President Yoweri Museveni has received and held a meeting with a 30-man Russian delegation, led by the Russian Vice Minister for Telecommunications and Mass Communications, Mr. Alexey Volin, who called on him yesterday at State House, Nakasero.
The Russian visitors are in Uganda to establish cooperation with Uganda in the development of projects in the sectors of cyber security, information technology, agriculture, transport infrastructure and development of smart cities, among others.
Energy and Minerals Minister, Hon. Irene Muloni, that of Information, ICT and Communications, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze and State Minister for ICT and Communications, Hon. Nantaba Aida Erios, attended the meeting.
President Museveni, who warmly welcomed the delegation to Uganda, called for a Russia – Africa Summit so that strategic development issues between the 2 sides can be discussed. He told his visitors that Uganda is aiming at producing twenty million bags of coffee per year to be able to compete with other leading coffee producers in the world like Brazil and India, among others.
Uganda is 8th among the top 10 coffee producing countries in the world behind Brazil which produced 3 billion kilogrammes of coffee in 2017; Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, India and Honduras.
The President told his guests that the only missing link is the shipping line that should go from South Africa through Mombasa on to the Red Sea so that products that have to be shipped can easily be transported. He assured the delegation that Uganda has all the raw materials that can be processed and exported as finished products to the international markets including coffee, tea and vegetables.
”If you like to export processed coffee, the best means of transport is by train and a shipping line from Durban in South Africa via the Red Sea on to Europe,” he said.
Regarding electricity, the President said that the NRM Government is developing the main power grid to ensure that the whole country is adequately covered with electricity. He told them that the crucial issue is to reduce power tariffs to 6 American Cents per unit so that electricity is affordable to the users. He also said that currently, the Government of Uganda is using nuclear energy in the sterilization of male tsetse flies in order stop the infections spread by the vector.
On his part, Minister Alexey Volin, on behalf of the Russian delegation thanked President Museveni for the warm welcome.