President Yoweri Museveni has arrived in Nairobi, Kenya ahead of an official visit that will among others focus on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project.
The President who was received by his Kenyan counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House later held cordial talks with the host alongside Deputy President, William Ruto.
The bilateral talks centred around issues of economic importance, particularly the Standard Gauge Railway and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.
They also discussed regional stability and the peace initiatives in neighbouring Somalia and South Sudan.
President Museveni was updated on the enhancement of the port of Mombasa as well as the launched cargo rail freight on the Standard Gauge Railway both of which will ease transportation of cargo from Mombasa to Uganda.
The second container terminal at the port of Mombasa has been operationalized and this is expected to boost the port’s overall capacity to 1.65 million containers.
Once completed, the phased project will bring the total capacity of the port to 2.7 million containers per year.
President Kenyatta said that the average time to import and export goods through the port of Mombasa will be reduced from 11 days to under 3.5 days.
All these investments will increase efficiency in addition to reducing the cost of transportation of the cargo from the port to Kenya’s hinterland and neighbouring countries by 30%.
The two leaders talked about the progress of the SGR whose second Phase (from Nairobi to Naivasha) is due to be commissioned in 2019.
Both Presidents agreed on working jointly on taking the SGR line from Naivasha to Kisumu and onwards to Malaba on the border with Uganda.
The line to Kisumu will also serve Uganda through the Lake Victoria ports of Jinja, Masaka and Entebbe.
President Museveni said Uganda was ready and committed to the SGR project, and would work with Kenya to achieve its commitment.
The leaders hailed the strong bilateral relations between the two neighbours, and committed to work to strengthen the ties even further.
Regarding the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), in relation to the European Union, President Museveni gave mention to a forthcoming meeting in January, of EAC Trade Ministers to chart the way forward as a follow-up to discussions held in Brussels earlier in the year.
The bilateral talks touched regional stability which is imperative if economic progress is to be registered in the two respective countries.
Both Museveni and Kenyatta emphasised that it was necessary for the Somali government to continue building and strengthening its national army.
President Museveni agreed to convene a meeting of Chiefs of Defence Forces from states that contribute troops to AMISOM to discuss progress in the mission.
In relation to South Sudan, both leaders committed to continue to work to ensure peace and stability in South Sudan.