Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Museveni

by Ronald Ssekandi

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said the bloodbath the Great Lakes region faced over the years, although undesirable, helped galvanize the ideology that Africa must solve its own problems rather than depend on foreigners.

Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Museveni
Museveni said in a statement early this week that the wars in Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, northern Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda showed that Africa must have the primary interest in solving its conflicts.

“Although not planned, (the conflicts) ended up getting rid of the quisling of foreign interests and creating conditions for Afro-centered thinking in these countries,” Museveni said, noting that Africa must take advantage of that unity.

Museveni said it is that unity that Africa must protect against the continued foreign selfish interests.

He argued that where populations are either similar, linked or compatible, there should be political integration, noting that is only a strong unified force that can push for its interest in the global arena.

“We believe and know that the East African Federation is possible and it would create a center of gravity for the black race,” he said.

The East African Community (EAC), a regional body bringing together Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and now South Sudan, plans to have a political federation. South Sudan was early admitted into the EAC, bring the total population of the bloc to 160 million people.

The president said apart from the strategic security against potential imperialism, the prosperity of the African people revolves around the production of goods and services in order to earn incomes, create jobs and expand the tax base.

He said the intra-African market is growing, which provides an opportunity for African products to be marketed within the continent instead of being taken to foreign markets where they face unfavorable terms.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) brings together 19 countries with a combined population of 470 million people.

The market is now being expanded to include Southern African Development Community (SADC) under the tripartite arrangement involving EAC, COMESA and SADC. This will have a combined population of about 632 million people and a Gross Domestic Product of 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars.

“The pooling of our markets does not only provide us with a bigger market for our goods and services, it also enables us to better negotiate for market access to other foreign markets,” he said.

Museveni argued that regional and continental integration is necessary for the development of the African people. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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