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Officials during the meeting

Uganda, Egypt Discuss Defence, Agriculture Cooperation

posted onJuly 22, 2021

The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs at Vincent Ssempijja met with officials from the Egyptian National Service Projects Organization (NSPO), the enterprise unit of the North African nation’s army.

The meeting, which was held Thursday at the ministry’s headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala considered a number of projects, but mainly cooperation in setting up “joint projects” in defence, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso, the army spokeswoman said.

The Thursday meeting followed the one Tuesday with National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), the enterprise unit of the UPDF.

Maj Gen Innocent Oula, the deputy managing director of NEC, officiated the meeting that was held at NEC's headquarters in Bugolobi.

According to NEC, the discussion centered on cooperation in the field of animal production.

Brig Maged Ibrahim Ali led the Egyptian team to Kampala.

NSPO, which manufactures military and civilian products, was established in 1979 under President Anwar Sadat’s leadership.

The organization has units dealing in mining, manufacturing, agriculture, engineering and services.

The NSPO officials who came to Uganda visited some of NEC projects like farms in Kyankwanzi and Gomba District.

“They also visited Egypt-Uganda Joint Model Farm Project in Kisozi-Gomba,” reads NEC’s statement.

“Egypt-Uganda Joint Model Farm Project aims at enhancing research activities aimed at improving Agricultural and Livestock Production through the use of high yielding variety seeds and high-quality animal breeds applying Egyptian advanced technology.”

In April of this year, Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) signed an intelligence-sharing agreement with its Egyptian counterpart, Egyptian Military Intelligence Department (MID), to facilitate collaboration in fighting terrorism and a number of other criminal activities.

CMI chief Maj Gen Abel Kandiho said the “two agencies [will] share resourceful intelligence on a regular basis” regarding the aforementioned operations.

The UPDF said that the Memorandum of Understanding was a follow-up of the first meeting the two agencies held in Cairo-Egypt in December 2020. Maj Gen Sameh Saber El-Degwi, who represented MID said that cooperation was crucial, as both countries share mutual challenges.

"The fact that Uganda and Egypt share the Nile, cooperation between the two countries is inevitable because what affects Ugandans will in one way or another affect Egypt," he said.

Uganda maintains a strong relationship with Egypt.

In 2018, President Museveni visited his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and they penned a number of agreements to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture, industry, electricity, and renewable energy.

Uganda and Egypt enjoy strong, friendly relations because of the common vision the two states share towards several international and regional issues, including water, terrorism, and regional crises.

Egypt has provided Uganda with training programs in combating terrorism at the Egyptian military faculties to promote security and defense cooperation between the two countries as well as other training programs in water management, health, agriculture and media.

In May 2014, Egypt trained 10 Ugandan technicians on designing, building and maintaining rainwater harvesting dams, as part of a $2-million grant offered by Egypt to implement a number of rainwaters harvesting dams in Uganda.

Egypt runs, in partnership with Uganda, a megaproject called the Uganda-Egypt Aquatic Weed Control, launched in 1998, with an estimated investment of $20million, to eliminate water weeds from Ugandan lakes; in addition to other projects which aim to improve the lives of fishermen in different areas.

In 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two countries, in which Egypt donated $4.5 million to Uganda to construct water catchment dams, boreholes, and fish ponds. Egyptian investments in Uganda also include the Cairo International Bank, Egypt Air, Mantrac Uganda ltd, Arab Contractors, al-Nasr Export and Import Company, and African Development Incorporation.

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