42 Years' Brother and Sisterhood
--Highlights of China-Uganda Relations (1962-2004)
1, Political Solidarity
Oct.8, 1962, the Government of the People's Republic of China sent a message of congratulation to the Government of the Republic of Uganda on the occasion of its independence and extended immediate diplomatic recognition. On Oct.18, China and Uganda signed a Joint Communiqué to set up diplomatic relations and China became one of the first countries in the world to open diplomatic missions in Uganda. Since then, both countries have been maintaining cordial political relations despite the changes of internal and external situations. The exchanges of visits at the highest level have been maintained. And the mutual visits at the cabinet and other levels are very frequent. These visits have further enhanced the mutual understanding and friendly cooperation between our two countries and two peoples. Both sides have been symphonizing, supporting each other in international affairs. Uganda provided strong support with other African countries to resume China's legitimate seat at the United Nations in 1971. Furthermore, Uganda has been providing constant supports to China on the ONE CHINA policy etc.
2, Economic Cooperation
(1) The Bilateral Trade. The bilateral trade started soon after the establishment of the diplomatic relations. Due to some specific reasons, the annual volume of trade had never recorded over US 10milliion dollars before 1990s. Since 1999, the bilateral trade has witnessed rapid growth recorded US 10.85 million dollars 1999 and US 15.27 million dollars in 2000 and US 17.48 million dollars in 2001. The bilateral trade recorded $54.89 million in 2003, 63% increase than 2002, and from January to June 2004 the bilateral trade has reached $36.81 million, 80.5% increase than the same period of last year. China imports leather, coffee, fish and food products ect. from Uganda and exports light industry products, farm tools, textiles, pharmaceutical products, garments, ceramics etc. to Uganda.
(2) Project Assistance. From 1960s, the Chinese Government has been providing project aid to Uganda in forms of interest-free loans and grants to construct some of those projects which are at the best need of Uganda. The total disbursement at this regard by the end of November 2003 accumulates nearly 650 million RMB (nearly 100 million US dollars) to date. To name a few:
Kibimba Rice Scheme The first ever rice farming in Uganda. Total area 1721 acres. The construction started on February 1973 and was completed in March 1976. It was handed over to the Uganda Government in January 1982. Complete sets of relevant equipments were established such as a rice hulling mill with the capacity of 24 tons per day, a brick production factory with the capacity of 1.2million bricks per year, a livestock farm, a poultry farm and irrigation system etc. More than 300 Chinese technicians and workers came successively to construct the farm. Doho Rice Scheme is the second rice farming in Uganda. Total area 800 hectares. The Chinese side began the construction work in 1987 and it was completed in 1989 and was handed over to Uganda Government in 1990. The Chinese Government also provided assistance to Uganda for another rice scheme in Buniaoli County. According to the agreement reached by the two governments, the Chinese side sent 5 teams of rice plantation experts successively to Uganda each year from 1982 to 1989. These rice schemes not only promoted the diversity of Uganda's agriculture and enriched the food variety of the people, but also made Uganda one of the important rice producers in Africa.
Mandela Stadium at Namboole The Construction work began in April 1993 and was completed in November 1996 and handed over to the Ugandan Government in February 1997. The capacity of the stadium is 40000 seats. The accessory constructions include a hotel of 120 beds, 2 outdoor tennis courts, 2 volley ball training grounds, 2 basket ball training grounds and one foot ball training ground. The Chinese Government has been sending experts to the stadium from 1997 to look after the training of the local technicians, maintenance of the facilities, and providing technical supports. Up to now three teams and altogether 21 Chinese experts have been sent to Uganda at the Chinese Government's own expenses.
