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Museveni hails China over aid

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th November 2009 03:00 AM

President Yoweri Museveni has commended the Chinese government for its aid programme for Africa, which includes $10b in concessionary loans. Meeting Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in Egypt on Sunday, Museveni said China can support projects like the hydro-pow

President Yoweri Museveni has commended the Chinese government for its aid programme for Africa, which includes $10b in concessionary loans. Meeting Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in Egypt on Sunday, Museveni said China can support projects like the hydro-pow

By Vision Reporter

President Yoweri Museveni has commended the Chinese government for its aid programme for Africa, which includes $10b in concessionary loans. Meeting Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in Egypt on Sunday, Museveni said China can support projects like the hydro-power dam at Karuma and a toll road from Entebbe Airport to Uganda’s business district, Kampala.

He also called for more investments in Uganda’s oil sector, especially in a refinery. “The announcement of the eight-measure programme was very welcome,” Museveni said, according to a press release from State House.

“In the case of soft loans, China can help support projects like the hydro-power dam on River Nile at Karuma station and the toll road done on a build-and-operate basis. I want to thank the government of China for the investment in the broadband project.”

The Chinese premier pledged to support Uganda’s development programme, including the toll road and capital with concessionary loans from Exim Bank.

“With regard to other projects, the Chinese government encourages Chinese investments in Uganda’s energy sector, infrastructure development, agro-processing and oil refinery,” he said.

The two leaders met at the end of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh after the premier announced his government’s aid package for the continent.

Apart from the $10b in loans, this includes a proposal to form a partnership in addressing climate change, enhance cooperation in science and technology and support Chinese financial institutions in setting up a special loan of $1b for small and medium enterprises on the continent.

China has also offered to open up its market to African products, as well as enhance cooperation in agriculture, medical care, human resource development and education.

During his visit, Museveni also met the vice-president of Huawei Technologies whom he praised for making communication cheaper and more efficient through their broadband and undersea cable.

He said the investment will see the cost of transmission of information and data in Uganda reduce significantly and help promote efficiency in Government departments.

“The cost of using this technology is cheaper than satellite connection. Because of this reduction, we can do more things, including improving the quality of our television services and linking government departments,” he noted.

Museveni also took advantage of his visit to meet Egyptian businessmen whom he asked to invest in gas and wind energy, especially around Lake Victoria and the north-eastern part of the country.

“I would like to invite you to come and make transformers and meters in Uganda. We would be interested in the use of wind to make water pumps,” he told the boss of Elsewedy Cables, an energy company.

Earlier, at his arrival on Saturday, Museveni had told Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Nazif that the biggest challenge facing Africa and particularly communities living along the River Nile was lack of electricity.

The continent, he said, needed industrialisation so that peasant communities can live and work in industrial cities and ease the pressure on forests and swamps.

“We must reorganise the whole human settlements so that the swamps and forests are left alone,” the President told the prime minister.

“Peasants are cutting down trees at an alarming rate due to lack of electricity or alternative energies. If the trees are cut, this affects the amount of rainfall and if the swamps run dry, it becomes even more dangerous.”

Nazif said his country was interested in working with all stakeholders to develop a plan for the River Nile.

“It is no longer only about the distribution of the waters on the Nile but also development projects affecting communities here,” he said.

Museveni hails China over aid

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