The two countries’ ministers of transport, energy, health and mayors of Addis Ababa city and Kampala have signed memorandum of understanding last night (December 26, 2014). The event held in Addis Ababa was attended by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda who arrived today or official state visit and Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn.
“We have been cooperating with Ethiopia defence and security, that is why we are in Somalia,” said President Museveni. “We want to cooperate in more areas with Ethiopia. We want to cooperate in infrastructure, trade, investment, tourism and health. We shouldn’t spend more time talking, we need to identify what kind of items we can trade using the existing infrastructure- air and start right away,” he said indicating the need for the reactivation of joint ministerial commission of the two countries, which was not active.
“If we integrate our tourism potential, it will be much more attractive and competitive. The whole east African countries have different types of attractive tourism products. The whole place is a goldmine for tourism,” he said speaking about the need for packaging together and marketing of tourist attractions of all East African countries.
In the coming three days President Museveni and his delegation are expected to make official visits to the under-construction Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, some tourist sites and Metal Engineering Technology Corporation, among others.
Prime Minister Hailemariam on his part indicated that the two countries are working to link with railway through Juba and electricity through Kenya. “The Addis Ababa-Juba line will proceed to Kampala very soon. We will also be connecting in electricity with Kampala. These are the basic infrastructures to help flourish trade and investment in the region,” the premier said.
Uploading Uganda’s role for the establishment of African Union Mission in Somalia following Ethiopian soldiers entry to Somalia to fight Islamic extremists, Prime Minister Hailemariam indicated that the two countries are also working together to bring peace in South Sudan.
Responding to the question about the timeline his troops will leave South Sudan, President Museveni stated that the troops will leave the country once the Inter -governmental Panel on Development (IGAD) forces will be deployed and are in a position to replace them in Juba and Born towns.
“As soon as the IGAD forces are ready, then we shall go back. The problem is just a lack of agreement between our brothers and sisters in South Sudan,” the president said.