China has pledged to revive the Sukuru Phosphate project, which has been in financial limbo since President Yoweri Museveni launched it in 2018.
The new funding proposal was announced by the Chinese special envoy for the Horn of Africa affairs, Xue Bing, during a meeting with President Museveni on Friday at State House, Entebbe.
“On agriculture, Bing announced his country’s readiness to support the Osukuru Fertiliser Project in Tororo.
He also recommended the opening of passenger and cargo flights between the two countries.
He proposed the setting up of bamboo and mushroom projects in Uganda and to train Ugandans on how to make various products from bamboo,” a statement issued by State House about Museveni and Bing’s meeting noted.
Commenting about the meeting, Museveni said his discussion with Bing centred on matters of “mutual interest”.
“I received the Chinese special envoy for the Horn of Africa affairs Xue Bing, ahead of the 60th anniversary celebrations of diplomatic ties between our two countries in October. We discussed matters of mutual interest,” he said.
In his State of the Nation address in June this year, Museveni said the $260m Sukulu project collapsed due to corruption.
“I know who took which bribes. They took bribes; that is how they messed up the Chinese man. I couldn’t arrest them because I did not have all the facts. The man lost so much money. He was a good man but he did not know how dangerous these Ugandans were. God is there,” Museveni said during his State of the Nation address in June.
“I have reached out to the President of China to get me another investor if the other one (Young Hu) had problems. Tororo will give us phosphates, associated gas, nitrogen and Lake Katwe will give us potassium,” Museveni added.
The Tororo-based fertiliser plant is expected to create 1,000 jobs, produce 300,000 tonnes of fertilisers and vaccine support, State House officials said.
On his part, Museveni said UgandaChina relations are premised on fraternity and mutual support.
“The Uganda, Africa and China relationship has been excellent since the 1960s. China supported African freedom fighters in the 1950s. Therefore, the story between China and Uganda as well as Africa is clear. It is based on fraternity and mutual support,” Museveni said.
He commended China for the development projects established in the country such as the Mandela National Stadium, and the Osukuru project, which he said “is important for the production of fertilisers needed in the agriculture sector,” which will generate sh1.6 trillion per year for the country from fertiliser exports, among other revenue-generating avenues.
During the meeting with Museveni, the Chinese envoy also hailed the existing cordial relations between Uganda and China, noting that the two countries will strengthen the economic co-operation between the two countries, especially in the area of infrastructure development.