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Museveni, Chinese president expected to discuss funding for SGR

President Museveni in China for the China-Africa Economic and trade expo. PHOTO via @KagutaMuseveni

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Museveni is expected to discuss funding for the Standard Gauge Railway-SGR during his visit to China.

Museveni arrived in China on Monday for a four-day visit where he will address the China-Africa Economic and trade expo.

On arrival, Museveni tweeted that he will be addressing a meeting of ministers who are following up on resolutions of last September’s China-Africa Cooperation Summit, where Beijing announced $60bn funding for Africa.

More than 40 African leaders, including Museveni, attended the summit. Among the resolutions at last year’s meeting was the promise that China would increase imports from African countries and also provide health care support.

According to a State House press statement, Museveni will on Tuesday make a keynote address during the official opening of the coordinators Meeting on the implementation of Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

“In Beijing, President Museveni is also expected to hold bilateral talks with his host, President Xi Jimping and will witness the signing of a raft of agreements between their countries for cooperation in the fields of finance, agriculture, among others,” the statement said.

But also, Museveni is expected to confide in Xi the issue of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, where China will be the kingmaker by agreeing to fund the project.

In the budget speech funding, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said in the short term, government would rehabilitate the meter gauge railway as they look for funding for the SGR.

Kasaija had earlier said the funder for the SGR was not willing to discuss the issue unless there was assurance that their arm of the SGR would reach Busia border for it to make business sense.

Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama posted on Twitter that Museveni will hold several other meetings, largely with investors in the areas of energy, agriculture, infrastructure, oil and gas, and security.

Uganda has borrowed from China to fund most of its infrastructure projects. Some Chinese companies are powerful players in Uganda’s minerals sector, including oil and gas.



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