President Museveni has underscored the role of regional integration, noting that if he was in the United States of America which has a big market, he would now be among the billionaires.
“The US has succeeded because of integration. The USA is successful because they united the 13 colonies, and they kept on expanding. If I was in the US, I would be a billionaire now because I would sell all my beef throughout the whole of America which has rich people,” Museveni said.
“I would sell my milk, bananas and fruits but now here, you take them to Kenya, they stop you, the follow day they open (the market) , then Burundi , Rwanda and that’s why we are here.”
Museveni was speaking during the 61st Independence Day celebrations at Kitgum Boma grounds held under the theme; ‘Sustaining a united and progressive nation: Taking charge of our future as a free nation’.
Making a case for regional integration, the president said Uganda produces large quantities of maize, beef, milk, coffee and bananas among others but was quick to point that little is consumed locally and the rest lacks market.
He however noted that with regional integration, it would be prosperity for the producers of these goods.
“The good thing in Africa is that people are still asleep, and when you are asleep, you don’t know what will kill you. But when you wake up, that is when you start worrying about danger. Since independence, we have been telling people that Mwalimu Nyerere used to say that we should integrate Africa, or else we won’t develop. However, because people were asleep, they didn’t see what he was talking about.”
“Among important issues you( leaders) should concentrate on is regional integration.This is in order to support the wealth creators like farmers and manufacturers to sell what they produce.We need integration. The parasites who don’t produce anything but eat what others produce are the ones talking about tribes.”
Museveni cited an example of South America that he said is richer in terms of mineral resources than the United States but said the latter is richer in terms of wealth, a state of affairs he attributed to lack of integration by the South American states.
“South America is richer than US in terms of natural resources but their market is fragmented and you cant succeed if you go there to do business. If we want to succeed, we should concentrate on East Africa and African integration.”
Museveni also talked about international contacts that he said Uganda needs so as to be reliable partners to trade with but also become sources of investors but also tourists and technology transfer.
Source: Nile Post