Museveni’s visit set to cement economic ties

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UGANDA President, Yoweri Museveni, arrives in the country tomorrow for a two-day state visit, to explore various potential areas of bilateral economic partnership, among them, the improved cargo clearance at the Dar es Salaam Port.

President Museveni will also hold talks with his host, President John Magufuli on the East African Common Market as well as the ongoing project for the construction of the 1,443-kilometre pipeline to transport crude oil from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga Port, among others.

Mr Museveni’s visit further aims at strengthening bilateral relations between Tanzania and Uganda as well as discussing various regional and international matters, areas of cooperation between the two countries including energy, business and infrastructure amongst others, according to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga Addressing a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Dr Mahiga said a plane carrying the Ugandan leader will touch down at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) tomorrow at around 9:00a.m.

“The president and his delegation, on the first day of the visit to the country, will take a short breather after leaving the JNIA at Dar es Salaam’s Serena Hotel before heading for the State House where Mr Museveni will be received by Dr Magufuli for a closed door meeting,’’ Dr Mahiga said.

Later in the day, President Magufuli and his guest will hold yet another open meeting that will be attended by top leaders from both countries that will be followed by a State Banquet for Mr Museveni hosted on his honour by Dr Magufuli, according to the minister.

On the second day (Sunday), Mr Museveni is expected to visit various areas including factories owned by Bakhresa Group, one of Tanzania’s largest conglomerates with investment in Uganda and other African countries. According to Dr Mahiga, the Ugandan President will later visit the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA).

Uganda is a landlocked country that depends on its neighbours for cargo clearance and transportation.

“Uganda has for a long time been using the Mombasa Port in Kenya where 99 per cent of its cargo is cleared and the remaining one per cent at the Dar es Salaam Port,’’ he said, adding that the reluctance to clear cargo at Dar Port was mainly caused by some discrepancies that have now been cleared.

Dr Mahiga expressed optimism that with the current improved services at TPA, the Ugandan leader was likely to reverse the decision for his country to capitalise on the Mombasa Port and instead opt for the Dar es Salaam Port after his tour of the port this Sunday. Business cooperation between Tanzania and Uganda continues to grow as time goes on.

According to the minister, in 2016 alone, Tanzanian exports to Uganda stood at 126.7bn/- compared to 99.9bn/- in the corresponding period in 2015. Equally, Dr Mahiga added, Ugandan imports into Tanzania in 2016 stood at 66.8bn/- compared to 78.3bn/- in 2015.

The Ugandan country’s top boss will also hold talks with Dr Magufuli on the project for the construction of the 1,443-kilometre pipeline to transport crude oil from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga Port which is expected to be complete by 2020.

The implementation of the project will open employment opportunities to Tanzanians as well as open a business zone in northern parts of Uganda and Tanzania, as well as strengthening cooperation in the East African Common Market.

  ©Alleastafrica and Daily News

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