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President Museveni seals Sierra Leone – Uganda relations, signs three bilateral agreements

President Museveni receives H.E. Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone ahead of his visit to strengthen cordial relations between the nations. (PHOTO/PPU)

KAMPALA- The President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Monday, July 1 signed three Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sierra Leone’s President, Mr. Julius Maada Bio at State House, Entebbe.

The Sierra Leone leader arrived in Uganda on a three-day state visit at the invitation of his host President Museveni.

Following the meeting of the two leaders and their respective delegations, three Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed between the Government of Uganda and the Government of Sierra Leone.

These included a general cooperation framework agreement, political consultations agreement between the two countries’ Ministries of Foreign Affairs that was initialled by the respective Foreign Affairs Ministers, Hon. Sam Kuteesa and his counterpart, Ms. Nabeera Faridah.

Another MoU that was signed is the waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official or service passports that was signed by Internal Affairs Minister, Hon. Jeje Odongo and the Sierra Leone Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Nabeera Faridah.

A joint communiqué issued at the conclusion of the talks says that President Museveni and his Sierra Leone counterpart had agreed to the formation of a Joint Permanent Council to foster talks on trade and economic cooperation.

The two Presidents also called on the international community to support the effort of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to help the Somali Government. They also affirmed their continued support to working closely with the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and other inter-governmental bodies.

At a joint press conference, President Museveni said that it was essential to link West Africa to East Africa in terms of infrastructural development with a view to boosting the economies of the respective regions through railway linkage and water transport.

“Uganda, with resources, will have a population of 100 million in 2050. We also have a lot of people in West Africa who have natural resources and so we need to work together to develop Africa,” Mr. Museveni said.

President Maada Bio, on his part, said he was in Uganda to learn and emulate how the East African country had been able to revive its economy despite the harsh past that it had faced.

“I am here to learn about the many strides done to develop this county despite the harsh past. We admire it and want to learn from it. Thank you for bringing peace and stability needed to develop the country. We have had a similar past, had the same colonial masters, internal conflicts, Ebola and corruption,” Mr.Maada said

He also thanked President Museveni for sending Ugandan doctors to assist Sierra Leone when the Ebola epidemic hit the West African country between 2014 and 2016. He said that the action had greatly saved Sierra Leone from more deaths.

Mr. Maada added that Sierra Leone’s economy was completely ruined from war but because of their resilience and determination, they are a now a democratic country.

He, however, said they have had difficulty to convince the people that there is no war, no Ebola in the country.

President Maada Bio called upon Ugandan investors to consider investing in Sierra Leone, adding that its investment climate had improved since the political turmoil had ended.

The Sierra Leone leader will visit Kapeeka industrial establishments in Nakaseke District before he attends the Africa Blockchain Conference in Kampala on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

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