Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni has said that the West and various international monetary lenders keep Africa in continuous poverty.

Speaking at the World Bank’s International Development Association summit for African Heads of state, held in Nairobi, Kenya, Museveni took a bold swipe at world leaders saying that most of Africa’s problems predicted over 60 years ago were a result of philosophical, ideological, and strategic economic mistakes.

He claimed that a fundamental African problem is that aid from the World Bank and other Western bodies was majorly for profiteering.

“The crisis which is in Africa today is because of philosophical, ideological, and strategic economic mistakes which we have been talking about since the 1960s. It is not an accident when you see the crisis in many African countries, the collapse of States. We predicted this in the 1960s – philosophical, ideological, and strategic mistakes. I don’t have time to amplify each one but I was very happy to hear the president of the World Bank talking about prosperity instead of profiteering.

“Aid has been for profiteering, this has been the problem. Now, the World Bank people and other groups have been talking about sustainable development. Even in your documents, I have seen those words there, sustainable development”, Museveni stated.

He argued that what Africa needed to thrive as a continent was not a sustainable development as suggested by the World Bank, or other world lenders but social and economic transformation.

He urged the World Bank and world leaders to quit pushing sustainable development as a key factor in achieving a developed African continent.

“I would ask you to change those words in your documents. Africa does not need what you could call sustainable development. Africa needs social and economic transformation. The main reason why there’s no growth is because the growth factors are not funded, they are not even understood. What are the growth factors, we now talk of private sector growth. Yes, but for the private sector to grow what does it need? It needs a low cost of production”, he said.

According to him, adequate funding for the transportation, power and agricultural sectors will boost low production costs.

“Ministers of finance, what are the low costs of production? Number one is transport. You must have low transport costs. Where do low transport costs come from? The railway? If you don’t fund the railway how will you get low transport costs?

“Wonderful people, IMF, where will low-cost operations come from if you don’t have a railway? If you don’t fund the railway, how would you get low transport costs? I have been here for the last 64 years, I have been watching as a student leader, as a freedom fighter and now as the leader of a country. How many railways have been constructed or funded in Africa? The few that have been was by China, the Tanzanian railway to Zambia, and recently, another one here in Kenya. Tanzania on their own is building a railway line. So if you’re talking of developing Africa, fund the railway. If you fund the railway, you will have a low cost of transport and you can produce cheap products which can be bought all over the world.

“The second cost pusher is electricity. If you don’t fund electricity and you talk about sustainable development, what are you then talking about? We must have low-cost electricity not exceeding 5 cents per kilowatts, per hour. That is what I insist on in Uganda. I am tired of all these stories, I have put my foot down saying I don’t want to hear those stories. Uganda is a developing country and it will continue to develop because I don’t entertain nonsense anymore.”

Speaking further, Museveni who has ruled Uganda for over 40 years accused the World Bank and Western leaders of refusing to lend him money for capital projects such as establishing the Uganda Development Bank.

He lamented the rate at which loans are promptly approved for ‘’frivolities” but not for serious projects that would yield economic gains.

“Borrowing, for what? Capacity building! Imagine! They call you to a hotel where you eat Chapati and mandazi, and they say that is capacity building. Capacity building should be on the ground and not just in seminars. So, the second point your Excellencies is electricity. The third one; is for those people who talk about private sector growth, I have been trying to borrow money for our Uganda Development Bank, a bank which funds manufacturers, but no, I don’t get support for that.” he said

“They say they want my people to go to commercial banks. Those commercial banks are to encourage import because the only person who can borrow money from a commercial bank and pay it back is a trader who goes to China, Dubai buys goods, sells them quickly and pays the loan back. So, if you are serious, I need it here, about the low-cost funding for manufacturing, not stories.”

“How about funding for irrigation? Because if you want to stabilise agriculture, a country like Uganda is very rich, we have got everything. But sometimes, we have some erraticness because of the rains. So, to stabilise irrigation I’ve been trying to look for a loan for irrigation but I can’t easily get it, it is very difficult to get. But a loan for seminars is very quick.”

Watch the video below

Source: Blackgh.com

Leave a Reply

Pin It