President Museveni Hands Over COMESA Chairmanship to Kabila
President Yoweri Museveni of the Republic of Uganda is in DR Congo capital Kinshasa, to attend the 17th summit of the COMESA Heads of States and Governments to discuss issues affecting the continents development.
On his arrival, the President was received at Kinshasa International Airport by the DR Congo’s Minister for Health Felix Kabange Numbi, Uganda’s Minister of State for International Relations Okello Oryem and Uganda’s Ambassador to the DRC James Kinobe.
The summit is being held under the theme, “Consolidating Intra-Comesa Trade and Through Micro-Small and Medium Enterprise Development”. According to reports, the meeting is expected to deliberate the status of implementation of the COMESA Free Trade Area, progress on the Implementation of the COMESA Customs Union and COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Agenda.
Other issues expected to dominate the agenda include, Peace and security, infrastructure programmes, agriculture and the environment. Meanwhile, President Museveni handed over the chairmanship of the body to President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who is the host of the summit.
Speaking shortly before the handover, president Museveni expressed his strong rejection against the western move to exploit Uganda’s oil. “We discovered petroleum, but we’ve not dug out the petroleum! We’ve been struggling for 7 years with oil companies that initially did not want us to build a refinery.” “We told them that we had a rumour that there are human beings in this part of the world who needed finished petroleum products.
They said we could keep importing. They tell us that if you don’t agree, the others will agree. They want us to compete on bringing each other down.”
“I told them that the petroleum has been underground for the last 2 million years. It can stay there for another million, if we cannot have a refinery.
Now the oil companies have given up, they have agreed to a refinery and we are now beginning to move.” – part of President Museveni’s remarks to the 17th Summit of the COMESA Heads of State and Government before handing over Chairmanship to Excellency Joseph Kabila Kabange of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The last summit was hosted by Uganda in November 23 and 24, 2012 under the theme ‘Enhancing Intra-COMESA Trade through Micro, Small and medium, Enterprises Development’