President Yoweri Museveni has said Africa needs a central force to drive the next-level growth that is needed for the prosperity of its people.
According to Museveni, most African leaders, instead of building an Africa that focuses on unity and integration, are pursuing interests that lead to a divided continent.
“It is now 63 years since Ghana’s Independence in 1957. The Post-Independence African leaders, except for Mwalimu Nyerere and Mzee Karume, have succeeded in building a Latin America in Africa instead of building a United States of Africa in Africa as the wishes of the Wazee – Nkrumah, Nyerere, Modibo Keita, Sekou Toure, Nasser and Gadaffi – were,” the president said Monday while launching the NRM Manifesto after being nominated for the 2021 elections.
“We have failed to build a centre of gravity, a guaranteeing force for the African Race, to guarantee a secure and prosperous future for that much-traumatized race.”
The president said that for a country like Uganda to move from where it is now there are three questions that need to be answered, with the first being “how shall we ensure the prosperity of Ugandans by removing all the barriers – conceptual and physical – to the rapid and free flow of goods and services within Uganda as one market?”
According to the president, this can be answered by making everyone think along the lines of a one Uganda instead of practicing sectarianism which has eroded the country of the much need cooperation.
“To make it clear to all and sundry that Uganda is more useful to the Ugandan producers of goods and services than the individual tribal areas – Ankole, Buganda, Acholi etc. To ensure that it is clear to all that mwoyo gwa Uganda will ensure our prosperity better than the mwoyo gwa gwanga of the tribes,” he said.
Museveni also noted that Ugandan needs to look into expanding its market by rooting for regional and continental integration.
“Is the Uganda Market enough to guarantee our prosperity once all the Ugandans wake up from kulambaala (sleeping) and from okukolera ekida kyoonka and produce big volumes of maize, milk, beef, bananas, cassava, sugar, industrial products etc.?” he asked.
“The answer is: ‘No, the Ugandan market is not enough; we also need the East African market; the African market and the World market’. We shall get access to the East African and African markets through the economic integration of those areas as we have done under EAC and CFTA. We shall more easily access the global markets if we negotiate as East Africa or as Africa. Uganda alone, does not have the clout to negotiate credibly with the big markets of the USA, China, India, Russia, EU.”
After getting solutions to the two questions above, the third will be: “How can we guarantee the strategic security, the long-term security, the eternal security, of the Ugandan people and the other African peoples against all possible threats of whatever capacity?”
“Can economic development alone, through economic integration, guarantee this strategic security?” the president went on to ask.
And to him, the answer is “No.”
Museveni says continental security can be achieved through organizing regional Federations such as the East African Federation “because of the factors of similarity in cultures and languages or, at least, linkages in culture and language.”
“These similarities assist cohesion among these political units,” he said.
President Museveni says that prosperity will not come until the continent undergoes a social-economic transformation as alluded to earlier. And this, according to him, will come about as a consequence of everybody going to school, having good health and entering the money economy by the masses invading the enclave economy and entering the four sectors for wealth and for jobs.
“The four sectors are: commercial agriculture with ekibaro, away from the ancient culture of a non-money economy of okukolera ekida kyoonka, tic me ic keken; Industries, big and small – based on agro processing, minerals beneficiation, marine resources Industries, Forest products Industries and the new capacity of knowledge-based Industries of medicine, vaccines, motor vehicles fabrication etc.; services sector; and ICT,” he said.