UGANDA EMBASSY MOGADISHU CELEBRATING THE 60TH UGANDA’S ANNIVERSAY OF INDEPENDENCE
Your Excellency, Abdikadir Mohamed Nur Jama, the Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Somalia and our Guest of Honour;
Mr. James Swana, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General;
Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya, ATMIS Force Commander and representing SRCC of the African Union Commission
Gen. Odowa Yusuf Rageh, Chief of Defence Forces
Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary- General
Mr. Harjit Dhindsa, Director of UNSOS
Maj. Gen. William Shume, Deputy Force Commander/ATMIS
Our Contingent Commander, Brig. Gen. Keith Katungi
The entire UN, AU and EAC fraternity.
Comrades, from the ATMIS/UPDF, Police,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Ambassador, who accompanied the President of Federal Republic of Somalia to attend Uganda’s Independence celebrations in Uganda, it is with great pleasure and honour that I welcome You all our distinguished guests and fellow Ugandans to the Uganda Embassy and for gracing our occasion. Today marks 60 years of Uganda’s independence from the colonial rule. Thank you all for joining us this evening. We are truly honored by your presence.
The ideals of African Interdependence, a shared sense of destiny, justice, freedom, security, prosperity, pluralism, hard work, resilience and commitment continue to drive us today, whether in improving upon Uganda’s economy at home and strengthening our bilateral cooperation with the Federal Republic of Somalia.
I therefore stand here tonight as a proud representative of Uganda, a country that has stood as a champion of Peace, stability and tranquility in East Africa, Great Lakes Region and entire African Continent. Since 2007 to date, Uganda remains a major Troop Contributing Country (TCC) in the fight against terrorism in Somalia. We fully support the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia and its commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Allow me to pay tribute to those who lost their lives- officers and men since the inception of AMISOM and now ATMIS- May their Souls Rest in Eternal Peace!
Peace and stability are imperative in the development of every nation. That’s the very reason for Uganda’s imbued Pan -African credentials on the African Continent.
A Nation may attain independence, but it takes a visioned leadership to consolidate the independence and ensure socio-economic transformation of that nation! I commend the vision and able leadership of H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda for transforming Uganda.
Many on the African Continent and elsewhere have come around to agreeing with what Uganda and other African patriots have been advocating for, for long: African solutions for African problems.
That’s why Uganda is an ardent supporter for strengthening Regional and sub-regional organizations such as African Union, East African Community and many others at the Centre of promoting cooperation and integration in areas such as Peace and Security, Economic Development and Regional Integration, Democracy and Good Governance as well as Social and Humanitarian aspects.
In the past, imperialism and colonialism caused so much damage to societies and peoples. The colonized peoples rose up and, after great sacrifices, defeated the overt aspects of imperialism and colonialism. I wish quote Kwame Nkrumah… “The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart…” The founding fathers like Abdu Nasser, Kwamne Nkrumah, Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere among others did not relent to support African Countries in attaining their independence.
The Africa we want, is the Africa that is peaceful, that addresses economic recession, climate change and drought, food insecurity and adds value to the abundant natural resources at its disposal and above all, the Africa that trades within itself though widening markets and embracing the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Guest of Honor,
Due to stability, Uganda has registered tremendous Economic Growth. In the last Financial Year 2021/2022, as pr revised estimates from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) show that the
economy grew by 4.7% exceeding the initial expectation of 3.8% as the economy continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the emerging shocks notwithstanding.
This growth is largely driven by strong performances in transport, communications, financial services, health services, and manufacturing, diaspora remittances which is the Foreign Direct Investment among others.
Through our strengthened cooperation with Somalia, we recently had the first inaugural session of the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) where different Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed and these include;
MoU on Diplomatic and Political Consultations
MoU on Defence Cooperation
MoU on Bilateral Trade Cooperation
We also hope in the very near future, the MoUs on Immigration and Education will be signed to strengthen cooperation in those fields.
Furthermore, we held the first ever Investment and Business Summit in Kampala which was graced by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia. The major outcome of the Summit was the signing of the Kampala Declaration with a theme; “Promoting Partnership between Uganda and Somalia through Trade, Investment and Tourism”. I wish to note that a Joint Permanent Investment and Business Council (JPIBC) was established to follow – up, coordinate, attract and facilitate business community through sharing investment and trade opportunities in both countries as well as implement the decisions of the Summit.
During the Summit, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Investment Agencies of the respective countries was also signed. I have no doubt in mind that these efforts will address any challenges that will emerge in trade, investment and tourism between the two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Somalia has the longest Coastline in Africa- spanning a length of 3025kms. Uganda has every opportunity to utilize the opportunities in Somalia and be able to access other global markets in the Maghreb region.
As I conclude, I want to take this opportunity, to thank the Team that has managed to make preparations colorful and a success; Please stand up for recognition! Special thanks go to the Contingent Commander ATMIS/UPDF Sector1, Brig. Gen Keith Katungi for his effort to ensure the celebrations are a success.
Thank you again for joining us on this special occasion. We truly value friendship and partnership with you all, and I hope we will continue to strengthen those ties in the years ahead.
For God and My Country!
I thank you