Zhang Lizhong, the new Chinese ambassador to Uganda, arrived in Kampala on Thursday, the Chinese embassy said.
He’s the eighteenth envoy to be posted to Kampala and he replaces Zheng Zhuqiang whose duty ended on April 13.
In his four years in Uganda, Zhuqiang set an impressive precedent for Zhang Lizhong.
Zhuqiang’s tenure saw the bond between Uganda and China become stronger, and this is evidenced by a number of events that happened over 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.
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.
Some of the infrastructure projects that China funded during his tenure 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.
A profile of Lizhong shows he was born in January 1969 and until this appointment, he represented his country in the Maldives.
For most of his career in public service, since 1991, he has worked with China's foreign affairs ministry.