China seeks to further ties with Uganda

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By FREDERIC MUSISI

KAMPALA.

President Museveni and visiting chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference held bilateral talks on Friday afternoon at State House-Entebbe, according to diplomatic sources.
Mr Museveni and Mr Wang Yang, among other topics, discussed Uganda-China relations, and regional issues.
Mr Wang, according to sources, also delivered an invite to the President for the Forum for China-Africa Summit (FOCAC) to take place in Beijing this September.
FOCAC, started 18 years ago, is a platform for China and friendly African countries to further collective consultation, dialogue and cooperation mechanism among developing countries. At the first high level FOCAC meeting in South Africa in 2015, Chinese President XI Jinping announced investments stimulus package of $60b for Africa.
Mr Wang, the number four in the Chinese Communist party’s politburo, arrived in Uganda on Wednesday for a three-day state visit, from the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville. He is next expected to visit neighbouring Kenya.
Diplomatic sources revealed that Mr Wang’s visit was aimed at “taking-stock” of Chinese funded projects in the three countries.

Kampala-Entebbe Expressway
By press time mid-afternoon yesterday, Mr Museveni and Mr Wang Yang were also due to commission the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, one of the signature projects in China-Uganda relations.
Construction of the 51.4km four-lane toll expressway commenced in November 2012 with an initial completion date of 2017, but was deferred to 2018.
The delay was forced by a myriad of unresolved land grievances that have held up works on some sections. The road is still yet to be fully completed. China’s Export–Import Bank extended a $476m (about Shs1.7 trillion) credit line to Uganda for the project.
The bank is also funding other government key infrastructure projects, including Shs1.5 trillion expansion of Entebbe airport, and the Karuma and Isimba hydropower dams, with a combined cost Shs6.7 trillion.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Wang held meetings with Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and visited the Liaosheng Industrial Park in Nakaseke district. During meeting, Dr Rugunda hailed the relations between Uganda and China, which he said are growing from strength.
Mr Wang was also scheduled to meet the Speaker of Parliament on Friday morning.
Today, Mr Wang is scheduled to preside over this year’s Dragon Festival 2018 at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe.
The activities will feature dragon boat racing and also local canoeing.

Monitor.co.ug

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