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Kenya lauds Uganda’s 52nd Independence anniversary

14 October 2014, 15:23 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Kenyan government has lauded Uganda for marking its 52nd independence anniversary and assured that the duo 50-year bilateral trade will co-exist to consolidate and enhance commercial and other economic ties for the benefit of citizens.

The Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary, Michael Kamau who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta in marking Uganda’s Independence anniversary in Nairobi said good partnership with Uganda and other East African countries has contributed to effective and efficient movement of people and goods across the borders.

“Over a span of just one year, we now boast of a single tourist visa regime, single customs territory as well as harmonized travel documents which allow citizen of the three countries to cross our borders without the need for passports,” said Kamau.

“Another major achievement which I am personally proud of is in the transport sector. Traders in Uganda will tell you that constraints such as congestion at our ports and diverse barriers along the main transport corridors have had negative impact on the movement of imports to Uganda and thus raising the cost of goods and services,” he added.

However, Kamau reiterated due to convened Summits among the EA countries to look into the barriers challenge substantial improvements in the movement of cargo have been realised along the Northern Corridor.

Also read: Ugandans celebrate Golden Jubilee marking 50 years of Independence

He said the transit of containers from Mombasa to Kampala has reduced from 18 days to 4 days while that from Mombasa to Kigali has been reduced from 22 days to 6 days. He added that multiple customs declarations for fuel have also dropped by 90%.

“In order to sustain these tremendous achievements, we commit ourselves to continuously come up with more innovative measures to multiply such benefits even more. We are committed to continue this trend to ensure the competitiveness of our goods and services in the international market," said the Transport CS.

Kamau further said Uganda’s theme to mark the 52nd day of freedom dubbed “Unity, Peace, Security and Regional Integration” captures not only the aspirations of Ugandans but also that Kenyans as well as other neighbouring countries.

The Ugandan High Commissioner to Kenya, Angelina Wapakhabulo, assured that the two countries will maintain their long-term bilateral relations to pursue various economic initiatives aimed at consolidating peace and stability in promoting regional integration.

Wapakhabulo said the duo relations will grow stronger for mutual benefit since the ties are grounded and shaped in deep historical sociocultural, political and economic interests.

“It is our desire to build on these bonds and to further explore other possible avenues for cooperation," said Wapakhabulo.

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