President Yoweri Museveni has said the business community can play a huge role in uniting Uganda and Somalia, giving an example of the unification of Germany.
"To the business people, you are the most ‘useful’ group both economically and politically. Business people know the importance of a market; hence they cannot partake in discussions of sectarianism and the general politics of identity. They are pro-market integration," the president tweeted Wednesday evening after speaking at the Uganda-Somalia Business Forum held at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
"Business people sparked the unification of Germany because they wanted a united market, they supported Bismarck to unite Germany via the famous Franco-Prussian war. Business people therefore in Somalia and Uganda can help in uniting both our countries and Africa."
Museveni attended the event with Somali President, Hassan Mahamud, whom he thanked for agreeing to visit Uganda.
"We have used this visit for very serious discussions," the president said.
"I reiterated our commitment to the Somalian government in the fight against the shallow-minded terrorists and external players whose narrow-minded approaches are bent on frustrating the progress of business, peace and development of African states and their neighbours."
Speaking at the event, Uganda's Minister of Trade and Industry Francis Mwebesa said: "With Somalia now largely stable and peaceful, thanks to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), especially the UPDF Contingent, it is time to have Ugandan businesses setting shop in Somalia as well.
"This Business Forum provides us an avenue to discuss and concretize mechanisms of bolstering mutually beneficial bilateral trade and investment flows. At this point, allow me to appreciate the dedication and efforts of the Somali National Security Services/Forces, and call upon Partners to continue supporting the Services/Forces."
Uganda, which was the first country to deploy troops to Somalia and remains the leading Troop Contributing Country (TCC) to AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) -- is now proactively engaging in Commercial diplomacy to exploit the prevailing Somalia/Uganda bilateral trade.
The Summit was aimed facilitating open trade discussions, as well as B2B sessions to explore investment opportunities that will enable both countries to increase revenue and exploit the gains achieved by UPDF/ATMIS.