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Ugandan president seeks UAE help to develop ports

Ugandan president seeks UAE help to develop ports

ABU DHABI: Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni offered a 4-day visit to United Arab Emirates where he asked Ahamad, the Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation of UAE to come to Uganda and invest in the development of their Dry Port and Free Zone, helping Uganda to be a competitive international trader.

Museveni asked Ahamed, who is also the Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation of the UAE, to come and invest in the establishment of the Uganda Dry Port and Free Zone in order to boost the Uganda’s competitiveness in international trade.

The President was holding talks with Chairman Sultan Ahmed when he visited the Dubai Port, Jabel Ali Free Zone, on the 3rd day of his 4-day official working visit to the United Arab Emirates.

In a brief to the President, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told President Museveni that Uganda is a very important trading partner with Dubai in Africa and said Dubai Port World is determined to improve links and connect Uganda to the wider global market.

He said Dubai Port World was a two and half billion dollar project that started in 1966 and launched its Free Zone operations in 1985.

It has 7,000 companies based there and handles more than 14 million containers per year, employs a workforce of 200,000 people for whom it also provides accommodation.

He assured the President that they have the capacity and determination to assist Uganda develop a Dry Port and Free Zone.

The President had earlier on arrival in Dubai been received by the UAE Vice President and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who received him at his Zabeel Palace.

The two discussed ways of enhancing friendship and cooperation between Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.

The Vice-President took President Museveni on a guided tour of Burj Khalifa Building, the tallest tower in the world. The building has 200 floors and is serviced by several high speed lifts.

President Museveni was able to reach the 152nd floor from where he was able to view the evening panorama of the City of Dubai. Back in Abu Dhabi, President Museveni visited Masdar Corporation, Mudabala Institute for Renewable Energy where he was received by the Director, Dr. Ahmed Belhont.

The Corporation promotes environmentally friendly renewable energy particularly solar and wind powered energy generation. A number of Ugandans are currently on scholarship training there and the Institute has indicated that it is ready to offer more opportunities to other qualifying Ugandans.