehabilitation of Kitovu Hospital.