East Africa: Uganda, DRC Hold First Ever Business Forum

Republic of the Congo President Felix Tshisekedi (file photo).

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi is in Kampala for a two-day summit during which he will attend the first ever Uganda-DRC Business Forum.

The visit is on a invitation by his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.

The two countries have over the years had a frosty relationship but ever since Tshisekedi assumed office in January this year, he has been reaching out to his predecessor's foes, Uganda inclusive and has already visited the country trice.

Tshisekedi is in company of 117 delegates from several ministries and businessmen.

"Uganda & DRC have concluded a number of cooperation frameworks. These include but are not limited to cooperation in: Health; peace and security; energy and mineral development; socio-economic infrastructure; trade and investment, among others," a statement from Uganda's Foreign Affairs ministry said.

The two countries are expected to discuss ways of increasing the volume of trade between them.

According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the volume of trade between Uganda and DR Congo--largely informal--was estimated to be $ 531 million by July this year.

"There is enormous room for growth & development if the two countries work together," the statement added

Joint oil exploration is also expected to be on the cards as the two countries share the Albertine graben around Lake Albert which has oil deposits.

Uganda borders DR Congo to the west, a region troubled by militia groups Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist-rooted Ugandan armed group, and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

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