By Our Reporter
The sovereign republic of Gambia has opened up a consulate in Uganda, as one of the measures of strengthening diplomatic and trade relations between the two States.
After opening the Consulate, the government of Gambia appointed Korea’s H.E Lee Sung Ho as its 1st Consul in Uganda, and on Monday he met the minister of state for international affairs, Henry Oryem Okello, to present his credentials.
Then on Tuesday evening, minister Oryem and Consul Lee officially opened the consulate, at a function held at Hotel Duomo in Bugolobi, a Kampala suburb.
While at the opening ceremony, Minister Oryem commended the Pan-African heart that the Gambian government had expressed by creating connections between Eastern and Western Africa, and applauded Gambia for moving a step further in strengthening the ties between the two countries.
The minister said that “This will strengthen the diplomatic and trade relations between the two brotherly countries. I am happy with the number of Gambians in Uganda and I believe this new chapter will benefit both countries. We will support you in all possible ways.”
He assured the Gambians that Uganda is an open economy for everyone who wants to come and invest, and urged them to use the new consulate for their benefit.
“Uganda is an open society to those who come, provided you are coming here peacefully, pay taxes and employ Ugandans. We don’t want you to engage in any mischiefs. I thank your government for accepting to put here a consulate,” minister Oryem noted.
On his part, the first honorary consul, Lee Sung Ho, said he would the consulate to lure Gambian investors in Uganda and also ensure that Ugandans can do the same in Gambia.
Consul Lee said that; “Uganda and Gambia are great partners working for mutual interests. We thank both presidents for the continued relations between the two countries.”
Also in attendance at the function were several diplomats who included; Japanese, Korean, the South Sudan ambassadors and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda.
Gambia In Brief:
Gambia is a small country in West Africa, neighbouring Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline.
The country has an area of 10,689 square kilometers (4,127 sq mi), with a population of 2.1 million according to the 2017 census, but also enjoys abundant wildlife in its Kiang West National Park and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve including monkeys, leopards, hippos, hyenas and rare birds.
The capital, Banjul, and nearby Serrekunda offer access to beaches.
Adama Barrow is Gambia’s 3rd president since the country gained independence in 1965.
Gambia’s economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and tourism.
Here below is Consul Lee’s full Speech At The Opening Ceremony Dated 18th Feb 2020
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished guests and friends of the Gambia and Uganda,
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps,
Good evening to you Everybody ?
It is a great pleasure and honour to welcome you all today, to celebrate the 55th Independence Anniversary of Republic of The Gambia and the official launch of our Honorary Consulate in Kampala.
I wish to thank you all, for accepting our invitation and for gracing this occasion with your presence.
In a special way, I wish to thank Honourable Oryem Okello, the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, International Affairs for accepting to be the Chief Guest at our reception. (May I request a big Clap)
I would like to recognize, AIGP Mr.Andrew Sorowen / AIGP Edward Ochom, our good friend. Group CEO of Next Media, Mr.Kin Kariisa, H E Rosa Malango UN Resident Coordinator and Designated Official for Security , Korean Amb. H.E Ha Byung Kyu, Japanese Amb . H.E Kameda Kazuaki, the present of Chief of Protocol Amb Charles Ssentongo , Uganda Amb to UN,H,E Adonia Ayebare , Deputy DPP Elem Ogwal.,
Also, I would like to express special thanks to H.E. Amos Nzeyi, Consulate of Mauritius, for the facilitation of today’s function.
Since the beginning of my engagement with the Gambia, I have had the opportunity to visit Banjul in June 2019, and met the Senior leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs learnt of the tremendous business opportunities the country offers.
Gambia, Country itself is small but the people are tall, Handsome like me ( you may not agree with!) and beautiful like you (Now you are agree me?!) , they were kind and eager to develop their country.
So when I was given the opportunity to serve the people of Gambia as their Honorary in Uganda, I gladly accepted to take this responsibility and serve communities at both local and international levels.
I encourage you all, to visit Gambia and see her beauty by yourselves.
We have received a delegation from the Parliament of Gambia led by Deputy Speaker, Hon. Momodou Sanneth , who visited Uganda last year in September to attend the 64th Commonwealth Parliament Association.
Since its opening, the Consulate has been able to mobilise Gambians living in Uganda and have meetings every other month. To date 90 Gambians are registered with the Consulate
We have assisted a number of Gambians in Uganda to engage in trade with our sisters and brothers here in Uganda, encouraged them to come for tourism and experience the country’s beautiful nature and as well as invest in the country.
The Consulate will continue to act as a bridge for friendship between Uganda and Gambia, to promote the exchanges and cooperation between our two nations in all fields, and to provide consular services.
The Consulate started issuing visas to Gambia from January, this year. I would like to request you share this information with your friends and lets work together to organise business visits to Gambia to tap the business opportunities it offers
Uganda is a very important partner of The Gambia and our two counties have worked together in the African Union (55 Members of States) and United Nations (1 Country = 1 Vote) for the mutual interest.
Working with our respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs, we are committed to further deepen and strengthen the economic and cultural ties between our two sister countries.
I want to congratulate the Republic of Gambia and the Gambians abroad on this national day and wish you all present here continuous success for many years to come.
Please join me and raise your glasses for a toast to the good health of our two Presidents, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and H.E Adama Barrow, the people of Uganda and Gambia and for the continued good relations between our two countries.
Thank you very much once again for joining us on this special day and it is now my distinguished honour to invite Hon Oryem Okello to address us and officially launch our Consulate..