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LoP, Indian envoy talk democracy, trade

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Betty Aol Ocan and the Indian High Commissioner to Uganda H.E. Ajay Kumar have extolled the rising trade, business and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Hon. Aol said India has been Uganda’s economic and trade partner, and said Uganda is looking forward to learning a lot more from India, especially her electoral democracy system.

“We appreciate this grand reception; we want to learn, share and get to know how we can move together on political and business interests and we also want to learn from you how you have grown your democracy,” she said.

H.E. Kumar said Uganda, like most developing countries, can realise economic development through attracting investments and declared India’s continued interest in an economic partnership with Uganda.

“Economic development comes from investment and for developing countries like Uganda, a good chunk of that investment comes from outside; I have been holding meetings with various stakeholders and sharing my proposals for deepening our economic partnership, but my engagements have been delayed due to the pandemic,” he said.

Hon. Aol was accompanied by MPs Medard Sseggona (DP, Busiro County East) and Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo).

MP Ogwal said for Uganda and most of Africa’s democracy to rise to the level of India, there has to be a change in perception and a willingness to accept the limits imposed by democracy.

“We have to have the goodwill to accept the limitations set by democracy; we need to have a paradigm shift in the minds of the leadership,” she said.

“It is very simple to put together democratic systems but to practice it is the problem,” she added.

MP Sseggona said Uganda should borrow from the management of elections in India, especially the controlled involvement of the military, and an electronic, foolproof system that delivers an uncontested election outcome.

H.E. Kumar, who was posted to Uganda six months ago, said for democracy to thrive, every country has to prescribe its own solutions to its problems.

From his experience in the Middle East, which has been his posting in the immediate past, the High Commissioner said it is good to seek foreign intervention with scrutiny, as that has left in its wake ruins and broken nations.

He singled out Syria, Libya and Yemen, which are currently burnt down with unending wars of attrition.

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