Uganda Industry Research Institute at Nakawa This project is divided into three phases. Phase No. one, the Chinese side constructed the office building, laboratories and factories for trail production from 1992 to 1994. Phase No. two, a ceramic research and production line, a fruit juice processing line, a bread production line, a milk treatment line, an ice cream and yogurt production line, a milk powder production line and a plastic cups production line were established. Several more laboratories, boiler room, a refrigeration station and a diesel generating set were also set up from 1998-2000. Phase No. three, the period of technical cooperation. According to the Agreement reached by both Governments, the Chinese side began to send technical team of 9 experts to the Institute in 2001 at the Chinese government's own expenses to provide technical supports to run, maintain and repair those facilities, and help to train the local technicians etc. The total area of the Institute is 40184 square meters, construction area is 9699 square meters. There are 24 researchers and 18 supporting staff in the Institute at present.
Biogas Projects According to the Protocol on Economic and Technical Cooperation between China and Uganda in 1985, the Chinese side sent experts to Uganda and constructed 7 pilot biogas projects in Mbale and Tororo Districts. The Chinese side constructed another 20 biogas projects in Kampala, Entebbe etc. in 2000. These projects at this regard have helped Uganda to diversify her energy utilization and protect the environment.
The Headquarter Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to a protocol signed between the two Governments of China and Uganda in 2001, the Chinese Government has donated more than 6.5 million US dollars to Uganda to construct the headquarter building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda. Construction of the building has been completed and the building has been handed over to the Ugandan side.
Providing Trucks to Different Governmental Organizations. The Chinese Government has been providing different types of Jiefang trucks to the following governmental organizations in the form of governmental aid from China: 60 tipper trucks for Ministry of Works, Housing and Communication in 2000; 50 military trucks to UPDF 2001; 30 garbage colleting trucks to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Social Development. The total disbursement for this project is over 5million dollars.
(3) Contracts and Sub-contracts Programs. The Chinese companies entered into Uganda to construct projects through contracts and sub-contracts in 1987. By the end of 2003, the total accumulating contract volume hit US 410 million dollars.
(4) Investment. According to relevant statistics, the Chinese entrepreneurs have set up 15 projects in Uganda by 2003 and the total investment is over US 20 million dollars.
3, Health Cooperation
The bilateral cooperation in the field of health may be traced back as early as in 1960s. The Chinese Government has been sending medical teams to Uganda since 1983 according to the bilateral agreement. Up to now, 11 teams and about 128 doctors have been sent to work in Uganda mainly in Jinja Hospital at the Chinese Government's own expenses. Since 1983, the Chinese Government has been providing medicine worth US40000 dollars for free distribution to the patients every year at the hospitals where the teams stay. They've successively opened Surgery, internal, orthopaedics, urological, otolaryngological, acupuncture, paediatrics, stomatological, ophthalmology, anaesthetic, neurosurgery, plastic surgery and gynaecology and obstetrics departments etc. The Chinese Government also provided medical equipments to different organizations in Uganda. And scores of Ugandan doctors and officials have been invited to China to undergo different trainings. China Red Cross Society has occasionally provided donations to Uganda to fight natural disasters and diseases such as ebola.
4, Education Exchange
The educational exchanges between the two countries started in 1950s even before the establishment of the diplomatic ties. It took about 3 months for those forerunners of Uganda students to go to China in the cold war period. After the diplomatic relations was established, the exchanges became frequent and much easier. More and more Ugandan students went to China to do further studies on the Chinese Government sponsored scholarships. The subjects vary from medicine, construction, engineering, food science to computer science, information technology and education etc. Now, 35 scholarships are provided to Ugandan students every year. The total number of Ugandan students who have studied in China is around 228. In pursuance to implementing the following up work of China-Africa Forum, a number of Uganda teachers and experts have been invited to participate in trainings for human resources development in China. The Ministry of Education of China donated 50 computers recently to set up one computer lab in Makerere University and Mbarara University respectively. The Chinese side has been making efforts to promote the primary education in Uganda, so far a number of class rooms have been set up and several batch of educational equipments such as computers etc. have been donated to different schools.
The armed forces, parliaments and different institutions and organizations of both countries have been also maintaining cordial exchanges and cooperation.