Museveni, Suluhu to business Community, Exploit investment, Trade Opportunities
DAR-ES-SALAAM, TANZANIA: President Yoweri Museveni has said a federated East Africa would create a united market for the businesses of 200million people, who will be 401 million by 2050, (according to the UN projections), adding, a political federation would also make it easier to handle issues of insecurity such as the insecurity in Eastern Congo, Somalia, Mozambique, etc., which affects even the countries that are stable because ‘we have not and we cannot build walls between these sister countries’.
The President was today addressing the Business Community at the Business Forum held at State House Dar-es-Salaam. The Forum was held alongside the EACOP Symposiums organized by the Tanzania and Uganda Private sectors.
“East Africa is quite homogenous, around the language of Swahili on top of the shared heritage of the Bantu, Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic and Cushitic peoples of this area. It is these similarities and ancient linkages that should enable East Africa to achieve maximum unity in the form of both political (federation) and economic (common market) integration,” he said.
President Museveni is in Tanzania for a three-day state visit at the invitation of Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Her Excellency Suluhu Hassan and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, addressed a joint business Forum during which they urged the business community to embrace the spirit of cooperation between the two countries and to explore opportunities to enhance bilateral trade and investment. They further directed the Ministers of the relevant sectors to meet as frequently to address the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and find solutions to challenges relating to trade.
President Museveni said the two levels of integration; political and economic for East Africa as well as economic for Africa - would create a bloc with which we can negotiate durable market access internationally with the USA, China, EU, Russia, India, Japan, Indonesia etc.
“You remember the World is Mpa, nkuwe ! give me so that I give you also – reciprocity. Why all those efforts? It is on account of our search for prosperity (jobs, goods and services, a bigger Government revenue, tax base, more export earnings, more value addition, better infrastructure, better services such as health and education) and strategic security (stronger armies that are able to ensure security and defend us against any and all enemies of whatever potential), taking advantage of our similarities, linkages and a common history,” he said.
On the issue of Climate Change, President Museveni said the climate salvation efforts are targeting, correctly, the use of coal for power generation and the internal combustion engines that should be replaced by electric engines.
He said there are safer uses of oil including Car tyres which are synthetic and are much stronger than the rubber ones; Chairs and car-seats; Polyester for textiles to mix with cotton; Medicine; Bitumen (asphalt); Cosmetics; Detergents and Packages, etc.
“Here, the environment issue is no longer green-house gases but waste-disposal. Can we not perpetually recycle some of those for re-use, he asked.
The President informed Tanzanian, Ugandans, all the global citizens, that the East African pipeline business is a good, durable business.
“It will create jobs during construction and after. Other service providers will also be able to supply those who work in the oil sector e.g. hotels, transport, food–suppliers etc. Unlike Japan or Korea or Saudi Arabia who are either do not have oil or only have oil, East Africa has got everything: agriculture, minerals, forests, oil, gas etc. Once the environmental concerns are addressed, the sky is the limit,” he said.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on her part, expressed gratitude to President Museveni for spending his precious time in Tanzania and addressing the Business Forum and EACOP symposium in particular.
She said Tanzania appreciates Uganda’s support towards the realization of the East African Crude oil Pipeline project and subsequent social economic development of the two countries.
The one day Business Forum was organized by the government of Tanzania and aimed at providing a platform for the private sector to network, understand industry opportunities and challenges, showcase capabilities through sharing of knowledge and experiences as well as identify key strategies that can enable partnerships between the two countries.
While the two day EACOP symposium was organized by Tanzania and Uganda Private sector bodies and run under the theme: “enhancing Private sector participation in the oil and gas sector”.
It is estimated that during first construction phase of EACOP, Uganda and Tanzania will see increase of over 60% in foreign direct investment. The oil and gas project shall total up to US US$20b with EACOP investment alone at over US$3.5b.
The symposium attracted private sector players as well as senior government officials eager to tap into oil and gas business.
Later, President Museveni visited and toured the Port of Dar es Salaam and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and was impressed by the developments at the Port and SGR that will improve the movement of cargo destined to Uganda hence reducing the cost of doing business in the two countries.