BEIJING – President Yoweri Museveni has made a proposal to the Hunan Province leaders in China to consider joint partnerships in the production of lithium batteries to support Uganda’s emerging automobile industry and food processing to add value to the country’s robust fresh food industry.
He said Uganda with support from China is tackling the most challenging development bottlenecks including infrastructure development such as roads, electricity, railway etc to bring the cost of production down.
“In spite of the bottlenecks, the economy in Africa and that of Uganda has been growing fast. The future is very good now and in partnership with China, we will move very fast if we work together. I want to propose two areas; we are in the process of producing solar-powered automobiles, we would like a joint venture in the production of lithium batteries to support this sector. We also have very good fresh foods including bananas that are good for controlling heart disease and millet flour, which is better that wheat. These are traditional foods that need to be processed and marketed. The story of Africa is here, the story of Uganda is here,” President Museveni said.
He was on Thursday speaking at a meeting he held with Mr. Du Jiahao, Secretary of the Hunan Provincial party Committee of the CPC at the Hunan Hall of the Rongyuan Hotel in Changsha, China.
The President is on a two-day working visit to the Hunan Province in China where he also attended the opening ceremony of the First China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo and also delivered a keynote address on trade and development.
The President also made a case for Uganda’s tourism potential, saying Uganda is one of only three points on the globe (Including Ecuador and Kenya) right at the equator but with a high altitude, giving it great weather all year.
President Museveni said with an integrated market that now includes the EAC, SADC, COMESA ACFTA the continent is uniting its market and will be able to exploit its great potential.
Earlier, President Museveni together with an official delegation from the Hunan Province had an exhibition tour where he visited the stalls of Uganda and Kenya before heading to the Saint-Tropez Hotel to deliver his speech.
Mr. Du Jiahao who was accompanied by a delegation from Hunan province commended the President for his strong economic leadership that has brought about stability and improved living standards.
He thanked the President for his extensive research on issues that affect the continent and for an enlightening speech at the expo (A copy of the Expo speech is attached here). He pledged to encourage private investors to exploit the opportunities to partner with Uganda in Development.
According to estimates, Hunan province has a population of 63.988 million people with a regional GDP of 3.64258 trillion Yuan, ranking 8th in the country.