Uganda, Algeria to waive visas for their citizens

Jeje_Odongo
Uganda Minister of internal affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo

The governments of Uganda and Algeria are initiating an agreement that will waive visas for all the citizens of the two nations.

According to the plan, the waiver will start with diplomatic and official passport holders.

“Uganda has taken steps to ease the visa regime including issuing visas on arrival,” Gen. Jeje Odongo, minister of internal affairs said. The move is in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which seeks to facilitate free movement, physical interaction and facilitate businesses of African peoples within Africa.

Odongo said during celebrations to mark the 64th anniversary of the launching of the Algerian Revolution/National Day.  The function took place at Nakasero, Kampala at the residence of the Algerian ambassador to Uganda, Farid Boulahbel and his wife Houda Boulahbel. Algeria launched its revolution and fight against 132 years of French colonialism on November 1, 1954.

During that struggle, at least eight million Algerians were killed (10% of the population at that time); thousands of villages and forests were destroyed by bombs till the country attained independence in 1962, the same year with Uganda.

The minister also said that they plan to conclude a bilateral services agreement to encourage direct flights between Algiers and Entebbe to promote tourism and investment.

The minister acknowledged Algeria’s experience and leadership in the fight against terrorism saying Algeria hosts key African institutions namely the African Police Cooperation Headquarters and the African Center for Counter Terrorism.

“Uganda welcomes the collaboration and will continue cooperating with the Algerian authorities in order to share experience in the fight against terrorism and other vices,” Odongo said.

He commended Algeria for supporting Uganda in education and human resource development, where the Algerian government offers a number of education opportunities to Ugandan students yearly.

“Over 50 students arrived in the Algerian capital on Monday to pursue studies in medicine, science and technology, oil and gas inter alia,” Odongo said.

Odongo further said the two governments have agreed to conclude a framework of cooperation in vocational and technical training in order to share the rich experience each nation can offer the other. Algeria holds the record for being the biggest donor of undergraduate scholarships.

Boulahbel remarked that Uganda is a strategic partner of Algeria. “Our two countries share convergent perceptions and positions on a large number of questions both African and of international policy.

The ambassador added that the two countries aspire for a more just world order that is more open to international consultation, far from interference, greed and unilateral intrusive approaches in internal affairs of other countries.

“On the African level we are partners to defend the interests of our continent and deepen the process of African integration and the construction of an African architecture of peace and security,” Boulahbel said.

The ambassador noted that over the recent months the dialogue and consultation between Algeria and Uganda has expanded to cover new areas. He said in defense and security bilateral cooperation between the two countries is growing stronger.

“The preparation of works of the joint commission of cooperation launched a few months back is in the final phase of completion with the preparation of about 10 agreements which will be signed in areas where the two countries have complementarities,” he said

The function was attended by Kirunda Kivejinja the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, Oryem Okello state minister for foreign affairs, Eng. Monica Azuba minister of works, Prince Kassim Nakibinge the titular head of Muslims in Uganda and Cyprian Kizito Lwanga the Archbishop Of Kampala.