KAMPALA: President Museveni has rapped Western nations for colonialism and said that African countries, including Uganda, are at last emerging from the “long night of decline” ever since the first European explorer set foot on the continent-500 years ago.
The President speaking at today the UN General Assembly at about 11am. US eastern time (6p.m Ugandan time), said these 500 years witnessed great traumas inflicted on the African continent: slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, plunder, human heamorrhage and even genocide in some cases.
“These traumas resulted in haemorrhage of the population and the depopulation of the African continent to the extent that by 1900, the population of the whole of Africa was only 133 million people while that of China, which is only one quarter of the land area of Africa, was 489,000 million people in other-words, four times greater than the population of Africa at that time.”
Mr Museveni, who delivered a very short speech immediately after US. President Barack Obama added: “It is these distortions and the original endogenous weaknesses of Africa that the present generation of Africa leaders have been addressing. In many African countries, positive results are beginning to manifest themselves.”
“The middle class in Africa is now of the magnitude of 313 million people which has boosted the purchasing power of Africa to US$ 2.5 trillion. This purchasing power is growing at the rate of 3.2% per annum.”
Addressing fellow world leaders, he added that, this growth and expansion of African GDP and purchasing power is in spite of inadequate roads, inadequate railways, and inadequate electricity.
“When these strategic bottlenecks are addressed, the sky will be the limit as far as Africa’s potentialities are concerned.”
The President singled out other bottlenecks that are still holding Africa behind such as the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism of religion or tribe as well as chauvinism vis-à-vis the women” which he said are still keeping the continent behind.
“. The sectarian ideology is pseudo and bankrupt because it is at variance with the people’s real interests of symbiosis, exchange of goods and services as well as integration for mutual benefit. Only parasites revel in such schemes. This pseudo-ideology should be banished and treated with the contempt it deserves.”
He outlined Uganda’s road to the socio-economic transformation of embarking on construction of roads, electricity systems, the railways, ICT networks, a universal education system and a pan-Ugandan health system and engaging in intergrated markets like the East African community and COMESA.
Leading the general debate for the world leaders, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, who is also the President of the UN General Assembly, urged them “to seize the moment to make history” to address some of the current world’s leading problems.
Other 34 World leaders are expected to present today at today’s session.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor