Kabonero: $ 80 billion needed over next 10 years to develop robust regional infrastructure

Uganda’s envoy to Tanzania Amb Richard Kabonero called for large-scale investments in regional infrastructure projects to boost trade, investment and tourism which he said would create limitless economic opportunities for the inhabitants of both countries.

“Joint efforts to achieve sustainable economic development must prioritize regional infrastructure projects and programs that will require an investment of around US $ 80 billion over the next decade,” Kabonero said.

Uganda and Tanzania have strengthened their bilateral relations through joint trade and infrastructure projects.

Some of the flagship infrastructure projects for coordinated development and implementation by Tanzania and Uganda include standard gauge railway, construction of new container terminals in Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mwanza, Port Bell and Bukasa, as well as the expansion and construction of priority regional ports. airports.

“We have also prioritized energy projects, in particular the East African Oil Pipeline (EACOP), the production of electricity from different sources of hydraulic, geothermal, gas and coal energy, as well as transport electricity connecting our two countries and the region’s power pools. Kabonero said.

“The future of our people and our region is bright,” he said.

The envoy spoke at the celebrations marking the 59th anniversary of Uganda’s independence, held at the Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The event attracted dozens of Ugandans living in Tanzania, diplomats, government officials and the business community.

Kabonero admitted that wAlthough the partnership between Uganda and Tanzania has continued to strengthen, trade and investment between the two countries is below what is potentially possible.

In August, the Bank of Uganda and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics reported that imports from Tanzania had leveled off a seven-month surge, replacing Kenya as the main source of Uganda’s imports into the region.

Ugandan imports from Tanzania amounted to $ 149 million, followed by Kenya with $ 71.6 million.

“Tanzania and Uganda, along with our EAC partners, can work quickly to domesticate our airspace, consolidate a communications network, harmonize regulations on emerging technologies, protect our environment, allow free movement. goods and services and remove remaining barriers to trade and investment. “Kabonero said.

Tanzania and Uganda are planning the private oil and gas sector symposium on November 25 in Dar es Salaam to increase awareness of business opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

“We at the Uganda Mission will continue to work tirelessly to create an enabling environment that will allow the private sector to share experiences, start business-to-business networks, identify opportunities and eliminate challenges. for trade and investment and ultimately lead to greater integration of our region. “Kabonero said.

The event was spiced up by the B52 bang group which kept the guests entertained all night long.

Ties with Tanzania

Tanzanian Foreign Minister Ambassador Liberata Mulamula recounted how former President Julius Nyerere called on British colonialists to delay Tanganyika’s independence until all East African countries obtain their independence.

“At a time when Tanzania was ready to gain independence, Mwalimu Julius said to the British: ‘can we delay so that our neighbors get it and we celebrate on the same day?’ “

Amb Mulamula said Nyerere sacrificed Tanzania’s meager resources to liberate African countries from colonialists and Uganda from the brutal rule of Idi Amin “which opened a new chapter with the Ugandan people”.

“We have had close bilateral relations. We share a lot in terms of history, demographic affinities and belonging to the EAC. We must celebrate our relationship through regional integration. Our relationship was cemented by the Permanent Joint Commission (PJC). It has become the new standard of our trade diplomacy, ”said Mulamula.

She also reaffirmed Tanzania’s commitment to the construction of the 1,445 kilometer pipeline that will transport crude oil to southern Uganda for export to the port of Tanga in Tanzania.

“The pipeline will be one of the longest heated pipelines in the world. We are writing history together. The pipeline will generate economic activity along the way. We urge the private sector to take an interest in this project to employ people and improve their livelihoods, ”she said.

Tanzania recently launched the southern route (central corridor) from Dar es Salaam port to Portbell via Mwanza via Rail-Lake-Rail multimodal transport.

Kabonero urged the business community to consider using this route as it drastically lowers the cost of doing business.

He also commended Tanzania for speeding up the designation of Uganda Airlines to operate scheduled international passenger and freight services on the Entebbe-Dar es Salaam – Entebbe, Entebbe-Kilimanjaro-Entebbe and Entebbe-Zanzibar-Entebbe routes.

“We believe this has made it easier to travel around the region and encouraged tourism, trade and investment. “

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