The outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang has reiterated his government’s commitment to continue supporting the East African nation, focusing on social-economic transformation that mutually benefits both nations.
Zhuqiang made the remarks as he met Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s minister of Foreign Affairs this afternoon at a farewell luncheon.
His duty is expected to end on April 13. During the dinner, Minister Kutesa, according to an official statement, paid a glowing tribute to the outgoing ambassador and commended “the excellent cordial bilateral relations between Uganda and China”.
The minister noted that Zhuqiang’s tenure saw the bond between Uganda and China become stronger, which is evidenced by a number of events that happened along the years as shown below: President Museveni visited China in 2018 and 2019 to attend the 3rd FOCAC Summit and the 1st China-Africa Export and Import Exhibition.
The Vice President Edward Sekandi led a delegation of officials to China for a working visit in 2018.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga went there in 2017 and several cabinet ministers have also visited the world’s second-largest economy.
It’s also important to note that Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, came to Uganda in 2019 and 2021.
A number of other Chinese leaders have also been here. In terms of economic co-operation, a number of projects have been rolled out, namely: Industrial parks like the Mbale Industrial Park, which was developed by Chinese entrepreneurs and the Mbarara Industrial Park, which is under development.
There are 20 other projects that are to be set up in areas of Agriculture, Education and Sports, Health and Infrastructural development under FOCAC mechanism.
China was also very instrumental in supporting Uganda’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and minister Kutesa hailed them for that. On his part, the outgoing ambassador hailed the minister for the support accorded to him during his tour of duty.
The ambassador took time to highlight some of the infrastructure projects that his government-funded in his tenure. They include:
• Completion of the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, a modern expressway.
• Completion and commissioning of the 183MW Isimba Hydro Power Plant and ongoing construction of the Karuma Hydro Power Plant (HPP). Over 8000 Ugandans have been employed as the project is being built.
• Ongoing expansion of the Entebbe International Airport with overall progress for the upgrade standing at 75 percent level of completion.
•The completion of three phases of the National ICT backbone project. The function was attended by several government officials, including Joy Kabatsi, minister of State for Works; Patrick Mugoya, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary; Bageya Waiswa, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Transport, and so on.