The Ugandan government will be constructing or refurbishing two embassies in different parts of the world every year as part of a wider strategy to promote the country’s image,
Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa has revealed.
“We have been spreading ourselves thin by trying to build many embassies at the same time,” said Kutesa.
“Every year, the Foreign Affairs Ministry will be concentrating on building two embassies. Our image in terms of facilities will continue to improve,” he added.
Kutesa made the remarks on Saturday at the inauguration of the Uganda High Commission in Tanzania’s Capital, Dar es Salaam.
The dilapidated state of Ugandan embassies in foreign countries has been a major public concern.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, last year said it was regrettable the government had left Uganda’s missions and embassies abroad to rot away.
In Dar es Salaam, Kutesa praised Uganda’s Ambassador to Tanzania, Richard Kabonero for overseeing the process of rebuilding the embassy and proper utilization of allocated funds.
The Chancery building in Dar-es-Salaam was redeveloped with new security installations, reinforced wall fence, compound landscaping and walkways.
Kabonero said the inauguration of the structure brought pride and apprehension as all resident countries are now required to shift their diplomatic missions to Dodoma.
In response, Kutesa said a new chancery would be built in Dodoma.
“It is very good to have a car and flag but better to have a home that reflects the image of your country,” he added.
He said the Dar facility will serve the Ugandans living in the city or be rented out to generate money for government.
A representative of Ugandans in Tanzania expressed concern about the unfair treatment they receive from Tanzanian authorities.
“Uganda is receptive but this is not reciprocated here,” the Ugandan said.
Kutesa said the signed Memorandums of Understanding are aimed at resolving bilateral issues such as immigration, work permits and higher inspection fees for their goods.
According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the volume of trade between Uganda is approximately $355m as at 17 May 2019.
Officials expressed optimism that removal of non-tariff barriers would boost bilateral trade.
Kutesa also said Ugandan children are trafficked to different countries by unscrupulous people operating under the radar.
“They don’t register with our missions,” said Kutesa.
“It becomes very hard to help them when trouble falls.”
Today’s ceremony marked the end of a series of events organized by the Ugandan High Commission in Tanzania including the Joint Permanent Commission and the Business Forum addressed by Presidents Yoweri Museveni and John Magufuli.