DUBAI - Uganda’s rich agriculture and the UAE’s technological prowess offer potential synergy to expand bilateral relations, Gen. Odongo Jeje Abubakhar, Ugandan Foreign Minister, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

As Uganda is primarily an agricultural country, it can meet the UAE’s food needs and acquire UAE’s technology to help add value to Uganda’s agricultural produce, he said during a recent interview in Dubai.

“It is only then that we can help the Ugandan population become wealthier and more stable.”

High-level visits, flight connectivity

The top diplomat said that Uganda is very excited about the excellent relations with the UAE.

Gen. Abubacker explained that the bilateral relations have considerably strengthened in recent years with regular high-level visits and increased flight connectivity between both countries.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni visited the UAE over five times in the last three years, and there are 27 flights a week between the UAE and Uganda, he pointed out.

“This shows you the importance and the growth of our relations. And I believe this can only grow further.”

Uganda wants to enhance the cooperation with the UAE in international security and economy, and the growth of partnership in business is a top priority, the Foreign Minister emphasised.

UAE’s support for Horn of Africa’s peace

Uganda seeks the UAE’s cooperation for peace and development of the Horn of Africa, he said.

“The relationship between Uganda and the UAE is going to grow stronger and more intimate, considering that UAE is very close to the East Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa. It is a relatively fragile region as we speak.”

Uganda is looking forward to the UAE’s cooperation to end violence in the region and create an environment for development, Gen. Abubakhar stressed.

Climate cooperation

He appreciated the UAE for successfully organising COP28, the UN Climate Conference in Dubai in December. The Foreign Minister expressed his happiness over the headway made by the COP28 in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“We have been able to get some consensus on how we can work together between the developed and the developing world.”

Uganda as chair of the Group of 77 plus China (G77+China), the largest negotiating bloc of developing countries in the United Nations; and the UAE as chair of COP28 can have a “more interesting and more energised journey to deal with the challenges of climate change,” the top diplomat added.

Long-term experience

Gen. Abubakhar has decades-long experience in the government and Army.

Before becoming the Foreign Minister, he was Minister of Internal Affairs during 2016-2021.

He had also served as Minister of State for Defence and Minister of State for Environment.

Gen. Abubakhar was Army Commander between 1998 and 2001. He had also occupied several other posts in the military, especially as representative of the Army in parliament.

He holds MA in International Studies from Nairobi University and BA (Hon) in Education from Makerere University.