The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga urged the Turkish government to strengthen its cooperation with Uganda, especially in the sectors of trade and education.
The speaker, who made the call while meeting the Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Fikret Kerem Alp, told him that Uganda needs support with equipment for vocational schools.
Uganda is currently constructing specialized training schools in Kamuli and Buyende, which could benefit from the support.
“It is a request from my District khadi, Sheikh Ibrahim Muganza, who offered land where a training school for nurses could be established. This medical school would cover the areas of Kamuli and Buyende where there is demand for specialized training,” Kadaga said, according to Parliament.go.ug.
Uganda developed the Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) Strategic Plan 2011/2020 in order to make BTVET relevant to productivity development and economic growth, increase the quality of skills provision, increase equitable access to skills development, improve the effectiveness in BTVET management and organisation; and increase internal efficiency and resources available to BTVET.
The Speaker called for increased trade between Turkey and Uganda.
“The rest of the economy has lost about eight months. Hotels are not working, other industries had to reduce the number of staff working. We also had difficulties at the borders with limitations of exports to Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan. We need to look for more markets elsewhere so that we just don’t rely on the East African Community. With good opportunities, we could export to Turkey,” Kadaga said.
Uganda mainly exports mineral fuels, grains, vegetables, cotton, fish, raw hides and skins, and flowers to Turkey while Turkey supplies plastics, machinery, furniture, iron and steel, milling products, electronics, and so on.
The trade volume between Uganda and Turkey currently stands at $40 million.
Recent reports have shown an uptick in trade ties between the countries, with the number of visa applications to Turkey doubling in 2019 compared to 2018, and tripling in the first two months of 2020, according to Kerem Alp.
In February Alp told reporters that Ugandan traders were interested in buying Turkish products because of their good quality, while others visited Turkey to seek markets for their products because of the largest market it provides.
According to Fikret Kerem Alp, Uganda’s exports to Turkey have already gone up 10 percent this year.
“There is a great improvement in that and it means that we have found a good market in Uganda and vice versa,” he said.