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Amb. James Mbahimba adresses Media over Uganda's 58 Independence anniversary:

Friday, 16th October 2020
Amb. James Mbahimba adresses Press over Uganda's 58th Independence Celebration
Today marks the 58th anniversary of Uganda’s Independence, and this year we
celebrate Uganda’s steady progress towards economic takeoff and self-sustaining
economic growth. Such progress has been possible with able leadership, a peaceful
and secure environment, conducive economic environment and cooperation from

I would therefore like to take this opportunity to extend our profound gratitude to
the Government and People of the Democratic Republic of Congo for the
friendship and cooperation over the years. I am further honored on this occasion to
convey the warm greetings and goodwill of His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta
Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda to His Excellency F.A. Tshisekedi
Tshilombo, as well as the People and Government of the Democratic Republic of

On behalf of the people and government of Uganda, I hereby express sincere
sympathy and deep condolences to the people and Government of the Democratic
Republic of Congo, especially to the families of those who have lost their lives as a
result of the Covid -19 pandemic and the victims of the recent collapse of a gold
mine in Kamituga – South Kivu Province.

Progress Towards Economic Takeoff and Self-Sustaining Economic Growth
Over the years, Uganda has continued to place self - sustaining economic growth
on top of her agenda. This is projected in the different phases of the National
Development Plans that are geared towards transforming Ugandan society from a
peasant to a modern and prosperous country by 2040. Strategies for achieving
transformation include: enhancing value addition in key growth opportunities,
strengthening private sector capacity to drive growth and create jobs, consolidate
and increase stock and quality productive infrastructure, increase productivity,
inclusiveness and wellbeing of population and strengthen the role of the public
sector in the growth and development process.

Uganda cannot achieve that by her own, and hence puts great emphasis to both
bilateral, regional and international cooperation. I am glad to note that at a Bilateral
level, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been one of the key partners in
Uganda’s growth trajectory.

Bilateral Relations

Uganda and the DRC enjoy cordial and friendly relations that have witnessed
several high level exchange visits between the Presidents of the two sister
countries, Cabinet Ministers and Government Dignitaries. The two countries share
a common border, stretching 877 kms, common languages and a common cultural
heritage, all of which offer opportunities for cooperation in diverse fields, in
pursuit of stability, prosperity and also closer regional integration.
To cement our relationship, the two countries established a Joint Permanent
Commission Cooperation Agreement in 1986, and have since then cooperated in
different fields. Several agreements have been signed between the two countries
including the Agreement of Cooperation for the Exploration of Hydrocarbons and
Exploitation of Common Fields, June, 1990; the Luanda Agreement on
Cooperation and Normalization of relations, September, 2002; the Ngurdoto
Agreement on Bilateral cooperation signed in Tanzania on 08 September 2007; and

the recent Agreement signed by President Y.K. Museveni and President F.A.
Tshisekedi Tshilombo in November 2019 concerning the construction and
upgrading of 1,182 km main road networks connecting the two countries; which
all aim at reaffirming the joint commitment to promote social, cultural, economic
and political cooperation in order to achieve peace, security and prosperity of our
countries and the well-being of our people.

Economic Matters

The DRC is one of the major trade partners for Uganda but there is still need to
regularize and strengthen trade between the two countries. Rotational annual
platforms for business matching, opportunity identification and investment
promotion have been established, with the last Business Forum being held in
Kampala in November 2019. The Forum that attracted over 500 participants from
the Ugandan and Congolese Business Fraternity will again be held in Kinshasa as
soon as the world normalizes from the scare and effects of the Covid – 19


To further enhance mutual economic growth and prosperity, infrastructure
development projects have been mutually designed which include building bridges
in Ishasha – Kanungu, Mpondwe – Kasindi, and Budiba – Burasya. The upcoming
upgrading of road networks through Goli / Mahagi – Bunia (181Kms), MpondweBeni( 80Kms), and Bunagana-Rutshuru – Goma ( 89Kms) will further
enhance connectivity between the two countries. The services of the Embassy
of Uganda in Kinshasa are intended to be taken closer to the people in the Eastern
Region by establishing a Liaison Office in Goma.
In addition to that, mobility and connectivity between the two countries will soon
be further eased by Uganda Airlines and Eagle Air Uganda operationalizing direct
flights of only two comfortable hours to and from Entebbe and Kinshasa.
I therefore invite government establishments and the private sector to take
advantage of the existing economic cooperation and its accompanying initiatives.


The tourism sector though threatened by the Covid – 19 Pandemic is still one of
the booming sectors in Uganda. With hospitable people, cool weather, organic

food varieties, pocket friendly accommodation coupled to affirmed security,
Uganda is a relaxing and memorable tourist destination for holiday makers. In
fact it has been named as the ‘Best Tourist Destination’ twice in a row by Lonely
Planets and as one of the “Best of the World 20 MUST see Places” by the National
Geographic Traveler Magazine. I strongly encourage you to offer yourself a chance
to visit Uganda and experience the unique diversity of the Pearl of Africa.

Political Matters

In light of the fact that development cannot be achieved without security and
stability, the two countries have continued to cooperate in this field. A number of
cooperation frameworks do exist bilaterally and regionally, and Uganda takes the
issues embedded in the frameworks seriously. Uganda welcomes the political will
exhibited by President F.A. Tshisekedi Tshilombo in ensuring the stability of the
country and the region at large. The Government of Uganda continues to express
her commitment in cooperating with the Government of the Democratic Republic
of Congo in this field.

On this occasion, I am further pleased to extend warm and sincere greetings to the
friends of Uganda in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Angola,
the Republic of Congo- Brazzaville, the Republic of Gabon and the Central African
Republic (CAR) as well as hearty congratulations to the community of Ugandans
living and working in those areas.

I wish you a happy October 9th Uganda National Day celebrations.
For God and My Country

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Source: Uganda Embassy - Kinshasa