President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged European leaders to focus on two major issues of debt relief and trade with Africa. The President was yesterday bidding farewell to the outgoing Ambassador of Netherlands to Uganda H.E Henk Jan Bakker who has concluded his four-year tour of duty in Uganda.
“For Europe, Africa is your natural partners. We should have good links with Europe. Your leaders should understand the historical relationship between Europe and Africa,” he said.
Mr. Museveni added that Africa is now waking up and so Europe needs to lift some restrictions so that it can export products like milk to the European Union.
He said that in the past, Africa had a problem of infrastructure but in the case of Uganda, that is now sorted.
“When Africa wakes up completely, the production will go up and that will only leave us with the issue of debt and trade,” he said.
Ambassador Henk who paid a courtesy call on President Museveni at State House Entebbe briefed him about his next deployment in Ethiopia.
He agreed with the President that Europe should stop seeing Africa as a problem but rather an opportunity.
“The Netherlands has an important and cordial bilateral relationship with Uganda and for years now, the focus has slowly shifted from aid to trade & investment,” he said.
He thanked the Government of Uganda for the support rendered to him during his tour of duty and asked the President always to send him an invite whenever he is in Ethiopia where he is going from here.
“It has been a very interesting and good time in Uganda and one of my greatest tours of duty in my life time,” Ambassador Henk said.
Ambassador Henk Jan Bakker previous worked in Afghanistan before coming to Uganda in September 2016.
The two countries work together in several areas especially in food security where the Netherlands has helped make the Ugandan agricultural sector more competitive and commercial, by increasing agricultural productivity through agro-inputs, processing, market access and infrastructure.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sam Kahamba Kuteesa.