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ADDRESS

BY

H.E. YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI


PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

AT THE COMMISSIONING

OF THE

KAMPALA -ENTEBBE EXPRESS HIGHWAY

15TH JUNE, 2018

ENTEBBE
H.E Chairman, Wang Yang of the Chinese People’s
Political and Consultative Conference (CPPCC);

Chairman, Lui Qui Tao of China Communications


Construction Company Ltd (CCCC);

Chairman, Chinese Enterprises Chamber of


Commerce in Uganda;

Vice President, China Exim Bank;

Hon. Minister of Works and Transport;

Hon. Ministers present;

Members of Parliament;

District Leaders;

Religious Leaders;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

By 1900, the whole of Africa had been colonized by


western imperialists except for Ethiopia. Our

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traditional leaders (Chiefs) tried but were defeated
all over Africa by the colonialists.

Nevertheless, new patriotic forces started a new


resistance against colonialism. The ANC of South
Africa was founded in 1912. In the 1940’s, African
patriotism was re-inforced by young people like
Nelson Mandela who brought new dynamism in the
struggle.

Meanwhile, a happy event had taken place in the


world and that happy event came to assist Africans
in their quest to liberate themselves; here, I mean
the socialist revolution in Russia of 1917. The
Soviet leaders started supporting the anti-colonial
movements in Africa. They supported Movimento
Popular de Libertacao de Angola (MPLA) of Angola,
Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) of
Zimbabwe, South West African People’s
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Organization (SWAPO), the African Party for
Independence of (PAIGC) of Guinea Bissau and
Cape Verde, African National Congress (ANC) of
South Africa.

Another happy event took place in the world, when


the communist took over the leadership in China in
1949. That now meant that, the supporters of the
de-colonialization had expanded involving the
Soviet Union, a new China, some of the Eastern
European countries like East Germany as well as
the newly independent India plus some groups in
the west that were liberal in ideology.

As we were growing up in the 1950’s, we could once


in a while, see the pictures of the freedom fighters
from Africa with Chinese Leaders – Chairman Mao
Tse-tung, Prime Minister Zhou Enlia, Foreign
Minister Marshal Chen Yi and Defence Minister
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Marshal Peng Dehuai. Some of the African
countries that did not regain their independence
peacefully, had their freedom fighters supported by
Soviet Union and China in terms of military training
and equipment. Frelimo of Mozambique, ZANU and
ZAPU of Zimbabwe, ANC of South Africa, MPLA of
Angola, SWAPO of Namibia and PAIGC of Guinea
Bissau. Therefore, when in 1994, the ANC took
over power in South Africa from the minority fascist
government, Africa had had a fraternal relationship
with the new China lasting 34 years. China did not
only give military support to African freedom
fighters, it also gave economic support to the newly
independent African countries. In the 1960’s and
1970’s, for instance, China supported Tanzania and
Zambia in building, the Tazara railway which
helped Zambia to defeat the blockade of the fascists
regime in South Africa and territories controlled by
Portugal in Angola and Mozambique.
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We also salute the far-sighted Chinese leaders who
opened up the economy of China, since 1978,
which has resulted into a meteoric rise of china to
become the second biggest economy in the world.
With this enhanced capacity, the Chinese
government and Chinese companies have not
wasted time in coming to the support of Africa,
Uganda included. This project of the Entebbe-
Kampala expressway is a result of that, enhanced
Chinese-African support. Moreover, this is not the
only project our China friends are supporting in
Uganda. The other projects include the
modernization of Entebbe airport, the Industrial
Research Centre in Nakawa, the Isimba and
Karuma Hydropower dams, the proposed Standard
Gauge Railway, etc., etc.

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We are, therefore, very grateful for this principled
and decisive economic support from our friends of
China. This, however, is not a one sided
relationship in terms of mutual benefit. As our
Chinese friends are helping us in the manner
highlighted above, the Ugandans are also
supporting the economy of China by buying
massively from that country. Each year, for the last
quite number of years, Uganda bought goods
worthy USD 886 million (2016) and USD 816 (2017)
per annum from China. Besides, Chinese road
construction companies, as I speak today, have
been implementing contracts to the tune of USD 1.8
billion (7 trillion Uganda shillings) in the last 10
years. This is therefore, not just a historical
relationship of solidarity but a relationship that is
mutually beneficial. We are supporting each other’s
prosperity and those efforts should be intensified. I
was about to forget the support by Africa for
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China’s rights in the UN, when some global power
had given the UN Security Council seat of China to
the small island of Taiwan which is itself a part of
China.

Therefore, Mr. Wang Yang, as we welcome you on


this ceremony, I want you to inform the leaders of
China, that they have got very good friends in
Uganda.

I do not have to advise the Chinese Government


and business circles that when they are dealing
with Africa, they should not look at individual
countries only. Those individual African countries
are a consequence of the colonial balkanization of
Africa where the market was fragmented. However,
ever since the 1980’s, the African leaders have
realized this strategic bottleneck and have been
painstakingly working on it. Apart from the
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regional blocs of East African Community (EAC),
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
(COMESA), Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), South African Development
Community (SADC), etc., we, recently, signed the
Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) treaty in Kigali.
Therefore, in your plans with Africa do not forget to
remember that Africa is 12 times the size of India,
with a present population of 1.25 billion, that is
going to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050. It is,
potentially, a very powerful trading partner with
anybody interested in business.

I now officially commission the completed section of


the Kampala – Entebbe Expressway.

Yoweri K. Museveni Gen. (rtd)


NRM CHAIRMAN AND
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA