As part of his Ongoing official visit to China, Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Xi Jinping on Tuesday led their respective teams at the Great Hall of the People into signing memoranda that will see the two countries collaborate in Infrastructure, Trade, Health and Security.
The head of state described China as ‘’ a reliable partner’’
‘’Met Chinese President, Xi Jinping and held bilateral talks with him at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. I thank him for inviting me to China and asking me to officially open the follow-up meeting on the FOCAC resolutions.’’ President Museveni said after the meeting.
‘‘Besides their role in supporting our African liberation cause, I also thank the Chinese government, especially under President Jinping, for supporting Africa’s development. China has helped us build two dams and set up industrial parks. ‘’ Mr. Museveni added.
Africa is facing another potential debt crisis today, with around 40 percent of low-income countries in the region now in debt distress or at high risk of it, according to an IMF report released a year ago.
Uganda seeks to construct the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Busia border to Kampala – the first leg of the line. However, the government hopes that China can provide money for the project.
On the other hand, Beijing is reluctant to commit money because it wants assurance from Kenya that its railway line will stop at the Busia border to make business sense.
Uganda needs up to $ 3.2 billion for the SGR to Kampala.
The president also that Africa and China need to emphasize what some people do not seem to remember-‘ ‘Modern wealth and jobs creation, means, as already alluded to in these remarks, understanding the importance of two primary actors: the producer and consumer. When I buy what you produce, I am supporting your prosperity and vice-versa. High levels of production without high levels of consumption, will result into a disequilibrium like that that occurred in 1929 that preceded the Great Depression in the capitalist World. ‘’
He explained that Africa and China should establish an equitable trade and development model that should emancipate humanity from the primitive tendencies of win-lose situations.
‘ ‘We should all work for win-win frameworks. China, by supporting infrastructure, which is the base of the production of tradable goods and services is already moving in the right direction. Indeed, all the other seven points in the Beijing Declaration are very crucial and coincide with the desired resolution of the strategic bottlenecks that we had independently identified. Let China and Africa move forward. We are moving in the right direction.’’
Uganda and China signed five Memoranda of Understanding in different sectors.
The first pact was a framework agreement between the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Uganda’s Finance Ministry on developing cooperation on production capacity.
The second pact will see the two countries “jointly promote the implementation of the economic and trade measures of the eight major initiatives of the FOCAC Beijing Summit.”These include industrial promotion; Infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation; green development; capacity building; health care; people to people exchange; peace and security.
The third agreement will see the countries enhance cultural cooperation between 2019 and 2022.
The fourth pact is a grant aid of Yuan 300 million (about Ugx. 161bn) from the Chinese government to Uganda to be used for implementation of projects to be agreed on by both countries.
The final pact, worth Yuan 34.6 million, will be support to Uganda by China for the G77 Summit to be held in Kampala in terms of SUV vehicles and conference support.
Chinese President Jinping thanked President Museveni for working closely with China and honouring the invitation. “I am glad that our countries, especially under your leadership, have seen a deepening political mutual trust while we maintain close coordination in many aspects,” he said.
He reiterated his country’s commitment to support Africa and Uganda’s development in a respectful and equitable manner.