By Our Reporter
KAMPALA, In the concluded world cup finals, Uganda supported the French team, the champions of the tournament. France beat Croatia 4 to 2 goals to win the trophy.
“Uganda chose not to participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup now in Russia so as to adequately prepare for the 2022 Qatar World Cup tournament. While our national team is not physically present in Russia, our full support from kick-off last month until the final last Sunday is with the French national team,” he said.
In a statement read for him by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda at the Bastile day celebrations in Kampala on Friday 14th 2018, the President said, “This is not to say we wish the Croatian national team bad, but to emphasise that we support the French national team more. Save for the time we play against each other in 2022 in Qatar.”
Lastly, I wish to propose a toast to the long life and good health of President Emmanuel Macron, to the people of France and to the continued friendship between Uganda and France, President Museveni noted.
FULL SPEECH BY H.E YOWERI. K. MUSEVENI PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF FRANCE 14TH JULY, 2018
Your Excellency Stephanie Rivoal, French Ambassador to Uganda,
Hon. Members of parliament,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Uganda and on my own behalf, I take the honor to congratulate your Excellency and all the French people on the occasion of the Bastille anniversary. I salute the courage and determination of your forefathers who rejected the injustices and oppression occasioned by the absolute monarchy to rise-up for what they believed would culminate into a better France. They endured over 10 years of a protracted revolution inspired by liberal and radical ideals to establish a republic that served the interests of all.
Before I proceed with my remarks, I wish to thank Your Excellency for the invitation to this auspicious function and for the hospitality accorded to all of us as we join you in celebrating your National day.
Relations between Uganda and France are historic and continue to develop both in scope and depth over the years. We continue to enjoy excellent relations since the establishment of bilateral relations. We have established and will continue to maintain significant interactions at all levels including in the economic, political and cultural fields. We have improved and strengthened Institutions and sectors of strategic importance to our national vision and development plans.
In the areas of peace and security, I wish to highlight the excellent military cooperation between Uganda and France in initiating programs aimed to enhancing capabilities of our security agencies and personnel. Such initiatives include combat first-aid training for mountain instructors under the UPDF, assessment and training for expert missions, military partnership in the Rwenzoris and many others.
On a regional level, I wish to acknowledge the support France renders to Somalia under the regional peace initiative of AMISOM through the auspices of African Peace Facility (APF) under the United Nations and the European Union. Our regional peace and security aspirations are further boosted by France’s support to the stabilization for Somalia through the fight against maritime piracy that was beginning to negatively impact our maritime connections.
Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests,
The economic bond between Uganda and France is as strong as our political bond. We have registered significant progress in strengthening strategic areas such as investment, trade and tourism. We continue to receive significant Foreign Direct Investment from France to Uganda notably in sectors such as oil and gas, infrastructure development, trade and insurance and many others. I call upon your Excellency and your team to continue working closely with us to further promote our countries for the mutual benefit of our people.
I have noted with gratitude that the trade volume between Uganda and France stands at over €61 million annually. While this points to better prospects for the future of our trade, we need to work even harder to harness the potential that exists. We have a fairly well connected air transport system between Entebbe and Paris that we can take full advantage of. I call upon the Ugandan and French private sector to fully exploit the potential that exists particularly in agriculture and agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, information and communications technology and many other sectors that are semi-exploited in Uganda.
I wish to acknowledge the role of the Embassy in organising events such as Beaujolais Nauveau in which various people from all sectors get together for a true feel of French wine-culture and history. Such events provide the desired platform for networking as well as promotion of mutual trade.
The transformation of Uganda requires vital investment in human capital through education and training. Our labour force is mindful of the fact that the demand of the 21st century is novelty, creativity, integration of knowledge at a global level, research and critical analytical thinking. Relatedly, our labour force needs to be reminded that they must move in tandem with changes in technology, labour market patterns and changes in general global environment.
I am glad to mention that France is one of our major partners in building our human capital. We continue to receive support for our education sector in different forms including direct budget support and scholarships at all levels.
I also wish to commend the work of Alliance Francaise and EcoleFrancaise in promoting Uganda–France cultural cooperation and the French language in Uganda. I want to encourage our young men and women to take full advantage of the collaboration between Makerere University, the French Embassy and Alliance Francaise to master the French language.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Uganda’s journey to middle income status is reinforced by practical cooperation with partners such as France. We are energised by France’s support to us as a country in achieving sustainable development as well as support to multilateral efforts such as the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development that ultimately favour developing countries such as Uganda.
Through the Social Development Fund, France is supporting 12 districts in northern Uganda in projects that support woman empowerment, fight against gender based violence and protection of the environment. Relatedly, through AgenceFrancaise de Developpement (AFD), France is partnering with Uganda in financing the improvement of power reliability such as the building of mini hydroelectricity plants to increase access to clean energy in West Nile, provision of safe drinking water through projects such as the rehabilitation and expansion of Ggaba water treatment complex and others. Such interventions complement our national vision and development plan as well as smoothen the path to our middle income status.
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Uganda chose not to participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup now under-way in Russia so as to adequately prepare for the 2022 Qatar World Cup tournament. While our national team is not physically present in Russia, our full support from kick-off last month until the final this Sunday is with the French national team. This is not to say we wish the Croatian national team bad, but to emphasise that we support the French national team more – save for the time we play against each other in 2022 in Qatar.
Lastly, I wish to propose a toast to the long life and good health of President Emmanuel Macron, to the people of France and to the continued friendship between Uganda and France.