By Max Patrick Ocaido
KAMPALA. President Yoweri Museveni has tipped foreign investors to report to him Ugandan officials who seek bribes for business tenders.
Museveni was speaking at the 2nd Uganda- China Economic and Trade cooperation forum at Hotel Africana. This forum is an annual event through which investments from China are recognized for their contribution towards industrialization and the creation of employment opportunities for Ugandans. This forum whose theme is 'Uganda and China Moving forward to Achieve Mutual Development' is to give domestic investors an opportunity to partner with investors from China.
"I hear that many foreigners think that Africa is so corrupt. Please, don't give anyone commission because they don't deserve it. In case anyone is trying to bribe you, whisper to the Ambassador, who will inform me and we shall deal with the culprits," Museveni said.
He added that investors waste a lot of time because they are delayed by "corrupt or confused officials."
Museveni commended the Chinese government for helping Uganda deal with some of the strategic bottlenecks of electricity and infrastructure that have over time lagged behind the development of the country.
"With improved electricity and transport, the rate of returns in Africa will be much higher. It is only on Africa where the rate of returns is growing. In China, it used to be 18%, but is now at 12% and this is because they are getting richer," he said.
He mentioned other bottlenecks that continue to hinder industrial take off and among them include; limited exportation of Ugandan raw materials, small markets saying that in spite of a huge internal markets, neither China nor India could grow so fast until they opened up to the external markets.
"The other Challenge Uganda faces is poor infrastructure; when the cost of production is high, it slows down development. The other bottleneck used to be human resource development, which has been addressed. This explains why we have many university graduates looking for jobs. Our struggle is to give them skills," Museveni said.
Museveni added that ideological challenges also remains a big problem for Uganda and other African states.
"Just like China once lagged behind due to the ideological challenges brought about by the leadership of the emperors, Africa is also struggling due to ideological challenges," he said.