Uganda’s envoy to UAE presents credentials

Ambassador Henry Mayega presented his credentials to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Affairs office on Tuesday.

The new Consul General of Uganda’s Consulate in the Emirate of Dubai presented his credentials to His Excellency Bin Butti Al Maktoum, the Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dubai Office.

Ambassador Mayega was accompanied by Patricia Abudaher, the Consulate Administrative Officer.

Mayega is the first Consul General ever of the Uganda Consulate in Dubai. The post has just been created.

In his remarks, the Director underscored the good bilateral relations that do exist between Uganda and the UAE and he called for greater cooperation to spur trade, tourism as well as cultural exchanges.

Mayega assured his host of Uganda’s commitment to the good bilateral relations with the UAE and briefed his host about the need to augment the terms of trade between the two countries.

Talking to New Vision, Mayiga said the other issues discussed were the potential that exists to boost tourism, mineral development and beneficiation.

“We also discussed with the host the follow-through actions needed to realize the commitments made during the 2020 Expo, Dubai,” he said.

Uganda was among the 190 countries that participated at the Dubai expo, which run between October 1st, 2021 and March 31st, 2022.

Asked about his specific assignment, Mayega says it is to boost trade, tourism, investment and strengthen bilateral relations.

“My priorities will rhyme the President Yoweri Museveni’s administration’s policy of commercial and economic diplomacy. Our objective in Dubai is basically to attract foreign direct investment. Specifically, I will do everything I can to spur trade, which has already seen an increase in agricultural as well as mineral exports, especially gold, to the UAE. The Lulu string of supermarkets, for instance, increased the volume of agricultural products it imports from Uganda. And that was one of the achievements of the 2020 Expo Dubai. They are in the process of putting up a processing centre for those very agricultural products in Uganda. It will create more of the badly needed jobs for our youth and enable us process our foodstuffs to finished products,” he said.

Mayega said the increased trade volume will improve the state of our balance of payments with the UAE.

“The UAE, with Dubai as the major commercial hub, presents a lot of opportunities for us in terms of attracting investors to put their money in the nascent tourism sector. Already, we are inviting potential investors to invest in an Arab cultural centre anywhere near our national parks so that, instead of the Emiratis trekking to the West in summer to escape the oppressive heat in the months of June, July and August, they come to Uganda instead and chill,” he said.

Uganda’s exports to the UAE have grown from $300m to $1.85b since diplomatic relations were established in 2009. And investment has correspondingly burgeoned from $150 to $800 in the same period. That makes UAE Uganda’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and Gulf region. Exports are mainly precious minerals, high-value crops and labour.

On the Ugandan girls who are working as maids in Dubai, Mayega said there was an MoU between Uganda and UAE that was signed to improve and safeguard the externalization of labour.

“I am also going to vigorously follow up the MoU which was signed between the UAE and Uganda regarding labour externalization in order to attract professionals from our country, not just maids. That MoU also provides parameters within which externalized labour is handled in an orderly manner,” he said.

He added that he also planned to further mobilize the UAE-based Ugandan diaspora that remits close to $300m into an orderly group that would be in line with national priorities.

Dubai is one of the 7 emirates of UAE, which include Abu Dhabi, Sharja, Fujaira, Ajman. Umm Al Quain and Ras Al Khaimah. It is the second largest economy in the Arab world.


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Publish date : 2022-08-06 00:00:17
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