‘Algeria is strategic for Uganda’

Friday December 9 2016

State minister for Finance Gabriel Ajedra said

State minister for Finance Gabriel Ajedra said Uganda has a lot to learn from Algeria’s industrialisation. FILE PHOTO 

By Mark Keith Muhumuza

Algiers. In order to create jobs and have skills transfer in Algeria, the Algerian government signed several partnerships with companies such as Mercedes-Benz and Renault for cars to be assembled in the country.
One of the significant partnerships Algeria signed was with Mercedes-Benz and the Societe Nationale des Vehicules Industriels to produce armoured vehicles that can be bought by armies across the world.
Uganda has its own ambitions to start producing cars but without partnerships from already existing manufacturers, this dream is rather farfetched.

Speaking to Daily Monitor on the sidelines of the recently concluded Africa Investments and Business Forum in Algeria, Mr Gabriel Ajedra, the State minister for Finance in charge of general duties said there was a lot to learn from Algeria’s industrialisation.
“Their auto industry has grown quite substantially and I am very much impressed. And they are now going into hi-tech electronics. This is something Uganda can learn from. We can always talk about agriculture but we need to move away to industrialisation. Uganda has been looking at manufacturing its own car but Algeria is already assembling cars,” he said.

Algeria also has a policy of demanding that car manufacturers bring production lines into the country if they want to sell cars in the country. At the forum attended by about 3,000 delegates, Algeria showcased what it can export to the rest of Africa but also the opportunities for other countries to tap into the country’s market.
“We also have an opportunity as a country to export coffee to Algeria because they are one of the largest consumers of coffee in Africa. We grow coffee in Uganda. Coffee is one of the fastest products we can start exporting to Algeria,” Mr Ajedra added.

The Uganda government has also been banking on the experience of Algeria in managing oil and gas revenue in order to build its own capacity.
Mr Ajedra said Uganda and Sonatrach, Algeria’s state-owned oil and gas company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2015 on the premise of skills transfer, investments and technical assistance, especially to the Uganda National Oil Company. Sonatrach was founded 53 years ago.
“There is the existence of numerous cooperation opportunities in areas such as higher education, vocational training, defence and security, oil and gas,” said Mr Moses Sebunya, the Ugandan ambassador to Algeria.

bilateral ties
Uganda and Algeria strengthened bilateral relations in 2015 with the former opening an embassy in Algiers. The embassy serves Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia.

mmuhumuza@ug.nationmedia.com

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