President Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzania counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan have agreed on various key strategic projects that will deepen cooperation in trade and development, notable among which is the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.
“I am happy to tell Tanzanians, Ugandans and the world that the activities on the pipeline are complete,” President Museveni who arrived following a much anticipated down pour that cooled the hot Tanzania capital, said at a press conference at State House Dar es Salaam.
President Museveni said the proposal to have the pipelines made here to benefit the people was abandoned following complaints that it would delay the project.
“We decided to leave that to companies to import pipes out of the continent. US$ 1300bn will be lost but the project will take off. For example US$52million will be used on transport costs annually and up to US$272million will be spent,” he said.
On health matters, the two leaders agreed to work closely on developing a vaccine as a measure to further combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus and other pandemic diseases.
President Museveni said he was happy that President Suluhu was willing to partner with Uganda to exploit the Pathogenic economy through joint production of pharmaceuticals.
“There are diseases but there is also money within these diseases. COVID-19 awakened us all. We must establish Pharmaceutical companies for vaccines and veterinary drugs. We should address the issues of viruses but also reagents to use for the vaccines. There is a huge business in the world of pathogenics but we must work on both the vaccines and reagents. When we had a breakthrough, I contacted Her Excellency and we agreed to cooperate. We started with the AIDS drugs, now we are saying, if we are sick, why not treat ourselves and get that money for our economies,” he said.
The President said the veterinary vaccines would help the communities of Byaramuro, Bukoba etc who keep livestock and would boost milk production.
President Museveni who was later hosted to a State Banquet at State House, Dar-el-Salaam emphasized the issue of markets to support business growth.
Market is a stimulus for business. The more you sell the more you produce. Segmenting African markets is a big mistake. We should use the tool of markets to support businesses,” he said.
On other joint projects, their Excellences reaffirmed their commitment to fast-track the implementation of energy and road transportation networks, specifically, the ongoing construction of the Omugakorongo – Kigarama – Murongo (km 111)/Kikagati – Mbarara – Kampala (km 392) and Masaka – Mutukula (km 89.5)/Mutukula –Kyaka and Bugene – Kasulo – Kumunazi (km 157.6).