“Invest in Africa Rather than Taking Our Raw Materials,” President Museveni tells Europe

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has called upon companies from the West to interest themselves in investing in Africa, especially in process manufacturing rather than focusing on importing raw materials from Africa which has kept the continent backward.

“I’m proposing to the Russians and the Chinese that; if you say that you are our friends as we have been with you when we’re fighting against the imperialists, stop importing raw materials from Africa. Encourage your companies to locate in Africa and buy the finished products,” H.E Museveni said, giving an example of coffee where Africa gets the smallest share despite being among the biggest growers.

“Why do you buy unprocessed coffee from Africa? why don’t you bring your own companies to invest in Africa so that Africa gets more money from that coffee? In that case, we shall have bigger global prosperity because if Africa has got more money in their pockets, they will buy more from Europe,” the President emphasized, adding that if the global South gets more of the 460 billion dollars of coffee, even Europe will benefit because Africa will be buying more from there.

To say this, President Museveni was meeting Directors of BRIDGIN Schools led by Mirjam Blaak who is the Ugandan Ambassador to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the European Union (EU).

A meeting that took place at State House-Entebbe on Tuesday 25th July 2023, was also attended by Prof. Tanko Mouhamadou, the president and CEO of BRIDGIN Foundation, Marie Adelaide Mathei, a Belgian diplomat in New York, the Minister of State for Higher Education Dr JC Muyingo and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports, Ketty Lamaro.

President Museveni was briefed on the progress so far made in the construction of the state-of-the-art teaching hospital in Uganda and the establishment of the secretariat Headquarters of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) as well as the conference centre and the Hotel.

In the agreement that was signed in April 2022, The BRIDGIN Foundation is to provide a grant of US500 million to the Uganda Government to establish four High Tech Higher Education centres in the country.

This is in line with the commitment the Uganda Government made in 2003 in its bid to host the RUFORUM Headquarters where the Government pledged to establish the Secretariat in Uganda and to provide the necessary protocol support.

President Museveni welcomed the initiative as a win-win formula with Africa which has been supporting the West even before independence with its purchasing power.

“Before 1962 independence, all the cars here were British and all that time our pockets were supporting British prosperity. The first time to see non-British vehicles was after independence. That’s when I started seeing vehicles from Germany, France, Japan,” President Museveni said, adding that Japan has recently also not woken up to see the people who supported their prosperity.

“Even fools wake up, now we are making our vehicles,” the President noted, saying that Africa will develop with or without support from Europe because of the increasing population now bigger than that of India and China.

Ambassador Mirjam Blaak informed the President that the service providers have been secured and are ready to provide the required infrastructure.

“They will only build things that we have requested according to our specifications and it will give us the quality of the construction that we are expecting,” Ambassador Mirjam said.

She added that the team has made visits to Kabanyoro where the construction of the secretariat Headquarters of the RUFORUM is going to be as well as the conference centre and the Hotel. They also visited Katalemwa where 30 acres have been secured to establish the state-of-the-art teaching hospital.

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