The Uganda’s Head of State His Excellency Yoweri Museveni on Saturday of the previous week launched an Entebbe International Airport expansion project that is estimated to take $200 million running for a spread of five (5) years.
Entebbe International Airport which is the main point of entry into Uganda by those entering by Air including the Uganda safari undertakers has been in need of renovation and expansion to provide for the ever increasing passenger and aircraft traffic.
The Airport expansion initiative is being financed by the Chinese
government in form of soft loan extension and the Ugandan President took
time to acknowledge this contribution and the firm partnership that
thrives between Uganda and China.
The President noted that the
cooperation between Africa and China dates far back in the 1940s and
1950s when the Chinese were fighting for self-governance and Africans
managed to stand by them. Now in return, the Chinese have resolved to
undertake a range of developmental projects in Africa and safaris to Africa including safaris to Uganda because of that traditional touch.
The President commented on his preference for infrastructure noting
that Uganda produces goods and services among which include tourism that
definitely require to be exported. And for these services to be brought
to market, they need to be linked to a range of infrastructure
including the roads, Airports, railways, telecommunications and
internet. Thus, the expansion of Entebbe International Airport is one of
the significant infrastructural developments that Uganda can ever have
enabling her to sell her products including the Uganda safari products.
The President further noted that the process to expand on the Airport
should consider the locally available materials that are of good quality
and capable to be utilized. For example, if the local cement is
satisfactory then it should be used and the same applies to skills.
It can be noted that the new Entebbe International Airport will feature
the passenger and cargo requirements along with elimination of grass and
dust which seems not necessary at the Airport. The aesthetic setting
would be enhanced and thus able to create first impression for the
travelers that make their first step in Uganda including those that come
of safaris in Uganda.
The Chinese firm Vice President Sun Zhiyu noted that the Entebbe
International Airport expansion presents an opportunity for the two
countries to deepen their relations and then present ground for local
employment, knowledge and skills transfer which will contribute to the
Uganda’s economic development.
Entebbe International Airport is the
Uganda’ main Airport and is positioned in the Entebbe peninsular
surrounded by the world’s second largest fresh lake – Lake Victoria 41km
southwest of Kampala – the Uganda’s Capital. The Airport is positioned
along the geographical coordinates of 00°02'41"N, 032°26'35"E.
Entebbe International Airport features rich history including the date
of February 7th 1952 when Queen Elizabeth II boarded a flight from
Uganda after being proclaimed the Queen following the death of King
The control tower at the old Airport is noted to have
been built in the year 1957 – 1958 while the passenger terminal was put
up in 1970s along with the runway 17/35. The old Airport is used by the
military forces of Uganda and it is famously known for being the scene
of the Israel operation Entebbe in the year 1976 to rescue the hostages
when the Air France carrier flight 139 was hijacked by Arab- German
following its stopover in Greece’s Athens en route from Tel Aviv to