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Chinese Premier Leaves Uganda, Wrapping up African Tour


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao left Uganda Saturday, wrapping up a seven-nation tour of Africa designed to further China's economic ties with the continent. While in Kampala, Mr. Wen met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The two were present for the signing of six agreements. Mr. Wen's stop in Uganda followed visits to Angola, Egypt, Ghana, the Republic of Congo, South Africa and Tanzania.

Shortly after the Chinese Premier left Uganda, Voice of America English to Africa reporter Douglas Mpuga spoke with President Museveni’s Press Secretary, Onapito Okolomoit, and asked him about the visit.

Mr. Okolomoit said the two leaders discussed such issues as developing agricultural research, education, and improving the processing of agricultural products.

He said they also signed an agreement to increase Uganda’s exports to China. Mr. Okolomoit explained that the visit was mainly about promoting private investment, since China and Uganda have a long and genial relationship. He said the current Chinese president visited Uganda while he was still the vice president a few years ago.

The press secretary said Uganda has a lot to learn from China since it was considered a third-world country only a few decades ago. “China is also opening up her markets to our agricultural products, more or less on the model of the America’s Africa and Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA),” he said.

He mentioned that Uganda might need China’s help in oil exploration in the Lake Albert region, where oil deposits have been identified. He said, in all, six agreements were signed between the two countries.

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