Uganda, Kenya leadership key to prosperity: Uhuru
President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Kenyan and Ugandan governments hold the key to the prosperity of their citizens. Expressing his commitment to the ideals of the East African Community, President Kenyatta noted that his government was focused on achieving integration. The Head of State also reiterated the need for unity among the political, legislative and public service leaders of EAC member states so as to ensure that the potential of the Community is achieved. Speaking during a state banquet held in his honour at State House Entebbe, Uganda, President Kenyatta noted that regional economic integration is an important component in the development agenda of the East African Community, noting that integration can only be achieved by getting rid of all non-tariff barriers to trade that may be hindering the movement of goods and as workers across the different countries.
The President further said legislatures needed to domesticate all aspects of the Customs Union and Common Market Protocols. On regional peace and security, the President said Kenya and Uganda have worked together to deal with various challenges, the most recent being the stabilisation of Somalia.
Noting that Uganda People’s Defence Force has more than six thousand soldiers serving with AMISOM in Somalia, President Kenyatta added that after the Kenya Defense Forces' intervention in Somalia that led to the recapturing of Kismayu, the KDF troops serving in Somalia had also been incorporated into the United Nations Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
“It is an honour for our men and women in uniform to be working together to bring peace to Somalia, which has faced war and conflict for the last twenty years,” President Kenyatta said.
He expressed hope that the two governments will co-operate when tackling other peace and security challenges such as the frequent cases of cattle rustling and banditry in the northern parts of the two countries.
Noting that Kenya and Uganda have enjoyed warm and cordial relations over the years, the President also reiterated Kenya’s readiness and willingness to work with the government and people of Uganda to deepen the partnership in the pursuit of common goals.
Speaking during the function, President Yoweri Museveni expressed his gratitude to Kenya and other nations for assisting Ugandans during their time of need, adding that Kenya is home to many Ugandans.
He once more congratulated President Kenyatta on his election and commended Kenyans for conducting a peaceful election.
President Museveni noted that the visit of President Kenyatta to Uganda demonstrated his commitment and seriousness to the integration process.
The two leaders held bilateral talks ahead of the start of the Infrastructure Investment Summit. Issues that will be part of the summit's agenda include the construction of a standard gauge railway line from Mombasa and the implementation of reforms to enhance efficiency at the Port of Mombasa.
President Kenyatta was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Ambassador Amina Mohamed, Engineer Michael Kamau, Adan Mohammed and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho among other senior government officials.