President commends China for supporting Africa for over 60 years

Sunday 11th May 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has said that railways, electricity and low cost of production, contribute to the modernization of the economy.

"Without railways, electricity and low cost of production, the economy cannot be modernized,” he said.

The President was speaking this morning speaking at a press conference at State House, Nairobi after the signing of the standard gauge railway agreement between the East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan and the government of China.

The Project from the Kenyan Indian Ocean Port of Mombasa, will connect Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Burundi and Juba under the Northern Corridor.

The signing ceremony was witnessed Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir.

The Chinese Premier, Mr. Li Keqiang, represented his government.

State Minister for Works Mr. John Byabagambi signed the US$8.5 billion Project agreement on behalf of the government of Uganda.

President Museveni, who spoke on behalf of the visiting delegations, noted that East Africa needs the railway, electricity and other collaborations in the areas of trade with the government of China in order to support each other for better economic development.

He thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for being a true East African not only by words but also by action and for inviting all other East African leaders to be part of the ceremony which, he said, clearly showed how closely the East Africa region is working together.

Mr. Museveni commended the Chinese government for standing and supporting Africa in the last 60 years.

He said the Chinese government started standing with Africa during the anti-colonial time when China supported Africans in their struggle against colonialism.

He noted that China established the TAZARA railway that runs from Tanzania to Zambia and also extended support to many development projects in Uganda.

He cited the teaching of Ugandan farmers in the production of rice as an example adding that the Chinese involvement in trade in projects is of mutual gain between the 2 sides.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said the cost of transporting goods and moving people across the borders would fall sharply as a result of the construction of the railway.

He said that this development goes a long way in making better East Africa’s integration.

He said the project is a reminder of solidarity between East Africa in particular, Africa in general and Asia. 

He appealed to the partner countries in the region to treat each other sincerely and equally in order to consolidate their mutual trust for development and promotion of practical production.

The visiting Chinese Premier, Mr. Li Keqiang, who was on a visit to Africa that has taken him to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya, said the project demonstrated that there is co-operation and mutual benefit between the East African Countries and his country adding that the project is based on quality and mutuality.

He noted that the standard gauge railway project is the beginning master plan that will link 7 countries in East Africa to promote easy transport.

 

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