Speech by H.E Richard Kabonero Uganda’s High Commissioner to the United Republic of Tanzania at the Occasion of the 59th Independence Anniversary

Your Excellency our Guest of Honor, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Amb. Liberata Mulamula, 

Honourable Ministers present, 

Hon. Dr. Peter Mathuki, Secretary-General of the East African Community, 

Your Excellency, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps,

 Excellencies Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Heads of International and Regional Organizations,

Ms. Angelina Ngalula, Chairperson, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation,

Gen. Kasita Gowa, Director, Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration, Uganda,

Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Agencies, 

Distinguished Captains of Industry and Private Sector,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure and honour to welcome you all to this great occasion as we celebrate our 59th Independence Anniversary and to thank you for honoring our invitation.

Excellency Guest of Honor, thank you for sparing time from your demanding schedule to join Ugandans and friends of Uganda this evening. From your long and distinguished diplomatic career in service of Tanzania, the Region and Africa, we have no doubt that Tanzania and Jumuiya’s Foreign Policy is in good and experienced hands.

Honorable Minister and Dear Guests,

This Year’s Independence Anniversary theme is “Celebrating our 59th Independence Day as we Secure our Future through National Mindset Change.”

The Theme is in line with the four principles of the National Resistance Movement (NRM): Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, Social-Economic Transformation and Democracy. We believe these four principles will help us achieve our Vision 2040.

Excellencies, ladies and Gentlemen,

Every Independence Anniversary marks a key milestone in the quality of life of the citizens of our Countries. It represents the fulfillment of the dreams and visions of our founding fathers, who longed to see the people of Africa self-governing, independent, prosperous and co-existing happily with each other.  

As we celebrate 59 years of Independence, we are proud that the bonds of friendship and brotherhood between Uganda and Tanzania are historical, excellent and growing in breadth and depth.

Our bilateral cooperation is anchored by the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) due to meet in Kampala next month to review progress of our agreements.

Hon. Minister

For these engagements to be meaningful, the results have to be felt by the ordinary people of our two Countries and this is only possible through the rapid implementation of the agreed-upon decisions of the JPCs. Therefore, I pledge the commitment of my Government to walk the talk and fulfill our commitments as contained in the various MOUs and Agreements.

Excellency,

While Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania partnership has continued to strengthen, we must acknowledge that trade and investment between our two countries is lower than what is potentially possible.

We at the Uganda Mission will continue to work tirelessly towards creating an enabling environment that will allow the private sector to share experiences, start business to business networks, identify opportunities and eliminate challenges to trade and investment and ultimately lead to greater integration of our Region.

Our efforts to achieve Sustainable Economic Development must prioritize Regional Infrastructure Projects and Programs that will require an investment of approximately 80 billion U.S. dollars over the coming decade. Among the flagship infrastructure projects earmarked for coordinated development and implementation are the Standard Gauge Railway, the construction of new container terminals at Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mwanza, Port Bell and Bukasa Ports, and the expansion and construction of regional priority Airports.

We have also prioritized Energy Projects, including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), power generation from the various sources of hydro, geothermal, gas and coal, as well as power transmission connecting our two countries and the Region’s power pools.

We need to work together to develop these sectors to raise our manufacturing share of GDP through bilateral platforms and pool our resources as a Region to invest in more robust and modern infrastructure.

To this end, we sincerely appreciate the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for fast-tracking the designation of Uganda Airlines to operate scheduled international passenger and cargo services on the Entebbe-Dar es Salaam – Entebbe, Entebbe-Kilimanjaro-Entebbe and Entebbe-Zanzibar- Entebbe routes. We believe that this has eased travel within the Region and promoted tourism, trade and investment.

I also wish to commend the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania on the recently launched Southern route (Central Corridor) from Dar es Salaam port to Port-bell via Mwanza through Rail-Lake-Rail Multimodal Transport. I encourage the business community to consider using this route as it significantly reduces the cost of doing business.  

Finally, Hon Minister,

The United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda together with our EAC partners can expeditiously work on domesticating our airspace, consolidate one area network in communication, harmonize regulations on emerging technologies, protect our environment, allow free movement of goods and services and eliminate the remaining barriers to trade and Investment. The future of our people and Region is bright.

May I in conclusion propose a toast to Her Excellency, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and to the prosperity of the Tanzania People.

I THANK YOU.

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