Zambia and Uganda Good Friends

IT GIVES ME GREAT HONOUR AND PLEASURE TO EXTEND A WARM WELCOME TO MY ELDER BROTHER, PRESIDENT YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI, TO ZAMBIA ON THE OCCASION MARKING THE 52ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THIS COUNTRY’S INDEPENDENCE.

I AM TRULY DELIGHTED THAT HIS EXCELLENCY GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTED OUR INVITATION TO BE THE GUEST OF HONOUR FOR THIS HISTORIC OCCASION.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF OUR INVITATION CONFIRMS, THE CLOSE BONDS OF FRIENDSHIP EXISTING BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES. IN THIS RESPECT, I AM DELIGHTED TO RECEIVE YOUR EXCELLENCY AND YOUR DELEGATION AND I AM CERTAIN THAT YOU ARE HAPPY BEING HERE AND YOU HAVE TRULY ENJOYED OUR RENOWNED HOSPITALITY, THE ZAMBIAN HOSPITALITY.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

AT THIS JUNCTURE, I WOULD LIKE TO COMMEND YOU, SIR, FOR YOUR EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP WITHIN THE REGION, AND THE CONTINENT AS A WHOLE. THIS IS MANIFESTED NOT ONLY BY YOUR UNDYING COMMITMENT TO UPLIFTING THE LIVES OF THE UGANDAN PEOPLE, BUT ALSO, YOUR RELENTLESS EFFORTS AND ENDURING DEDICATION TO THE RESOLUTION OF CONFLICTS WITHIN THE GREAT LAKES REGION!

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

THE PEOPLES OF ZAMBIA AND UGANDA, SHARE COMMON VALUES AND PRINCIPLES PREMISED ON SOLID FOUNDATION ON WHICH OUR RELATIONS ARE BASED.

THE STRONG AND DEEP ROOTED BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES HAVE INDEED GROWN FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH IN RECENT YEARS. THIS IS AS EVIDENCED BY REGULAR CONTACTS AND INTERACTION AT ALL LEVELS.

THIS INCLUDE MY RECENT VISITS TO UGANDA WHEN, IN MAY OF THIS YEAR, I ATTENDED THE INAUGURATION OF YOUR EXCELLENCY AS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA, AS WELL AS MY ATTENDANCE OF THE COUNTER TERRORISM SUMMIT IN ENTEBBE IN JULY. I WAS ALSO GRACIOUSLY HOSTED TO A SUCCESSFUL STATE VISIT TO UGANDA IN JULY, 2015. THESE ARE SOME OF THE MANY CONTACTS AND INTERACTION THAT WE HAVE HAD BETWEEN ZAMBIA AND UGANDA.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

I AM CONFIDENT THAT, IN THE SPIRIT OF INTRA-AFRICAN COOPERATION, ZAMBIA AND UGANDA WILL CONTINUE TO SHARE PRACTICES AND EXPERIENCES FOR THE MUTUAL DEVELOPMENT OF OUR TWO COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES.

IT IS MY FIRM BELIEF THAT NOW, MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, THERE IS NEED FOR GREATER COLLABORATION AMONG AFRICAN COUNTRIES TO SEEK AND FIND AFRICAN SOLUTIONS TO THE URGENT AND UNIQUE CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE AFTER SO MANY DECADES OF POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE.
THESE CHALLENGES INCLUDE, HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT LEVELS AMONGEST OUR YOUTH; UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER PATTERNS RESULTING FROM CLIMATE CHANGE; POOR MOBILISATION OF LOCAL RESOURCES, AND VARIOUS ISOLATED CONFLICTS WITHIN THE REGION.

ZAMBIA, THEREFORE, LOOKS FORWARD TO THE CONTINUED COOPERATION IN AREAS OF MUTUAL INTEREST WITH YOUR EXCELLENCY’S GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREAS I HAVE HIGHLIGHTED, AS WE DELIBERATE ON THEM AT BOTH BILATERAL AND VARIOUS MULTILATERAL FORA.

THESE AREAS, YOUR EXCELLENCY ALSO INCLUDE THE COMMON MARKET FOR EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA (COMESA), THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE GREAT LAKES REGION (ICGLR), THE AFRICAN UNION (AU) AND INDEED THE UNITED NATIONS TO WHICH OUR TWO COUNTRIES BELONG.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

IN THIS REGARD, THE REVIVAL OF THE JOINT PERMANENT COMMISSION OF COOPERATION COMMONLY KNOWN AS JPC BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES REMAINS NECESSARY AND IMPORTANT, AS IT IS AN AVENUE THROUGH WHICH SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN ZAMBIA AND UGANDA CAN BE GREATLY ENHANCED.

FURTHERMORE, WITH REGARD TO THE EXISTING FREE TRADE AREA AGREEMENT, WHICH ZAMBIA AND UGANDA ARE PARTY TO; THERE IS NEED FOR OUR TWO COUNTRIES TO EXPEDITE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COMESA-EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY-SADC TRIPARTITE FREE TRADE AREA IN ORDER TO MAXIMISE THE POTENTIAL OF TRADE BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES AS WELL AS INTRA-AFRICA TRADE.

YOUR EXCELLENCY,

IN CONCLUSION, I WISH TO REAFFIRM MY GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO STRENGTHENING BILATERAL COOPERATION BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA.

I ALSO WISH TO REITERATE MY APPRECIATION FOR YOUR EXCELLENCY’S ACCEPTANCE OF OUR INVITATION TO VISIT ZAMBIA AND TO GRACE OUR INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS.

I THANK YOU.

24TH OCTOBER, 2016

    join our Newsletter