President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged H.E Sayyid Ebrahim Raisolsadati, the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to engage in trade with Uganda. The president made this statement during a speech at State House Entebbe on Wednesday, following the arrival of his guest for an official two-day visit to Uganda. President Museveni highlighted Uganda’s abundant agricultural resources, including crops like cocoa, coffee, bananas, maize, tea, as well as fish from Lake Victoria.
“We have great potential for trade collaboration. Iran possesses a wealth of experiences that we can benefit from. Several years ago, we discovered a small amount of oil here, and I had disagreements with our colonial agents who insisted on constructing only a crude oil pipeline without a refinery. I questioned their reasoning, and they claimed that refineries yield no profit,” stated Museveni passionately.
The president recounted his visit to Iran some years ago, during which he engaged with H.E Ahmadinejad, who was then in power. During their conversation, Museveni inquired about the profitability of refineries, as he had heard they were not financially viable. Ahmadinejad responded by revealing Iran’s impressive nine existing refineries and their plans to build more. This encounter had a profound impact on Museveni, leading him to assertively advocate for a refinery and the development of Uganda’s petrochemical industry.
“When I returned, I stood my ground and insisted on establishing a refinery for our oil and petrochemical sector. Just this morning, I saw news of Iran opening a new petrochemical centre. It is evident that there are areas of mutual benefit and complementarity,” said the president.
President Museveni then directed the ministers to prioritize this matter, and he pledged to appoint a representative from the Foreign Affairs Ministry to oversee the coordination of these efforts. He emphasized that he would communicate this decision formally.
Expressing his gratitude, H.E Sayyid Ebrahim thanked President Museveni for the invitation to visit Uganda. He conveyed Iran’s commitment to prioritizing bilateral relations with African countries, particularly Uganda, as a key aspect of their foreign policy.
“Mr. President, as you rightly pointed out, both Uganda and Iran possess numerous capacities and capabilities. We firmly believe that by exchanging and harnessing these capabilities, we can foster the expansion of bilateral relations and further enhance economic and trade ties between Iran and Uganda,” noted H.E Sayyid.