Congo and Uganda presidents vow to boost trade

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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi is visiting Uganda to promote trade between the neighboring countries, after Rwanda closed its border with Uganda.

After meeting with Congo’s leader in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, on Saturday Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said the two countries will build stronger ties.

“We shall build roads and bridges connecting the two countries,” said Museveni. “. This is about trade, social welfare and security. To guarantee security, you need roads for easy movement of soldiers. But this can also help people to move to hospitals.”

Trade between the two countries was $513 million last year, but could increase as Uganda now eyes neighboring Congo, following the closure of the border with Rwanda in February.

Museveni and Tshisekedi agreed to jointly build 1,200 kilometers of roads from Uganda to the three eastern Congo cities, Goma, Bunia and Beni. The pledge to build new roads to the eastern Congo centers comes despite the fact that they have been attacked by different rebel groups in Congo and that Congo is currently fighting an Ebola outbreak in the area.

The presidents said the two countries’ ministers of foreign affairs, infrastructure and finance would meet within two months and to plan construction of the roads.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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