By Vision Reporter
President Museveni has praised his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, for being active in reducing bottlenecks that impede smooth trade in the region citing reduction of road blocks and weigh bridges.
"President Kenyatta is very active, this I must tell you. In the few months, he has already made an impact on making it easy for the people of the region to use the East African market for prosperity. In the few months President Kenyatta has been in office he has on his own initiative moved and reduced road blocks from 200 to only 2 and also left only one Weigh Bridge," he said.
(L-R) Presidents Museveni, Uhuru Kenyatta and Paul Kagame pose a group photo after the commissioning Berth No.19
President Museveni in his capacity as the current Chairperson of the East African Community, was today officiating at the commissioning of the new Berth No 19 at Mombasa port at a colourful ceremony witnessed by the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, his host President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto as well as delegates from South Sudan and Burundi.
The President together with the visiting dignitaries were led through the layout of the port since its construction in the 1920s and current development taking place including the new Berth No 19.
President Museveni, flanked by President Paul Kagame and his hosts Kenyatta and Ruto, then flagged off the offloading of the first container from the berth and unveiled a commemorative plaque.
Museveni congratulated Uhuru Kenyatta for the achievement and commended the Kenya Port Authority for the excellent vision of expanding the capacity of the port. He said trade between Uganda and Kenya had increased tremendously and Kenya now imports US$700m worth of goods from Uganda.
The Kenya sh5.6m facility will create an additional capacity of 250,000 units at the container terminal.
The EAC leaders, ministers and government officials at the commissioning of Berth No.19
Addressing the gathering, President Museveni noted that the berth is very crucial for agricultural producers, industrialists as well as service providers. He emphasised the need for integration of East Africa adding that it was all about enabling producers to operate sustainably and have a ready market regionally.
The President expressed his delight for the increased capacity at the port and pointed out that only parasites will be sad.
"We are all happy when we hear that this port has increased capacity; maybe parasites are the ones who are not happy. It is therefore my honor as President of Uganda and Chairman of the East African Community, together with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Paul Kagame to come here to officiate at the commissioning of this Berth No 19,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated his government’s commitment to the East African integration.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame extended greetings from the people of his country to the leadership and the people of Kenya adding that wanainchi in Rwanda look forward to working with their brothers and sisters in Kenya in promoting the agenda of integration.
Deputy President of Kenya William Ruto described the occasion as historic as the facility along with other infrastructure will assist the people of East Africa to do business and expand investment in the region.
The Uganda delegation at the function included the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa; Minister of Internal Affairs General Aronda Nyakairima, Minister of Trade Amelia Kyambadde, that of Energy, Irene Muloni, Minister of Finance Maria Kiwanuka, Professor Tarsis Kabwegyere and that of Works and Transport, Abraham Byandala.
The Woman MP Otuke Hon. Annet Nyakecho and that of Kasese Municipality James Mbalumba also attended.