Uganda foreign minister Hon. Sam K. Kutesa, says Uganda is ready to take its cooperation with Russia to another level.
He made the remarks during a meeting of the joint permanent commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation between Uganda and the Russian Federation on Thursday.
The meeting was attended by Alexey Volin, Deputy Minister of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.
Volin later met I met President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Entebbe.
Their discussion focused on areas of interest for both countries; agriculture, tourism, education and ICT.
Kutesa said Uganda and the African continent have previously benefited from Russian cooperation since the anti-colonial struggle, and consolidation of national and continental independence; to the struggle against Apartheid.
He said since the Official Visit to Moscow by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in December 2012, there has been renewed momentum to strengthen the cooperation.
“At political and diplomatic levels, our cooperation and consultations between Ministries of Foreign Affairs were augmented since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 14th May, 2014.”
He said consultations on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern are an on-going endeavour.
“Uganda welcomes the close collaboration with the Russian Federation on issues of regional peace and security, especially as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council.”
The Russian Federation continues to be a strong ally on regional issues on the Security Council’s agenda, especially on issues of sanctions, human rights and international governance.
He said the Agreement establishing this Commission provides a wide scope for the cooperation, including in areas such as defense and security; increasing trade and investment; supporting agriculture and agro-processing; energy and infrastructure development; and natural resources development and management.
Uganda’s push towards socio-economic transformation, and graduation to middle income status, will no doubt benefit from this endeavour.
Through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives; Private Sector Foundation; and the Uganda Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Government of Uganda will encourage business people to take full advantage of this opportunity.
The government will also continue to improve the business environment to attract quality investments from the Russian Federation.
“There should be a return Uganda business delegation visit to Moscow at an appropriate date and time next year.”
He said ICT has also become central to business management systems, while also supporting the growth and development of the services sector.
“This is an important area for our cooperation, not only to explore the full potential it generates, but also to mitigate against the dangers it has created – including issues such as money laundering and cybercrime.”