Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allai wa Barakatu
As we mark the fifty-fourth anniversary of Uganda’s independence, I extend warm congratulations to all Ugandans and in particular those residing in Turkey on this Anniversary. The theme for this year’s Independence is; “Protection of our Independence through, Promotion of Patriotism, Unity and Hard Work"
I commend the government of Turkey for its efforts towards supporting Africa’s Development. Through initiatives such as "opening to Africa" trade volumes/returns between Turkey and African countries have increased significantly over the past 11 years. The holding of the Turkish-African summit in 2010, with an objective of encouraging more cooperation in trade and investment was a welcome development.
Bilateral relations and co-operation between Uganda and Turkey continue to prosper, especially since the opening of Diplomatic Missions in each other’s capitals. We encourage Turkish companies to Uganda to invest in Uganda, especially in the strategic areas of infrastructure development; energy; agriculture and agro-processing; and ICT. With a national population of 38 million people, and a regional population of nearly 150 million people (for the East African Community), there is a huge market potential for manufactured goods, for which Turkish investment is desirable. The recent visit to Uganda by H.E. Recep Teyyep Edorgan, in June this year, has provided new impetus, and we look forward to further strengthening our cooperation and partnership.
We welcome the interest and efforts so far, by the Turkish business community to invest in Uganda. Supported by the establishment of the Turkish-Uganda Business Council in 2012, more and more Turkish companies are interested in investing in Uganda. There are currently 20 Turkish companies in Uganda, active in areas like dry food imports, ready-wear clothing, textiles, electronic cable marketing, restaurant management, and construction, with total investments of $150 million. Other dealings include greenhouse technology, meat-processing and large-scale farming. Trade between the two countries is also increasing. For example, trade volume rose to $38 million in 2014, with exports to Uganda amounting to 26.4 million, while imports totalled $11.5 million.
With strategic interventions in and energy, value addition and industrialisation will be realised, which will in turn precipitate Uganda’s socio-economic transformation, in line with Our Vision 2040; Africa’s Agenda 2063; and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Government of Uganda has also prioritised capacity building and human resources development, with particular emphasis on science teaching; and vocational and technical training. Emphasis is on curriculum that supports job creation to address the problem of unemployment. Uganda commend the Government of Turkey so support in this area, especially through provision of scholarships.
The role of the Diaspora
As part of the socio-economic transformation effort, the Government of Uganda has mainstreamed its Diaspora as a central pillar. Today, the Diaspora community, including the one in Turkey, plays an important role in supporting household incomes, and by extension contributing to the national economy through remittances and other investments. I Invite the Uganda Diaspora in Turkey to make full use of the Investment compendium and invest in SMEs, and transfer appropriate technology for small and cottage industries.
As Ugandans with the assistance of our Turkish friends, we should endeavour to achieve socio - economic transformation by the year 2040. Uganda’s most pressing challenge is job creation and youth unemployment. Therefore in order to protect our independence, we must be devoted and work hard towards job creation through effective industrial development, investments, skill development and value addition to domestic products. Skilled Ugandans in Turkey should establish themselves as reputable Entrepreneurs, Expatriates, Academics, Civil Society leaders, Musicians and Cultural performers. This projects a positive image of Uganda and promotes enriched diversity and development. The Economy of a country is the main barometer of its overall strength.
I wish you all Happy Independence Celebrations
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh
Amb. Johnson Agara Olwa
HEAD OF MISSION
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda