Equatorial Guinea presented the highest honour of their country, the Great Collar of Independence Award, to President Yoweri Museveni on Friday.
President Yoweri Museveni received the award from his host His Excellency Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, on Friday evening. PPU photos
DEPARTURE: President Yoweri Museveni laft on Friday for Equatorial Guinea for a four-day state visist. He was seen aoof at Entebbe International Airport by officials who included IGP Kale Kayihura
Museveni was received in Equatorial Guinea's capital Malabo on Friday afternoon
Museveni with his host Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on arrival
The President received a 21-gun salute and later inspected a guard of honour mounted by officers and men of Equatorial Guinean Army
Inspection of the guard of honour
Museveni was warmly received by the people of Equatorial Guinea
Enthusiastic people welcomed the President
Museveni waves to the people at the airport
The President was later driven to a state dinner at the Presidential Palace in Malabo
The anthems of both countries were played
Museveni receives the honour from his host
The award certificate
Museveni speaks about the honour:
Acknowledging the award, the highest honour bestowed to a respectable guest and who has made an outstanding contribution to the cause of the African continent, President Museveni said he was humbled by the “unexpected award.”
“I congratulate Equatorial Guinea for using the oil and gas very well. Some people say oil and gas are curses but in Equatorial Guinea it is a blessing, not a curse,” said President Museveni.
“It is only a curse if you are corrupt, not focused and do not use that perishable resource strategically and correctly,” said President Museveni, who added that Uganda would copy some of the best practices since it has also discovered oil.
Oneness of Africa
Noting that the Bantu people of Africa originated from around Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, President Museveni said his presence and that of his delegation was to reaffirm the oneness of African people.
“The people of Africa are either similar or linked and it is crucial we use this oneness to build strength and prosperity,” he said. “The only problem we have now is limited infrastructure to link us. The easiest way is to start with air transport and telephones. But eventually we must then solve the problem of the railway from the Indian Ocean to the centre of the continent.”
He said a railway from port cities of Mombasa, Dar es Salaam or Doula to the heartland of the continent would greatly advance this cause.
According to President Museveni, his visit to Equatorial Guinea, therefore, was hinged on two targets; looking at how to support prosperity of each other but also focus on the question of strategic security.
The guests during the dinner
The Ugandan delegation includes the Energy Minister Irene Muloni, International Relations State Minister Okello Oryem and Land Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Peter Elwelu.
On his part, President Obiang thanked his guest for honouring his invitation, saying the two countries were steadily growing their bilateral and multi-lateral ties catalyzed by shared political similarities.
“At a political level we believe in defence and sovereignty of our nations. We also believe in Pan-Africanism for self-determination and reliance,” he said, adding that the countries also shared economic and technological ties.