Chinese President Xi Jinping Extends Support To East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project


President Yoweri Museveni has received a letter from the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, who expressed unwavering support for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project (EACOP).

Hand-delivered by Ambassador Xue Bing, the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and read by the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, Zhang Lizhong, on Thursday, April 4th, 2024, at the Kisozi Farm, the message reaffirmed China’s commitment to collaborating with Uganda to ensure the success of the project.

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“Your Excellency, I received your letter, and I am very happy to let you know that I am in full support of EACOP. I believe that it will enhance socio-economic development for the region. I am confident that with the strong cooperation between our nations, this project will be a success,” read the letter, in part.

The EACOP is a project spanning 1,443km from Kabaale, Hoima district in Uganda to the Chongoleani Peninsula near Tanga Port in Tanzania. Its aim is to transport oil from Uganda’s Lake Albert oilfields to global markets via the port of Tanga.

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Acknowledging the support regarding the project, Museveni underscored its significance and assured the Chinese delegation that all major concerns regarding the project are being addressed constructively.

Lizhong, informed the president that Chinese financial institutions are open to discussions on the project and extended an invitation to Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, to visit China for further discussions.

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Delivering his remarks, the special envoy, Ambassador Xue Bing, briefed the president on three areas of discussion: deepening bilateral relations between the two nations of Uganda and China, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and the planned conference for peace in the Horn of Africa.

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In response, the president thanked Chinese investors for their cooperation in various completed projects, such as the Isimba and Karuma Power dam projects, which generate over 800 megawatts. He also welcomed more ideas for cooperation between Uganda and China.

In particular, the president proposed collaborative efforts between China and Uganda to advance infrastructure development, specifically the establishment of a railway network. He emphasized the transformative impact such initiatives could have on Uganda’s progress and sought technical cooperation from China in this regard.

“We want to build a railway system that will connect Uganda to the coast. We are going to use the Engineering Brigade of the Army for construction. However, we need your technical and material support for this,” he informed the delegation.

“For the roads and electricity, we have, now my focus is on the railway system, which I believe will bring us immense development. That is where we want your support,” he further added.

The second area of bilateral cooperation the president highlighted was an appeal for the Chinese government to encourage their companies to invest in value addition at source. Recognizing the potential for mutual benefit, he urged Chinese companies to engage in processing raw materials locally in Uganda, thereby fostering employment and bolstering economic growth.

“We need you to come and add value to our products at the source so as to eliminate Africa’s dependency on exporting raw materials. We have a wide spectrum of raw materials, and what we need now is value addition,” said the president.

Xue Bing conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s admiration for Uganda’s achievements and contributions to regional unity and cooperation, citing the successful hosting of international summits as examples.

“We congratulate you, Your Excellency, for assuming the chairmanship of the two big summits, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the G-77+ China Summit. We believe this will strengthen our cooperation and unity among all member states because we strongly believe in your wise leadership,” he said.

The Special Envoy also reaffirmed China’s commitment to supporting Uganda’s stability and development endeavors, highlighting the enduring friendship between the two nations.

“Your Excellency, our countries have had a great relationship for a very long time now, and we assure you of continuous bilateral relations through the Forum on China- Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the two big summits that you now chair,” he said.


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