Tana High Level Forum– President Museveni has categorically stated that Africa’s problem in forging ahead lies greatly with policy mistakes.
He says often times African nations make policies that do not help the growth of the African society.
The Ugandan president said this during the 6th Tana High Level Forum on security in Africa at Blue Nile Hotel, Bahir Dar in Ethiopia. He spoke on the topic, Managing Natural Resources In Africa: Challenges and Prospects.
President Museveni accused African leaders of what he described as ideological meandering.
Emphasizing the fact and need that Africa can only be built from within, he said this:
“I love Trump. I love that man Trump because that man has told you that he is not your uncle. And I think it is good. For those Africans who feel orphaned, am sorry for them. Let’s come back to our continent and mind our own affairs,”
Going further on he delved into the need for the proficient use of the Africa’s minerals. He says the continent has enormous minerals that can be used to create jobs and economical value.
He made an illustration with Uganda’s Uranium. According to Museveni, it makes no sense giving away what we need to developed countries for an insubstantial value.
“We have a lot of Uranium. Canadians came and said they wanted to take to Canada to process it from there and I said it will stay in the ground until we build own nuclear power station because am not a fool to give firewood to my neighbor when I don’t have firewood in my house,”
He believes Africans are often cheated out of their mineral resources.
Having discovered oil 12 years ago, the Ugandan government has reluctant to exploit it. They have refused to comply with India’s business proposition.
Likewise proposals from many other countries have oil firms as well as oil exports to them have been declined. The president says such plans are “not economically productive”.
“They wanted to cheat us. I said no”
Museveni insists that the oil remains untapped till they agree. The view of the African president is that African resources belong to Africans. Thus whatever deal there is to be made with them should first and foremost serve Africans.
Comparing education and the need for sustainable policies, Museveni says the letter is most paramount.
He debunked the initial “erroneous” notion “that if you educate your people, everything will be okay?”
“That This was part of mistakes in 1960. This fragmented thinking, fragmented vision is incorrect. If you educate people but you don’t have infrastructure including electricity, where will they work? How will they work?”
Diverting to another problem in improving the economy, he says Africa is at a structural disadvantage. He also urged that the Tana High Level Forum would serve as a platform to enlighten leaders.
“Africa has a structural disadvantage. We are not like China. In China when there is one good thinker…the whole china follows them. Here, you may have good ideas in Ethiopia but they are localized and do not apply to the whole of Africa. This forum can help ideas spread by osmosis,”
Museveni believes good ideas should go beyond local boundaries.