Museveni: Uganda committed to SGR project


President Yoweri Museveni meets President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi December 19
President Yoweri Museveni meets President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi, December 19

Uganda has reassured her commitment toward the standard gauge railway project, saying she will ensure the line reaches the border with Kenya.

Following bilateral talks between presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday, the Uganda head said his country was ready and committed to the SGR project, and would work with Kenya to achieve its commitment.

“Both presidents agreed on working jointly on taking the SGR line from Naivasha to Kisumu and onwards to Malaba on the border with Uganda. The line to Kisumu will also serve Uganda through the Lake Victoria ports of Jinja, Masaka and Entebbe,” read a statement sent to newsrooms.

The meeting, the first visit by a Head of Government to Kenya since President Kenyatta was sworn-in for his second and final five-year term, saw the two leaders hold cordial talks also attended by Deputy President William Ruto.

The leaders hailed the strong bilateral relations between the two neighbours, and committed to work to strengthen the ties even further.

“They also focused on bilateral and regional issues, including progress around the Standard Gauge Railway, Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, smooth running of the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, regional troops in Somalia, and peace initiatives in South Sudan,” statement continued.

Kenyatta also briefed Museveni on investments at the Port of Mombasa, including the operation of the second container terminal, which increased the port’s overall capacity to 1.65 million containers.

This is the first phase of a three-stage project, which, when completed, will bring the total capacity of the port to 2.7 million containers per year.

“President Kenyatta also briefed President Museveni on last Saturday’s commissioning of the Inland Container Depot at Embakasi. With the launch of the cargo rail freight on the Standard Gauge Railway, we expect that most goods will be transported from the Mombasa Port by train, starting in January 2018.”

EPAs

The two leaders also discussed the status of EPAs with the European Union. In this respect, President Museveni will convene a meeting of EAC Trade Ministers in Kampala in January to chart the way forward as a follow-up to discussions held in Brussels earlier in the year. 

Somalia

On the continued deployment of African Union (AMISOM) troops in Somalia, the leaders emphasised that it was necessary for the Somali government to continue building and strengthening its national army. But President Museveni agreed to convene a meeting of Chiefs of Defence Forces from Troop Contributing Countries to discuss progress in the mission. Thereafter, Museveni would consider convening a summit of the countries with troops in Somalia.

South Sudan

The two leaders committed to continue to work to ensure peace and stability in South Sudan.

EAC

The two leaders reviewed progress at the EAC Secretariat and its other structures and said they would keep a close eye to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of its programmes and mandate.

Both Presidents agreed on working jointly on taking the SGR line from Naivasha to Kisumu and onwards to Malaba on the border with Uganda.  The line to Kisumu will also serve Uganda through the Lake Victoria ports of Jinja, Masaka and Entebbe.

President Museveni said Uganda was ready and committed to the SGR project, and would work with Kenya to achieve its commitment.

 

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