French President Emmanuel Macron has sent a message of support to President Museveni ahead of his swearing-in ceremony next month, pledging to work with him to strengthen the political and economic relationship between the two countries.
“I sincerely hope that your new term of office will be an opportunity to deepen the friendship between our two countries, and to develop a relationship of trust in all areas of mutual interest, both political and economic,” said Macron.
“I therefore hope that the coming years will allow us to cultivate our bilateral dialogue on strategic issues for both countries, especially in supporting the peace process in South Sudan, the stabilization of Somalia and the easing of tensions in the great Lakes region,” the French President Macron said in a letter to President Museveni.
Macron also wants to fast-track the construction of the EACOP Oil pipeline, saying it will be a major opportunity to intensify trade between the two countries and to further expand their cooperation.
“The spirit of dialogue, mutual esteem and respect will enable us to strengthen our bilateral relationship. You can count on me to mobilize French expertise and investors to increase the French economic presence in Uganda and thus give substance to this relationship,” said Macron.
The French leader said this is why he wanted his minister delegate for Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Mr. Frank Rieser, to visit Uganda this year in line with the mutual desire to intensify the bilateral partnership.
“This visit will follow the signing of the final investment decision between Uganda, Tanzania and the Total Group for the construction of the EACOP Oil pipeline, which will allow the exploitation and export of oil. This will be a major opportunity to intensify trade between our two countries and to further expand our cooperation,” he said.
French firm Total E & P expects to see Uganda’s oil flowing through the East African Pipeline within the next five years.
The conclusion of the key oil agreements with Tanzania and oil companies de-risked all the other upcoming projects including the refinery and the new exploration projects.
The development of the Upstream projects guarantees the supply of feedstock into the refinery, while the pipeline and the refinery provide evacuation options for future oil discoveries in the new exploration areas.
By the end of the construction phase, Uganda’s GDP is expected to be significantly boosted through sectoral linkages by close to USD 9 Billion.
This is a 22% increase of the current GDP, which is expected to reach USD 40.1 Billion in 2020/21.
The unlocked investment includes the implementation of the Tilenga Project in Buliisa and Nwoya districts (approximately US$4 billion); the Kingfisher Project in Hoima and Kikuube Districts (approximately US$1.5 billion); and, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) that will cross the ten (10) districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Mubende, Lwengo, Sembabule, Kyotera and Rakai in Uganda (approx. US$3.6bn).
This is in addition to what Government is already investing in the required support infrastructure, including Hoima International Airport (over US$500m) and 700 kilometres of oil roads (approx. US$900m).
In a message to the President and the people of Uganda ahead of the swearing-in ceremony next month, President Macron wished President Museveni and all Ugandans success in the new term.
“Following your re-election as the President of the Republic of Uganda, I would like to wish you and all Ugandans every success in your new term.
I know how much you have cherished the ideal of a modern and independent Uganda since assuming the Office of the Head of State in Uganda. I also know to what extent, under your impetus, Uganda has been transformed and has experiences unprecedented economic and human development. This is why I hope that your action will be focused on meeting the new aspirations of the Ugandan youth and that your new term in office will be centred on the full respect for the humanist and democratic values that we share,” he said.
France and Uganda have been cooperating in military partnership under which the French army provides assistance to train the UPDF for the AMISOM, training Ugandan officers in France or in other military schools in Africa.
Uganda imported from France goods worth US$51.19 Million during 2020, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade while it exported goods worth US$8.98 Million during the same time.