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In China, Museveni Eyes Xi’s $60bn Africa Fund

President Museveni has Monday arrived in Beijing, China for a four-day working visit on the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jingping.

On arrival at Beijing International Airport, the President was received by the Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, Mr. Liu Xianfa.

Others present were Uganda’s Foreign Affairs, Mr. Minister Sam Kutesa and China’s Ambassador to Uganda, Zhang Zhuqiang.

A group of nine African diplomats led by Uganda’s Ambassador to China, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, were also on hand to receive the President.

The other eight chair the key African Union blocs in China like ECOWAS, SADC and the EAC.

President Museveni is on Tuesday expected to make a keynote address during the official opening of the Coordinators’ Meeting of the Implementation of the Follow-Up Actions of Beijing Summit of the FOCAC.

In September last year, President Xi Xinping hosted nearly all African leaders to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that arrived at eight major resolutions.

Tuesday’s follow-up meeting, that is mainly a ministerial gathering, examines progress on implementation of the resolutions that were agreed upon at the Heads of State Summit in Beijing last year.

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State House said in a statement to ChimpReports on Monday that among the eight resolutions were that China would launch programmes of cooperation with Africa on the industrial and agriculture front; develop a joint infrastructure development plan with the African Union; increase imports from Africa especially non-resource products and implement 50 green projects in Africa to respond to climate change.

Other resolutions were on social and cultural support; healthcare support; people-to-people exchanges; security cooperation and President Xi then announced a US$60 billion financing kitty to ensure the resolutions were implemented.

In Beijing, President Museveni is also expected to hold bilateral talks with his host, Xi Jinping and will witness the signing of agreements between their countries for cooperation in the fields of finance and agriculture, among others.

TRADE EXPO

Later on his visit, President Museveni is expected to be the chief guest at the opening of the first ever China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, which will be held in Hunan Province.

The Expo actualizes one of the resolutions arrived at last year in Beijing and is seen as “a new mechanism for commercial cooperation with Africa, a new platform to deliver the trade and economic measures of FOCAC and a new window for sub-national business cooperation with Africa.”

Several Ugandan manufacturers will have their products on display at the Expo that will also be characterized by seminars, presentations and business matchmaking.

Museveni is also expected to discuss with Xi the issue of conditions on loans given to Uganda by China.

Uganda maintains it was arm-twisted to open an escrow account in Bank of Uganda and deposited a colossal Shs 150bn meant to guarantee security of Chinese loans.

The escrow account as of mid-2018 was already effecting terms 5 agreements including; Karuma Hydropower Dam (USD$ 17.6M), Kampala-Entebbe Airport Expressway UDS$ 7m, National Backbone & E-Government Phase III USD$ 311,000 and Isimba Hydropower Project USD $9.7m.

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