Ugandan president thanks China for supporting Africa's development

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/2/14 18:10:54

While inspecting a Chinese-built industrial park here Tuesday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni expressed his gratitude to the Chinese people for continuously supporting African countries' pursuit for economic independence.

Accompanied by Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang, Museveni was inspecting the Liaoshen Industrial Park in Kapeeka in Nakaseke District, about 70 km north of Uganda's capital city of Kampala. He said China's support for Africa dated back to the early years following the People's Republic of China.

"The Chinese have been working with us since the anti-colonial struggle. (Late Chairman) Mao Zedong started supporting us even when (China was) still underdeveloped," Museveni said.

He mentioned in particular the Tanzania-Zambia railway China helped build in the 1960s, saying the project broke "the blockade by the South African Whites."

"Now China is doing more to support Africa and Uganda in particular. They are working with Africa for mutual prosperity. I congratulate them for finishing the year of the chicken and entering the year of the dog," the president said. Friday marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Covering an area of covering 600 acres (2.4 square km), Liaoshen Industrial Park, is expected to accommodate 80 industries and employ up to 16,000 people by 2025.

Ambassador Zheng said in an interview that Chinese investors will invest about 600 million US dollars in the industrial park before it is in full operation.

"At present, there are three factories in operation, namely a fruit processing factory, a maize storage and mill, as well as a ceramics factory," Zheng said.

Uganda received a total of 219 million US dollars of foreign direct investment from China by the end of 2017, and a booming number of Chinese-invested industrial parks is expected in the African country, adding to the four of them already in place now.

According to Zheng, the Liaoshen Industrial Park, whose manufacturing operation is expected to begin in March, has already employed more than 1,000 local workers, with about 90 percent of the raw material for tiles and other ceramics acquired from Uganda as well.

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