President Yoweri Museveni has attributed the stagnant economic growth of Africa to its continuous export of raw materials to other European countries to add value.
Speaking at the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, Museveni said this hemorrhage is the reason African countries are still under "slavery" and emphasized that the export of raw materials by Africa should be opposed.
"We oppose this haemorrhage in all the raw materials like milk, cotton, skins and hides, timber, iron ore, copper (ekikomo), gold, tin, lithium, wolfram, petroleum, etc. It is this haemorrhage that is responsible
for the stagnation of Africa," Museveni said.
Giving an example, Museveni said that the total GDP of Africa is USD 2.7 trillion, which is smaller than or equal to individual
economies of Japan (USD 5.06 trillion), India which is USD2.66 trillion, UK USD 2.67 trillion, France USD 2.63trillion, Germany is USD 3.85trillion etc.
"Export of raw materials by Africa is the new form of slavery. Export of value in exchange for no value (mirrors, combs for our ignorant chiefs in exchange for slaves) or for little value like now – 10% value of the final product. The export of raw-materials and slaves for the last 600 years is the cause of this stunting (okuningama)," Museveni said.
He emphasized that the NRM government has been working hard to look for investors who can add value to Uganda's raw materials to maximize economic gains for the country.
"Ever since 1986, I have been trying to get value adders to all our raw-materials. Sometimes I succeeded like with milk throughSameer, Brookside, Pearl, Kagate, etc, Cotton through Nytil, Fine Spinners, wood through plywood in Katuugo, Palm Oil through Bidco, etc, sugar through many companies, Petroleum through the Refinery, Bananas through Dr. Muranga, Kyamuhangyire, Skins and Hides through Nakyobe), Gold through six refineries), etc," he said.
He said it is this urge that prompted him to look for value adders for Uganda's coffee through the Italian investor Pinetti Enrica with whom government signed the controversial coffee agreement to process and add value to Uganda's coffee.
" When I met madame Pinetti, she had no idea about coffee. I, however, could see that she had a wide network of contacts. I asked her to look into coffee. After sometime, she came back with a positive report that it was doable. Therefore, those attacking that project, are supporters of okukenenula, (ekyejwiiso) of Africa – perpetual bleeding. If they were not, they would have responded to our call of 1986 and after, to come forward and add value to coffee and seek government assistance.
Instead of attacking the saviour (oyo anataasa)," he said, adding that he will meet all people involved in coffee to iron out some of their fears.
"If you are genuine, join the liberation effort. It is criminal for anybody to continue arguing for the continued export of raw-materials in Africa when there is 90% more value in that product that you are giving to outsiders," Museveni said.