Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has welcomed the designation of TARCO Airlines, a Sudanese private Carrier to start direct flights between Khartoum and Entebbe. The airline has been previously flying to Chad, Nigeria, South Sudan, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since 2009.
However, the government of Sudan recently designated TARCO airline to fly to Entebbe, easing flights between Uganda and Sudan. The process is however pending clearance by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Works and Transport.
During a meeting with his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, President Yoweri Museveni observed that the designation of the flight route would greatly improve connectivity between the two countries and promote trade, tourism and investment.
Sudan is one of Uganda’s major coffee export markets importing 20 percent of Uganda coffee. The country is also the single biggest export market for the product from which about USD 100 million is earned, according to data released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The presidents also observed that the lifting of trade and economic sanctions that had been unilaterally imposed on Sudan by the United States for nearly 20 years, is an opportunity for boosting trade volumes between the countries and called upon the business communities and private sectors to take advantage of this positive development.
According to a Joint Communique issued after a meeting between the two presidents last night, the two presidents also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Higher Education between the two countries.
“The Heads of State witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Higher Education between the two countries. They directed their respective Ministers to fast track implementation of all decisions agreed upon and conclude all pending Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the areas of agriculture, sports and youth as well as security before the next JMC to be hosted by Uganda by March 2018,” the statement reads.
They also exchanged views on regional security, and underscored the need to support the IGAD led revitalization of the implementation of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) and the unique roles being played by both Sudan and Uganda as immediate neighbours of South Sudan. They undertook to intensify efforts, bilaterally and within the IGAD and AU frameworks, towards finding a lasting political solution through an all-inclusive National dialogue.
They reviewed the implementation of the decisions made during President Museveni’s official visit of to Sudan on September 15-16, 2015 as well as the 5th Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC). They noted the progress being made in cooperation between the two countries particularly in the sectors of trade and investment, transport, security and education.
They noted the ongoing collaboration between the respective Standards Agencies with regard to quality assurance of coffee exports and stressed the need for value addition.
During the Visit, a Business Forum which brought together the Sudanese Business Delegation and their Ugandan counterparts was held.
The Forum discussed opportunities for trade and investment particularly in agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and commodities especially coffee and tea.
The Heads of State agreed to convene a Joint Investment Conference in Khartoum, on dates to be confirmed, to showcase trade and investment opportunities in both countries with participation of the private sector from the Sudan, Uganda and Arab countries.