Tue, 03/29/2022
Your Excellency Dr. Ali M. KRAISHAN, Ambassador of Jordan and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Your Excellency Mr. Marthinus VAN SCHALKWYK, High Commissioner of South Africa and Dean of the African Group of Heads of Mission. Excellency Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Charge d' Affaires and Ag. High Commissioners, The Chief of Protocol, Mr. Ian McConville, My Colleagues at Uganda High Commission, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
With deep gratitude and great humility, allow me to begin by thanking all of you, for accepting our invitation and joining us this afternoon. 
On 25th July 2022, I had the honour to present my credentials to The Governor General, His Excellency, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), at the Government House. I conveyed to the Governor the cordial greetings from the President of Uganda HE. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
His Excellency the Governor, in turn asked me to send his regards to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the people of Uganda. The Governor General showed keen interest in the relationship between Australia and Uganda and wished me well during my tour of duty in Australia.
Ever since the establishment of Uganda Mission in Canberra in 1980, I am the 6th High Commissioner of Uganda to Australia. I have come at an interesting and yet challenging time, when COVID pandemic seems to be in its evening hours, yet the war in Ukraine is posing enormous challenges globally. The obtaining situation makes balancing the two quite a tricky venture, given that ours as Diplomats is to increase investment and trade opportunities between our respective countries, which requires traversing our countries of accreditation and networking with business executives.
The relationship between Uganda and Australia has come a long way in the past 42 years. Today we have a vibrant Ugandan Community living and working in different parts of Australia. Uganda in particular and Africa in general are seeing the diaspora all over the world, Australia inclusive, returning to the continent to support local economic growth with their skills. Uganda and other African countries have developed close cooperation in a wide range of areas and coordination in major international and multilateral issues.
Before the Covid pandemic, more that 10,000 Australian Tourists were visiting Uganda every year. It is now my duty to work hard and restore the numbers to pre-covid period.
As the world around us undergoes profound changes, Uganda and Australia, share greater common interests and are expected to fulfill more responsibilities in tackling international challenges. A growing Uganda/Africa-Australia relationship, therefore, is not only in the interest of Africa and Uganda alone, but also serves the interest of maintaining world peace, stability and economic prosperity.
African Countries are in serious pursuit of economic diversification programmes aimed at growing our economies, providing jobs for our youths and the overwhelming population, by adding value to our vast raw materials which have for a long time been sold to external markets at giveaway prices.
The signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement was a milestone towards the realisation of our cherished dream of Africa Integration, which will enable us, with our huge market of 2.5 trillion dollars, access world markets, Australian inclusive. 
Africa with its vast mineral resources, can enter into very lucrative joint ventures with Australia, which has some of the world's largest mining companies, to attract other companies from elsewhere in the world to invest in Africa.
I have been told that the African Group of Heads of Mission is very active and eager to engage the Australian Government and the Australian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, to further enhance cooperation in the Economic and political spheres. I pledge to positively contribute to your efforts with all my heart and soul.
At this point let me take this opportunity to thank all of you for your commitment and effort to promoting Australian and African cooperation and for your cooperation with Uganda High Commission and my predecessors. I will continue counting on your generous support in the months and years ahead, while looking forward to working with you to take our relationship to a new high.
I hope to see you in Perth for the upcoming Africa Down Under gathering at the end of August this year. I will also make appointments to pay a courtesy call visit to each one of your Excellencies.
Once again, thank you all for coming.
For God and my Country!