MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and visiting
Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, had resolved to speed up
regional and continental integration as part of efforts to boost
The two leaders on Wednesday evening in the
coastal city of Mombasa agreed that continental and regional
integration is the path to transforming African countries from
being developing to developed economies.
"I want to assure you that is a commitment that we share,"
Kenyatta said according to a statement issued on Thursday by his
office after hosting visiting Ugandan leader at a state banquet.
The Kenyan leader said that movement of cargo from the Port
of Mombasa to Kampala, Uganda that previously took 21 days has
drastically reduced to seven days since he took over as
president thanks to standard gauge railway (SGR).
He said the SGR which is being constructed by Chinese company
will reach lakeside town of Naivasha by August, adding that his
government will avail land in the town for Uganda to develop a
dry port for its cargo.
"I have confirmed to President Museveni that with that
development in Naivasha and then moving the SGR to Malaba, goods
will be able to move from Mombasa to Malaba in just two days,"
As the government implements the long-term plan to move all
cargo from the road to the SGR, Kenyatta said, his
administration is working on the complete elimination of
barriers that slow down movement of cargo such as multiple
roadblocks and unnecessary weigh bridges.
"But more importantly, it (SGR) will reduce the cost of
transport for Ugandan investors and Uganda itself. It will
improve efficiency of Mombasa Port to the benefit of our
people," Kenyatta said according to the statement.
On his part, President Museveni said African countries must
embrace economic and political integration in order to spur
prosperity and ensure strategic security for their citizens.
Museveni hailed the revival of the East African Community,
joining of COMESA by East African states and signing of the
continental free trade area saying those were progressive steps
towards the political integration of the continent.
"Economic integration, if it is implemented properly, will
result in the modernization of African countries. They will be
stimulated to produce more," said Museveni.
He called for fast tracking of the political integration of
East African states saying the region can easily form a
political confederation because her people have much in common.
Uganda leader urges East
Africa to buy local products
MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday
called on East African countries to buy products made from the
region to minimize importation of goods that can be manufactured
Museveni, who is on a two-day state visit to Kenya, said that
countries are losing millions of dollars from importation of
goods because of giant factories in East Africa which have since
He called on Kenya to fast-rack revival of Webuye Paper Mill
which was critical in supplying paper products in East Africa.
Museveni said that his country imports paper worth 13 billion
shillings (130 million U.S. dollars) from Finland, yet Kenya has
a sleeping paper mill.
"It must be stopped. Why doesn’t Uganda buy paper from
Kenya?. We have to stop enriching others," he told a joint news
conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in the port city
"When the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is finished, it will
take 24 hours from here to Kampala ...
"This should have been done before and there’s no other way
these countries’ economies are going to grow if we don’t solve
this issue of movement," said Museveni.
He pointed out that the enhanced efficiency in handling of
cargo at the port and in the movement of goods along the
Northern Corridor has been of great benefit to the economies of
both Kenya and Uganda, and for the other countries that depend
on the Port of Mombasa for their import and export business,
including Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
He commended President Kenyatta for the rapid development of
infrastructure in Kenya.
"While we are still waiting for the railway (in Uganda), the
Kenyan government has already moved and is now constructing
modern jetties and petroleum pipelines," Museveni said.
"That means that in the coming years, a lot of cargo will
move from the roads to the railway and fuel will move from the
roads to the pipeline and across the lake through tugboats which
can carry the fuel across the lake cheaper, faster and safer,’
On his part, Kenyatta commended the two delegations for
ensuring that the inaugural session of the Joint Commission for
Cooperation is a success.
"I am particularly pleased with the progress we have made in
recent years in the areas of trade promotion, the free movement
of goods, services and people across our borders, and the
people-to-people interactions," Kenyatta said.
He noted the success of the One Stop Border Post at Busia and
the ongoing improvement of infrastructure and processes at
Malaba and Lwakhakha Border Points.
Kenyatta called for an increase in the number of
one-stop-border-posts to promote the free movement of goods and
people between the two countries.
He lauded the government and the people of Uganda for their
trust and continued use of the Port of Mombasa.
"I wish to express my Government’s full commitment to
continue improving service delivery at the Port.
"I am pleased to report that the time taken to transport
cargo between Mombasa and Nairobi has significantly reduced with
the full operationalization of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)
between Mombasa and Nairobi," Kenyatta said.
Ugandan leader begins
two-day state visit to Kenya
MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni began a two-day
state visit to Kenya on Wednesday as part of efforts to shore up
bilateral ties between the two countries.
Museveni, who arrived in the coastal city of Mombasa, is
expected to hold bilateral talks with his host President Uhuru
Kenyatta and later attend a business forum with their respective
Kenyatta’s office said the two leaders on Thursday are
expected to tour the Port of Mombasa which is a major gateway to
countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi.