UGANDA has intentions of establishing a diplomatic mission in Zambia within the next 12 months, Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Okello-Oryem has revealed.
He said at the moment Uganda’s mission for Zambia was based in Dar-es-salaam.
“We think that we should do better with Zambia opening a mission in Kampala and Uganda opening mission in Lusaka,” he said.
Mr Okello-Oryem said President Edgar Lungu had already hinted this to his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni about the matter.
“As Minister of Foreign Affairs, we will accept the opening of a mission in Lusaka so that bilateral relations can be dealt with by officials close to the capitals of each country,” Mr Okello-Oryem said.
And Mr Okello-Oryem has described President Lungu’s visit to Uganda as a mark for the beginning of regenerating a relationship that was very strong at one time.
“We hope that this visit will regenerate the relationship that will establish a new modern relationship that is based on a win-win situation and work as equal partners and success for all Ugandans and Zambians,” he said.
Mr Okello-Oryem said Uganda was hopeful that President Lungu’s visit would help their nation learn Zambia’s speciailty in the mining sector.
“Zambia is known for its specialist in mining. We have a lot of minerals in Uganda from gold, cotton to copper, Iron ore but we do not have the kind of expertise which Zambia has in the mining area. It is our hope that we can learn from the experience that Zambia has had,” he said.
Mr Okello-Oryem said Uganda also hoped to get Zambia’s experience in the Tourism sector, adding that Zambia was more successful in the tourism sector than Uganda. He said Uganda wanted to learn how it could also be attracting quality tourists and infrastructure for tourism. Mr Okello-Oryem said although Uganda was also growing tobacco, Zambia had a larger production base compared to Uganda.
“We really hope that Zambia will also take advantage of our success in coffee, tea, maize and rice which Uganda is very successful in. At the moment, we have a surplus of rice and maize grain. We hope that we can be able to export them to Zambia,” he said.
Mr Okello-Oryem said the visit would also help engage in discussions of how the two countries could share experiences and challenges of handling the youths through youth exchange programmes.
“Youths in Zambia should be able to come to Uganda through youth exchange programmes and youths in Uganda should be able to visit Zambia through the same programme so that they can be able to share the challenges of being a youth,” he said.