Mr Museveni said his government would continue supporting French investors, pointing out that there were opportunities in the provision of solar energy and supporting water projects on River Kagera.
French President François Hollande yesterday commended Uganda’s role in bolstering regional peace and security, and announced his country’s continued support through military cooperation.
According to a statement from the French Presidency, President Hollande “stressed the positive contribution of Uganda to peace and security in Africa, in particular the participation of Ugandan forces in the African Union [Peace-keeping] Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).”
Uganda’s military, the UPDF, is the biggest contributor to the continental peace-keeping mission and about 4,500 of the soldiers receive additional training provided by France prior to their deployment to fight the Al-Shabaab.
In yesterday’s meeting, the two leaders discussed the ongoing dialogue to the political crisis in Burundi for which President Museveni is the official mediator, although the regional bloc assigned former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa to coordinate the talks.
“President Hollande welcomed the commitment of the states of the region for the opening of a genuine political dialogue,” the statement reads in part. He reiterated his commitment to rapid implementation of the decisions of the African Union and United Nations on deployment of observers to Burundi.
President Museveni was accompanied to the Élysée Palace meeting by wife Janet, State International Affairs minister Okello Oryem and Uganda’s Ambassador to France Nimisha Madhivani. He condoled with the French people over the spate of terrorist attacks in the country, the worst being on July 14 when at least 84 people were killed and 50 others injured during celebration of French National Day.
Terrorism, Mr Museveni said, is a result of ideological disorientation and reiterated his position that the question of pseudo-ideology must be addressed to fight terrorists.
The President, who is on his way to attend the UN General Assembly in New York, thanked his host for their continued military cooperation and support, noting that the French-trained Alpine Brigade of Uganda’s military will also be a buffer to security on water bodies.
Mr Museveni said his government would continue supporting French investors, pointing out that there were opportunities in the provision of solar energy and supporting water projects on River Kagera. Some of the French companies in Uganda include Oil major Total SA, Green Bio Energy and Lafarge/Hima cement.
President Hollande earlier commended Uganda’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a pact that 195 countries adopted in the French capital last December to combat global carbon emissions.
Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa last Thursday signed instruments for ratification and the document will be delivered at the UN today.
In Paris, the two leaders discussed development of renewable energy, access to water and urban transport.
President Hollande agreed to visit Uganda on Mr Museveni’s invitation.
Earlier, the Uganda leader met a section of African ambassadors accredited to France, whom he implored to market Africa to Europe.
Number of Ugandan soldiers trained by the French government for the peace keeping mission in Somalia.
- President Museveni inspects a guard of honour mounted by the France Republican Guards at the French Presidential Palace.