Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who presided over the celebrations attended by five heads of state from eastern Africa called for value addition on agricultural products.
"In Uganda, we have had fights with political actors over value addition. Everything is got from outside yet the raw materials are available. At least we have started producing our own processed milk, fertilizers, and some textiles," Museveni said, emphasizing that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline will go on as planned.
Visiting Kenyan President William Ruto called on traders and investors to take advantage of the vast regional market to supply what is produced in excess in the different countries.
Our beautiful UGANDA celebrates 60 years of self rule, today.
"As a region, it is clear to us that we cannot share poverty, and we cannot share hunger, but we can share opportunities and prosperity. We have the challenge to ensure a borderless East African Community where goods and services can move across Africa in free trade," Ruto said.
Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye thanked Museveni for his contribution to establishing peace in the region. "We can only be stronger if we work together. For the sake of peace, nothing should stand in our way," he said.
The celebrations were also attended by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and Tanzania's Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi. Several diplomats and other officials also attended the celebrations held at the same place where Britain handed over power to Uganda on Oct. 9, 1962.