The Uganda Embassy Chancery has been officially opened in Bujumbura capital city, Burundi.
The three storied state of the art building is strategically located on a 3.25 acres land in Kiyange Village, Buterere Zone, Ntahangwa Commune, Bujumbura City on land allocated by the government of Burundi.
While representing president Museveni, special presidential envoy Rt Hon Dr Ruhakana Rugunda noted that the Government of Uganda has noted with concern the increasing costs of renting premises in the various capitals around the World, and through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came up with a policy of acquiring properties abroad to help reduce on the overhead costs.
Rugunda added that the decision of the Government of Uganda to construct this Chancery in Bujumbura was further informed by the strong bond of friendship that our people and governments have built and enjoyed from well before we both attained independence till today.
The former Prime Minister further stressed that the Government of Uganda also deliberately decided to award the contracts for construction and consultancy to Burundian companies with the sole aim of contributing to the strengthening of local Burundian capacity.
“Therefore, this Chancery building before us today does not only testify that our vision of acquiring property abroad is achievable but makes a bold statement that Uganda is here to stay and that Burundi is on the rise, peaceful and a reliable partner in the region” Rugunda said.
He implored the Uganda Embassy staff to maximally utilize this building to show value for money through promoting trade and business between Uganda and Burundi, enhance people-to-people as well as government-to-government contacts for the mutual benefit of both countries adding that moving forward, the clientele should attest to a better experience as you implement your mandate.
The envoy stressed that he was also delighted to note that the commissioning of this Chancery building comes on the eve of the 3rd Session of the Uganda – Burundi Joint Permanent Commission which had taken a long time since the holding of the Second Session in Kampala, Uganda.
He encouraged the two respective sides to use this impetus to agree on a framework that can improve trade relations between our two countries as the most practical roadmap towards;
The volume of trade between the two countries has remained low with Uganda exporting goods worth US$64.99million and importing goods worth US$25.46milion from Burundi. Dr Rugunda however said, there is a lot of room for the two countries to enhance trade, business and investment relations.
Uganda Airline plies the Entebbe-Bujumbura route four times a week and is set to increase this frequency to six times a week at the end of this month.
He added that this is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to address the barriers to trade, through provision of direct connectivity and ultimately, cutting down the costs of doing business.