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Ditch Europe, Start Importing Milk From Uganda, Museveni Woos Algeria

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has met and held discussions with a Special Envoy from Algeria, Ramtane Lamamra who is also the North African country's Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The meeting that took place at Museveni's country home in Rwakitura was also attended by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, John Mulimba.

The president and his guest discussed bilateral cooperation between the two sister countries of Uganda and Algeria in the fields of trade, agriculture and security, among others.

Museveni used this opportunity to lobby the Algerians to invest in Uganda especially in agricultural value addition but also asked the North African country to start importing milk from Uganda.

"We have a lot of milk here. Please, come and buy our milk because I am told you import it from Europe. We don't have any food problem in Uganda. The only problem we have now is fuel prices," Museveni told his guest.

Giving his State of the National Address recently, President Museveni said the current global crisis presents Uganda with plenty of opportunities including in the dairy industry.

"Many of these products(countries are yearning for) are the ones that have been in surplus in Uganda. We just need to deal with a few quality and bio-hazard issues. The door to our dairy exports will be opened when we, the cattle owners, vaccinate our cattle twice a year," Museveni said.

He said if government doesn't have money to implement vaccination of cattle twice a year, farmers can take it up and do it themselves.

"Given the lucrative export markets that will become available, like the one of Algeria of $1.124 billion, this cost on the farmers, will make sense. The other crucial vaccine will be the one of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP)."

Speaking to his guest on Friday, Museveni also commented on the issue of conflicts in some African countries.

He said that the problem has been over dependence on the outside countries. The solution, therefore, he said, is working together as Africa.

"There has been a crisis in Africa and part of the problem was Africans thinking of depending on Europe. The solution is to work together," he said.

He gave an example of border conflicts, and said that if one country wants to revise colonial boarders, they should do it diplomatically.

"When we decided to form the regional blocs like COMESA here, the plan was to bring Africa to work together. The progressive states of Africa should not listen to divisions," he noted.

Museveni commended Algeria for being on the right side of the liberation struggle and said they will continue being good allies.

Speaking in response, Lamamra said he had brought a special message and fraternal greetings from the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune to President Museveni.

He also extended an invitation from Tebboune to Museveni to attend Algeria's 60th independence anniversary set for July 5.

"My president is inviting you to the celebration of our 60th independence anniversary. Ten African leaders have been invited and, your excellency, you are one of them," he said.

He further said that Algeria is regaining its strength and economic independence, noting that both countries need to do more when it comes to cooperation especially in the field of trade.

"We need to do more on bilateral cooperation and increase on trade".

The envoy said that a business council has been established to discuss what Uganda can sell to Algeria and what Algeria can sell to Uganda.

He said Algeria would continue to give scholarships for both civilians and military officers in Uganda to exchange experience.

The meeting was attended by, among others, the Ambassador of Algeria to Uganda Oualid Cherif, and the Ambassador of Uganda to Algeria, Alintuma Nsambu.

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