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Why Uganda is a strategic partner of Algeria

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Added 22nd November 2018 11:01 AM

During the 132 years of occupation, the Algerian people did not at any moment cease combating.

Why Uganda is a strategic partner of Algeria

During the 132 years of occupation, the Algerian people did not at any moment cease combating.

(Algerian Ambassador to Uganda, Amb. Farid Boulahbel)

On November 1, 2018, the Algerian Embassy in Kampala, Uganda commemorated their 64th Anniversary of the launching of the Algeria's Liberation War in 1954.

Below is the speech of their ambassador to Uganda, Amb. Farid Boulahbel during the celebrations.

We commemorate the 64th Anniversary of the launching of the glorious Algerian liberation war on the November 1, 1954.

The Algerian people had to confront a military superpower with the support of all the means of the Atlantic Alliance.

During the 132 years of occupation, the Algerian people did not at any moment cease combating.

The human sacrifice was very heavy: eight million people killed, being 10% of the total population, of whom 1.5 million martyrs in the eight years of the liberation war.

At independence, Algeria was totally impoverished: the administrative cadres were practically nonexistent, generalised illiteracy, severe poverty and the natural wealth was still under the control of the coloniser, not forgetting the 8,000 villages completely destroyed, hundreds of forests burnt by napalm bombs and the thousands of orphans, detainees and refugees as well as 1.8 million people who needed to be taken care of.

It is in this context of pain and desolation that Algeria joined the family of Nations in 1962. Since then, Algeria embarked on a vast construction campaign and the building of the foundations of national statehood, with the urgent objectives being free and compulsory education, the putting in place of an industrial base and the restoration of the national sovereignty on the national wealth, such as the land, hydrocarbons and mines.

The principles of the November 1, Revolution also guided the external activities of my country which, as soon as Her sovereignty was regained, involved herself in the effort of finalizing the decolonization of our continent by supporting the African Liberation Movements which, during the 60's and 70's, were fighting to liberate their countries from colonial domination and apartheid.

Also, Algeria which greatly contributed to the acceleration of the liberation of Southern Africa would continue to support the legitimate struggle of the Western Sahara People, the last colony in Africa, for the exercise of its inalienable right to self-determination as it is enshrined in the United Nations Doctrine, and the Resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

The resumption of direct negotiations between Morocco and Polisario Front under the aegis of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General in Geneva early next December reflects the will of the International Community to give an impetus to the process aimed at organising a referendum for self- determination in Western Sahara.

Upon attainment of Independence, Algeria unreservedly adhered to the goals and principals of the United Nations Charter as, later on she endorsed the rules enshrined in the African Union Constitution.

The inviolability of the borders inherited from colonization, respect of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States, the non- interference in the internal affairs of other countries, the promotion of

the relations of good neighborliness as well as the support to peoples' right to self-determination constitute the pedestal on which the Algerian Foreign Policy rests.

These guiding principles gave resulted in the consistent and coherent approach, two examples of which I wish to cite:

•The Algiers Agreement of December 12, 2000 between Ethiopia and Eritrea which, 10 years later gave way for the two neighboring countries to open a new chapter in their bilateral relations;

•The Agreement resulting from the Algiers Process for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali of 2015 between the central Government of Bamako and the Azawad Movement.

Algeria does not deploy her troops on operation fields outside her borders and is not a party to military Alliances or Coalitions. Nevertheless, it makes a multifaceted contribution to the preservation of peace and stability in Africa and more precisely through logistical support to troop contributing African countries in Peace Keeping Missions, transporting the AMISOM troupes for example and the designation of some observers within the MONUSCO.

In her immediate neighbourhood, Algeria contributes to the preservation of the Sahelo-Saharan region from the plagues of terrorism, organised transnational crimes and trafficking of all nature that threaten to permanently destabilize this part of the continent.

Algeria pursues efforts of helping to make the arms in Libya silent and to enable the citizens of that country promote national dialogue in order to reestablish peace and stability in their country far from any foreign interference and intervention.

Since its independence Algeria has undergone an integrated development process which covered the entire national territory with three main axis:

-Total control on the natural resources, notably since the nationalisation of the hydrocarbon sector in 1972 and allocating the resources derived from this sector to national development programmes;

-Meeting the total costs of the fundamental needs of the population particularly through giving them free access to education, health and subsidized housing.

-The establishment of an industrial base and the reforms in the agriculture and many sectors to ensure self-reliance.

During the last 20 years, the unemployment rate has reduced by two thirds and the national wealth increased threefold.

The petrol price decline did not affect the national development programmes and Algeria does not have to resort to incurring foreign debt as was recommended by the IMF last June.

The Financial situation of Algeria is that much more comfortable. Last June foreign exchange reserves were $94.6b and the level of external debt remains insignificant at less than $3b. The trade balance deficit was $3.6b last September compared to $11.1b in 2017.

The boom in hydrocarbon prices over the past months, with the price of the oil barrel at around $80 will enable Algeria to amass revenue in the region of 40 billion dollars. This will help finance the big development projects.

Algeria is ranked 8th world natural gas exporter and third African oil exporter, which enables it to play an important role in the international energy market.

Algiers hosted a NON OPEC - OPEC Ministerial Conference in September 2018 which led to an agreement on the stabilisation of production levels and hence the prices of hydrocarbons internationally. This was a follow-up to the Algiers Agreement in September 2016. Uganda's Minister of State for Minerals, Peter Lokeris, attended this meeting.

The Algerian economy this year has made leap in terms of the diversification from non- hydrocarbon products.

The Algerian products of high value added and of high technological content are now present on African markets.

Algeria and Uganda which attained their independence the same year enjoy excellent relations.

Uganda is a strategic partner of Algeria. Our two countries share convergent perceptions and positions on many questions both African and of international policy and aspire for a more just world order, that is more open to international consultation, far from interference, greed and unilateral approaches in internal affairs of the countries.

At the African level, Algeria and Uganda are partners in solidarity who work together, and with other partners in order to defend the interests of our continent and deepen the process of African Integration and the construction of an African architecture of peace and security.

Over the recent months, the dialogue and consultation between Algeria and Uganda has expanded to cover new areas and to this end, three Ugandan cabinet members have paid visits to Algeria among them the minister for security since last June, something that will strengthen the excellent political dialogue which has existed for a long time between our two countries.

The deputy IGP Brig. Muzeeyi Sabiiti also visited Algeria last October. In the area of defense and security, bilateral cooperation between our two countries is growing stronger over the years.

Algeria continues to give its traditional support to the human training resource in Uganda. Hence the scholarship quota that Algeria offers to Uganda has doubled in three years, 80 scholarships this year.

200 Ugandan students as well as two petroleum engineers in a specialized institute. Some students, having completed their graduate studies, especially those in medicine, have the possibility to continue in a specialty where need is felt in Uganda.

At the economic and commercial level, contacts between the business communities of the two countries have been initiated in order to give more substance to the overall bilateral relations. The twinning at the finalization stage of the two Chambers of Commerce and a possible putting in place of a Council of businessmen will help make this approach a reality.

The preparation of the works of the Joint Commission of Cooperation launched a few months back is in the final phase of completion with the preparation of around ten agreements which will be signed on this occasion. These agreements will cover areas where the two countries have complementarities.

Long Live Algeria, Long live Uganda.

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