The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gen Jeje Abubaker Odongo has hailed outgoing ambassador of Turkey to Uganda, Fikret Kerem for strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries.
Odongo made the remarks on Friday, during the ambassador’s send off ceremony, organised by Yuasa Investments Ltd at their headquarters in Nakawa.
In his remarks, Odongo thanked Fikret for strengthening diplomatic ties and trade between Turkey and Uganda, despite challenges like Covid-19 disruptions, during his four-year tenure.
“The high note of that deepening and strengthening was examplified by the visit of the His Excellency the President of Turkey here to Uganda and the return visit that unfortunately did not take place but which we hope is still in the wind,” Odongo said.
The minister, further appreciated the outgoing ambassador for galvanising the Muslim brotherhood and the Turkish community in Uganda during numerous functions.
“I can tell you, in the East where I come from, every Eid Adha the moslem community of Turkish origin, had been able to make it possible for Ugandans in that part of the country to sacrifice up to 6,000 cows,” the minister said.
In his remarks, Ambassador Fikret said that, following the end of his four-year tour of duty, he leaves Uganda with good memories and stories to tell to Turkey and the rest of the world.
”My general impression about Uganda, is that this is a very beautiful country with very generous people, rich natural resources. Therefore, I believe that the opportunities in Uganda are not so well appreciated by the rest of the world,” Fikret said.
”We managed to bring a lot of dynamism to the relations between Uganda and Turkey. A number of high level visits have been happening, we managed to increase the trade volumes by about two-folds in about four years, we opened the Visa office and Turkey has been well accessible by Ugandans,” Fikret said.
At the same event, the Chief Executive Officer of Yuasa, Hasham Wahaib thanked the outgoing ambassador for carrying out his job with love and for having created a good relationship with Yuasa, which contibuted to social-economic transformation of Uganda.
“He has created economic opportunities that have contributed to poverty alleviation..Therefore, on behalf of Yuasa, I take this chance to thank him for for glorious services and wish him the best for the future,” Wahaib said.
Worth noting is that Karem was assigned as the Turkish ambassador to Uganda in 2018.
During his tenure, he has seen trade volume between Uganda and Turkey grow to $18 million in 2022 from $14 million in 2018.
Im terms of education, over 200 opharnage schools have been built while many classrooms have been constructed as a result of cooperation between Uganda and Turkey.
Turkey, was also crutial to Uganda during the Covid-19 times by contributing 400 bicycles to Uganda Covid-19 task force team.