Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and her Ethiopian counterpart Tagesse Chafo have called for improved transport infrastructure across the African continent in order to ease movement of persons and improve trade.
The two Speakers observed a need to improve the existing road, rail and air transport network and pledged that Uganda and Ethiopia can take the lead in this development since the relationship between the two countries is strong.
This was during the meeting between Kadaga and the Speaker of the Ethiopian House of Representatives at Parliament this afternoon. Chafo is leading a 60-man delegation composed of the business community, diplomats, religious leaders, musicians and culture officials for a five-day visit to Uganda.
Kadaga expressed dismay at the difficulty of travelling within Africa saying the infrastructure is either non-existent or poor. She added that there are no roads and railways linking the different countries coupled with the stringent immigration laws that limit the travel of persons on the continent.
The Speaker thanked the Ethiopian government for training the pilots of the newly revamped Uganda Airlines saying this will provide and build capacity in the quest for better air travel in the region. Kadaga also appreciated the frequency of Ethiopian airlines into Entebbe airport currently standing at five flights a day.
Chafo said that the transport sector is very important for the development of economies across the region. He added that Ethiopia is open to providing more training to Ugandan pilots in addition to the six who are currently training in the Ethiopian aviation school.
The two speakers also agreed to further cooperation in the oil and energy sector which the countries are currently pursuing. Uganda will soon start producing oil while Ethiopia is building the largest hydroelectric Dam in Africa. They also pledged to cooperate on the exploitation and development of solar energy which they say is an alternative to the other sources.
“We are constructing the Great Renaissance Dam and I know there are agreements between your Minister of Energy and our Minister. According to the agreements, we can make arrangements to share the energy also,” Tagesse added.
Kadaga also pledged support in the areas of solar energy saying, we will be happy to share knowledge and experiences on solar energy and also wind. But the focus will be on solar’.