OP-ED: How Uganda is facilitating Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 in Africa

Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa, has emerged as a vital gateway in facilitating the realization of Saudi Vision 2030 on the African continent.

This accomplishment is the result of over 50 years of strong cooperation between Uganda and Saudi Arabia. The collaborative efforts between the two nations have paved the way for significant advancements in various sectors, including trade, investment, tourism, infrastructure, and people-to-people exchanges.

The driving force behind this successful partnership has been the visionary leadership of King Salman of Saudi Arabia and President Yoweri Museveni. Their shared commitment to fostering mutual growth and prosperity has laid a solid foundation for the deepening of bilateral ties. Under the auspices of the Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has been actively seeking to diversify its economy and expand its influence in Africa. Uganda’s strategic location, stable political environment, and vast economic potential have made it an ideal partner for Saudi Arabia in achieving these objectives.

One of the key areas of collaboration between Uganda and Saudi Arabia is trade and investment. Saudi Arabia has recognized Uganda’s potential as a major agricultural hub and has made substantial investments in the country’s agribusiness and labor externalization sector.

This has not only bolstered Uganda’s agricultural and labor productivity but also provided new market opportunities for Saudi businesses. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia’s expertise in infrastructure development has contributed to the modernization of Uganda’s transportation and energy sectors.

Another significant aspect of the Uganda- Saudi Arabia partnership is the exchange of knowledge and expertise. Over the years, Ugandan students have received scholarships to study in Saudi Arabia, gaining valuable insights into various fields such as medicine, engineering, and Islamic studies. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has provided technical assistance to Uganda in areas like healthcare, education, and renewable energy, further strengthening the capacity of Uganda’s institutions.

The ambassadors of Saudi Arabia to Uganda and Uganda to Saudi Arabia have played instrumental roles in nurturing this enduring partnership. Their diplomatic efforts have facilitated high-level visits, business delegations, and cultural exchanges, fostering a greater understanding and collaboration between the two nations.

Their dedication and commitment have been pivotal in building bridges of friendship and trust between the people of Uganda and Saudi Arabia. As a result of this bilateral cooperation, Uganda has become a vital gateway for Saudi Arabia to expand its footprint in Africa. Saudi companies are increasingly investing in Uganda, leveraging its resources and strategic location to access other East African markets.

This not only benefits Saudi Arabia but also provides employment opportunities, technology transfer, and economic growth for Uganda and the region as a whole. Moreover, the collaborative initiatives between Uganda and Saudi Arabia have contributed to Africa’s sustainable development agenda. Through joint projects and investments, they have addressed key socio-economic challenges, including poverty alleviation, food security, and infrastructure development.

By aligning their efforts with the broader goals of the African Union and other regional organizations, Uganda and Saudi Arabia have demonstrated their commitment to promoting African prosperity. The partnership between Uganda and Saudi Arabia has proven to be a catalyst in facilitating the realization of the Saudi Vision 2030 in Africa.

The unwavering commitment of King Salman, President Museveni, and their ambassadors has been pivotal in steering over 50 years of cooperation. As this collaboration continues to evolve, the future holds even greater potential for Uganda to serve as a gateway for Saudi Arabia’s engagement and investment in Africa, bringing mutual benefits and fostering regional development.

The writer is Ali Saleh O Alswayeh a Saudi global businessman – Chairman of the Ingaz Group of Companies, with investments in Uganda and other African countries and a promoter of Uganda Saudi Arabia’s private sector growth in realizing Saudi Vision 2030

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