President Museveni has said Uganda is ready for more joint projects with the Democratic Republic of Congo that will help benefit citizens of both countries.
The president made the remarks on Wednesday afternoon as he together with his DRC counterpart, Felix Tshisekedi commissioned the construction of roads to connect the two countries at a function held at the border town of Mpondwe in Kasese.
Museveni applauded Tshiskedi for coming with an open heart that he said will ensure development of both countries, but also the East African region at large.
“I want to salute President Tshisekedi because he came with positive heart and says he doesn’t want any suspicion and conflict between Congo and neighbours. That is exactly what anybody who wants development would do,” Museveni said.
“I am very happy about the road project which we discussed in detail but also the issue of security in the region .Together we can work on more projects and we are ready for this.”
Museveni also saluted his DRC counterpart for ensuring his country joins the East African Community where it was naturally supposed to belong.
“Congo outside the East African Community was artificial. You can’t talk of the East African Community without talking about DRC because all this has been part of the region, since time immemorial.”
Speaking in response, DRC president, Felix Tshisekedi said the road project will help ensure the socio-economic wellbeing of the people from both countries.
“I am sure when this project is achieved, it will work on our development and security,” he said.
The road project
Uganda is set to construct 223km of roads inside the Democratic Republic of Congo to a tune of Shs243.7 billion.
The first road will run from Kasindi to Beni (80km) whereas the second one will integrate the Beni-Butebo axis (54km)
The third road will move for 89 kilometres from the border town of Bunagana, through Rutshuru to the strategic city of Goma, the capital of the North Kivu Province in DRC.
As part of these road projects, the heads of state on Wednesday directed that the construction of Nebbi- GoliMahagi- Bunia road (190 kilometers), Bunia- Bogoro- Kasenyi road (55 Kilometers) and Rwebisengo-Budiba-Buguma-Njiyapanda road including the Budiba Bridge across River Semliki (49 Kilometers) be undertaken as soon as possible.
Last month, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo signed major agreements that will see the two countries bolster cross border trade and development and stabilize Eastern Congo that is wrought with pockets of instability.
“We are also ready to for the electricity. We took power to Kasindi and now Beni and Butembo. We shall extend to Mahangi. We are ready to work on three things, security, roads and electricity. Even if we don’t do anything else for now, people on both sides will be happy with these,” Museveni said during the signing of the agreements last month at State House in Entebbe.
In a bid to safeguard her interests especially in the volatile part of the country, Uganda recently deployed a sizeable number of troops inside the DRC.
It is also said that the troops will help secure the road construction works which are set to kick off soon.
Uganda seems to be aggressively looking for new markets where to sell her goods, especially after Rwanda which was one of the biggest markets closed her borders as the strained relationship between the two countries continues.
In 2019, President Museveni said Uganda will target the DRC population of 80 million as a possible market for her goods.
With the speed at which everything about the DRC projects are moving, it seems Uganda badly needs this implemented.