Turkey and Uganda have entered into a defense industry cooperation agreement that includes the production and modernization of defense industry products, research and information sharing. The agreement is expected to open the Ugandan market up to Turkish defense companies controlled by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Ugandan Defense Minister Bright Rwamirama paid an official visit to Ankara on December 12, 2019 and discussed bilateral cooperation in regional military issues and the defense industry with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar. Rwamirama also met with representatives from Turkish defense contractors the Beyler Group, Nurol Machinery and Defense, Integras Security and Defense, Tetico Technical Trade Co. and Özaltın Holding. According to a press release from the Beyler Group, the Ugandan minister invited Turkish companies to discuss business opportunities in Uganda.
Moreover, a high-level Ugandan delegation also attended Turkey’s International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) organized by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF) in April-May of 2019.
The Turkey-Uganda defense industry cooperation agreement was signed on June 1, 2016 in Kampala during an official visit by President Erdoğan to the East African country, but the Turkish government had for a long time not sought parliamentary approval for the deal. In accordance with the government’s 2020 Africa policy, the process for the Turkey-Uganda defense industry cooperation deal has been accelerated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and was approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish parliament on February 5, 2020.
Following President Erdoğan’s Africa tour in January 2020, the committee approved several agreements signed with African countries such as Sudan, Somalia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Uganda during the same session.
In the text of the agreement, obtained by Nordic Monitor, the two countries pledge to cooperate in the industrial production, procurement and maintenance of military and defense materiel as well as technical and logistical support, information sharing and research in the field.
Article 4 states that the parties will provide “appropriate environment for joint research, development, production and modernization of the Defence Industry Goods and Services by the Armed Forces of the Parties, by Third Parties.” The deal covers mutual assistance in the fields of production and procurement of defense industry goods and services, the modernization of tools and equipment and the sale of final military and defense equipment produced through joint projects to third countries.
Article 4 underlines that the parties should carry out “joint research and development projects for the purpose of producing Defence Industry Goods and Services mutually required by the Parties,” adding that they will assist each other in the exchange of “scientific and technical information, relevant documents and information on defence industry standards used by the Parties for quality assurance.”
Moreover, the agreement aims to promote cooperation between military technical institutions, defense industry companies and maintenance and repair facilities, and to facilitate technical visits to research centers and personnel exchanges between the institutions and companies.
The 23-article agreement was submitted to parliament for ratification on December 14, 2018 by President Erdoğan.
The letter submitted to parliament seeking approval of the agreement with Uganda:Erdogan_uganda_cover_letter
In accordance with Article 7, the two sides will form a joint commission to implement provisions of the agreement similar to Turkey’s bilateral deals with other states. The joint commission will be responsible for the determination and definition of concrete fields of cooperation, the selection of joint projects, the exchange of information, the presentation of proposals, recommendations and opinions to the relevant authorities, ensuring the preparation and publication of necessary documents for realization of approved projects and decisions, and regular supervision of the approved projects.
Furthermore, Article 9 of the agreement sets forth conditions on the handling of classified information and documents produced or provided under the agreement, specifying how they shall be protected, exchanged and generated.
The Turkey-Uganda defense industry cooperation deal was initialed on June 1, 2016 in Kampala by then-Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and then-Ugandan Defense Minister C.W.C.B. Kiyonga. The terms of the agreement will be executed by the defense ministries of both sides. The deal is valid for five years and will be automatically extended for successive two year terms. According to the agreement, either party may notify the other of the intent to terminate at least three months in advance.
The full text of the defense industry cooperation agreement is posted below: