What you need to know:
- The Chinese officials say their government’s financing model for Africa has moved from infrastructure development.
- In 2019, the relationship between Uganda and China was upgraded to the level of Comprehensive Cooperation Partnership with a joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Investment and Technical cooperation (JCTEIT) as a bilateral framework of economic cooperation.
President Museveni has welcomed China’s new development model on the African continent in which Uganda is among the countries set to benefit.
Mr Museveni, who met a Chinese delegation at State House on Friday, singled out two key areas of interest for Uganda; poverty eradication and technology transfer.
Mr Museveni revealed that his government is now focused on guiding people on how to eradicate poverty at household level to achieve socio-economic transformation.
“The ministry of Finance should engage with the Chinese ambassador on where they can come in on the issue of poverty eradication. Because in the past they were supporting mainly infrastructure. You can propose to them where they could help us,” he said.
The Chinese delegation was led by the Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Zhang Lizhong, who confirmed that his country’s financing model has moved from infrastructure to poverty eradication.
A team from the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance also attended the State House meeting.
Ambassador Lizhong informed President Museveni that during the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Dakar, Senegal, in November last year, China announced nine programmes to strengthen China-Africa cooperation.
They include medical and healthcare, poverty reduction and agricultural development, trade promotion, investment promotion, digital innovation, green development, capacity building, cultural and people to people exchange and peace and security.
“From the Chinese side, we hope to have a cooperation model focusing on more handy and practical technological projects with remarkable effects on the livelihoods of the people of Uganda,” Ambassador Lizhong said.
On technology transfer, Mr Museveni noted that some Ugandan companies such as automobile manufacturers are already working with China bilaterally, and it will be of great importance to further the already existing partnership.
On vaccine development, Mr Museveni said: “We are already developing our vaccines but if our Chinese friends want to participate, we shall welcome them.”
According to Ambassador Lizhong, China enjoys strong ties with the people and government of Uganda, which he said is evident through cooperation in various sectors, including trade, industrial investments, and infrastructure development.
Ambassador Zhang said this comes at a time when the two countries are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations, with a series of activities planned later this year.