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African Leaders to Adopt President Museveni's Paper as Blue-Print to Guide Continent on Development

Monday, 29th August 2016
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STATEMENT

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 BY

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H.E\r\nYOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI

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PRESIDENT\r\nOF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

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AT\r\nTHE

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TOKYO\r\nINTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT FORUM  

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HELD\r\nAT

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KICC, NAIROBI           -\r\n            26TH AUGUST, 2016

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Your\r\nExcellencies Heads of State and Government;

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Development\r\nPartners;

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International\r\nDiplomats;

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Distinguished\r\nladies and gentlemen;

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Greetings. \r\nI am happy, again, to be part of this forum to discuss the common future\r\nof Africa.  Whenever I attend such fora,\r\nI get one problem.  This is the problem\r\nof discussing and handling of African issues in a fragmented way 式 just picking\r\none issue or two issues and highlighting those for some time and, then, after\r\nsome time, picking another bunch of issues and doing the same with them.  In the 1960s, it was a fashion to talk about\r\n"rural development§ as if rural development could occur in isolation from other\r\nphenomena.  Then, it became a fashion to\r\ntalk about "education§, again, in isolation from the other factors.  At other times, there is talk about health,\r\nwomen issues, children rights, etc., but always in a fragmented way.

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I have been watching this for the last 50\r\nyears.  Our Movement, the NRM (National\r\nResistance Movement), utilizing the advantage of the long experience,\r\neventually, distilled 10 strategic bottlenecks that have been a blockage to\r\nAfrica*s growth and socio-economic transformation.  In order not to forget, there was also talk\r\nof "sustainable development§. What were the ingredients of this "sustainable\r\ndevelopment§? Everybody had differing packages of the relevant ingredients.  Even the Millennium Development Goals did not\r\nsolve this problem.  These, you remember,\r\nwere to:

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(i)     eradicate\r\nextreme poverty and hunger;

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(ii)    achieve\r\nuniversal primary education;

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(iii)   promote\r\ngender equality and empower women;

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(iv)   reduce\r\nchild mortality;

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(v)    improve\r\nmaternal health

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(vi)   combat\r\nHIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

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(vii)  ensure\r\nenvironmental sustainability

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(viii) develop\r\na global partnership for development

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"Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger§ how?  The MDGs did not say.

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Utilizing the experience of the last 50 years,\r\ntherefore, we identified the 10 strategic bottlenecks.  These are:

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1.     Ideological disorientation.  The main manifestation of ideological\r\ndisorientation is the opportunistic misuse of identity at the expense of the\r\ngenuine interests of the people. Such genuine interests should answer the\r\nquestion: "Who will guarantee my prosperity?§ "Is it the members of my tribe or\r\nmy religious sect that will do so or is it the members of the "other\r\ncommunities?§  "Who will buy my milk, my\r\nbeef, my coffee, my bananas or my tea?§ \r\nIdeological disorientation only emphasizes identity and eclipses\r\ninterests or even acts against the interests of the people.  This generates the sectarianism of tribe or\r\nreligion you have seen causing so much damage.

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2.     As a consequence of number one above, many\r\nAfrican countries end-up with weak States 式 weak armies, civil services, etc.,\r\nbecause they are not based on merit or are not ideologically oriented with the\r\nright attitude.

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3.     The under-development of the human resource\r\n(lack of education, lack of skills and poor health of the African populations).

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4.     Under-developed infrastructure (no\r\nelectricity, no modern roads, no modern railways, no ICT backbone, no piped\r\nwater, etc.); this makes the costs of production in the economy go up and\r\ncannot, therefore, attract investments so as to expand production and create\r\njobs.

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5.     As a consequence of number 4 above, there\r\nis no industrialization and, therefore, Africa has continued to suffer haemmorhage\r\nthrough the loss of money and jobs, being a donor to other continents by\r\ncontinuing to export raw-materials where we get only 10% of the value of our\r\nproducts (coffee, cotton, minerals, timber, etc., etc).

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6.     The problem of a fragmented African market\r\non account of colonialism.  The 53 former\r\ncolonies, the modern African States, are, individually, too small markets to\r\nattract, retain investments and cause them to thrive. China, which started liberalizing\r\nand opening up in 1978, (China started participating in the UN system in 1982)\r\nhas since attracted a total of enterprises worth US $ 2.6 trillion.  The whole of Africa in that same period has\r\nonly attracted enterprises worth US $0.65 trillion. (Source:\r\nUNTAD Website). \r\nYet China is still a communist country while most\r\nof Africa is now "democratic§ and operating really market-led economies.  What is the problem?  One of them is a fragmented market.  The other bottlenecks also play a role in\r\ndiscouraging and stifling investments. The other good examples are poor\r\ninfrastructure and a non-skilled workforce. \r\nFortunately, we have done a good job on this by creating ECOWAS, EAC,\r\nCOMESA and SADC.  We are aiming at the\r\ncommon market of the whole of Africa. \r\nUnfortunately, some actors continue to allow non-tariff barriers.  Yet the growing Purchasing Power of Africa\r\nwould have attracted investments if the African market was really\r\nintegrated. 

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7.     The under-developed services sector 式\r\ntourism, hotels, banking (financial servicing 式 expensive money, etc),\r\ninsurance, professional services (e.g. doctors 式 hence medical tourism to\r\nIndia, etc).

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8.     The under-development of agriculture 式 no\r\ncomplete commercialization of agriculture (still alot of subsistence\r\nagriculture – 68% in the case of Uganda), no irrigation, low use of\r\nfertilizers, poor disease control, poor soil conservation, poor seeds and\r\nbreeding stock, etc. The population in the agricultural sector has, therefore,\r\nno money and their purchasing power is low.

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9.     In the 1960s and 1970s, there was the\r\nmistake on our part of nationalizing private sector assets 式 banks, shops,\r\nfarms, etc.  This interference with the\r\nprivate sector by policy or by corruption has also been another bottleneck.  The private sector is the most efficient\r\nengine of growth.

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10.   Suppression of democracy in the past has also\r\nbeen another bottleneck.

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I would, therefore, appeal to their Excellencies,\r\nthe Heads of State, to look at the totality of the challenges we face and if\r\nthey are convinced by this analysis to instruct the public servants in our\r\nindividual countries and the continental bodies that service the African Union\r\n(AU) to look at the problems we face in a comprehensive manner.

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All this must lead to socio-economic\r\ntransformation of the African population from the various types of\r\npre-capitalist 式 modes of social organizations to middle-class, skilled working\r\nclass societies.  We cannot go on with\r\nthe vague slogans of "sustainable development§. How can somebody be\r\n"sustainably§ a child?  Nature dictates\r\nthat child must transform into teenager, teenager into youth and youth into\r\nadult.  There must be quantitative growth\r\nand qualitative transformation for an organism to grow in a healthy way.

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I thank you.

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26th August, 2016                                    -       KICC, Nairobi

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