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Thursday, 7th September 2017
Hon Sam Kutesa delivering the first Annual Foreign Minister's Address on Uganda's Foreign Policy at Hotel Africana, Kampala

On 5th September 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Sam Kutesa delivered the first Annual Lecture by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Uganda's Foreign Policy.

The event which was hosted by The Uganda Council on Foreign Relations and sponsored by Stanbic Bank, Megan Industries, Africana Hotel, Bank of Uganda and Etihad Airlines, took place at Hotel Africana, Kampala.

The Uganda Council on Foreign Relations is a membership based, independent non-partisan centre of excellence for the promotion of foreign policy. Its mission is to provide a platform for networking, knowledge generation and sharing, mentorship and policy advocacy, focused on Uganda's foreign policy interests and issues.

Speaking to the invited guests, the CEO of the Council, Amb. Katana said that the Lecture would be the first in a series of annual Foreign Ministers addresses, aimed at providing a platform for engagement between members of the public and the Foreign Minister on Uganda's foreign policy.

In his lecture under the topic The Status of Uganda's Foreign Policy, outlining opportunities and challenges for Uganda, Hon Kutesa expounded on various areas of Uganda's Foreign Policy, including Uganda's National Interest, Regional Security, integration and development, Multilateralism and UN Agenda 2030, Reform of the United Nations.

In his lecture, Hon Kutesa said that Uganda's foreign policy is structured upon a framework of bilateralism, regionalism and multilateralism in a pattern of concentric circles. He added that the sub-region and region in particular forms the inner circle from which point of view, we give due priority to the development of relations with these countries to ensure a peaceful, secure and stable neighborhood, so as to safeguard peace, security and development within our own borders.

Hon Kutesa said that Uganda's traditional foreign policy posture, which focused on matters related to peace and security, continues to be critical and relevant in the Ministry's work. He stressed that promotion of trade in Ugandan goods and services, tourism, attracting quality investments to the strategic sectors of the economy as well as technology transfer would be paramount in the short and medium term.

Speaking on Commercial Diplomacy, Kutesa said that Uganda would leverage opportunities that arise from global and regional markets in order to increase opportunities for trade and investment. He informed the audience that Uganda would pursue broader cooperation with traditional but also non-traditional economic partners, particularly in Asia, the Middle East and South America. "Our prime objective is to contribute to the economic transformation of the country, guided by Uganda Vision 2040, and putting priority in supporting implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP II)" he said.

Beyond the attention to the bilateral, regional and multilateral focus, Hon Kutesa said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would give priority attention to the Ugandan Diaspora, who remain partners in the country's growth and development. "We take pride in their contribution and are committed to deepening Government's engagement with them in order to accelerate the pace of economic and social change in the country" he said.

Hon Kutesa's Lecture was debated by members of the audience and he engaged in a question and answer session with the participants who included members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, business leaders, executives of corporations, leaders from civil society, academia, students and the media fraternity. 

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