President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has revealed that in a very short period of time, Africa will be far, in terms of development, if countries link through the market and add value to their products.
“I think the African people on the globe should see how to resolve the issue of linking the market, what I produce you buy and what you produce I buy so that we empower one another through the market linkage,” President Museveni said.
The President made the remarks yesterday while meeting a delegation of Born-Again Christian leaders in Uganda and outside countries such as the United States at State House Entebbe.
President Museveni explained to his guests that the reason why African countries are still lagging behind is due to loss of value for their products.
“If for instance you take coffee business, its market value in the world is worth 460bn US dollars but all the coffee growing countries in the world share only 25bn US dollars, the rest; more than 400bn US dollars is taken by other people and when it comes to Africa, we share only 2.5bn US dollars and Uganda takes almost 900 million US dollars of that. But what is the problem? The problem is that Africa ends at growing the coffee and dehusking it. When somebody takes it, he roasts, grinds and packs it; that is how he gets all the other money,” he noted.
“When you sell dehusked coffee of good quality, you get about 2.5 US dollars per kilogram and when somebody roasts it and does the rest, he gets 40 US dollars. That means loss of money per kilogram and jobs; this is a big hemorrhage; here we are trying to stop.”
The President also courted Ugandan allies like the Christians and African- Americans to support the country’s textile sector in order to push its industrialization agenda.
“We have got good cotton and we are turning it into fabric and garments, and we had got orders from the United States for textile, then some of those companies cancelled the orders due to our stand against homosexuality,” he disclosed.
“What I’m going to do is to ban secondhand clothes and our people here will buy the clothes from the factories but I also want to check with our Christian allies and our African- American people whether you will buy our clothes also,” he added.
Apostle Pauline Forkwa from the United States assured the President that they are ready to work with Uganda to transform it socially and economically.
“We have people in 72 nations so we are a big force. Part of our plans is to have an African- American Embassy in Uganda and we will work with you, bring all experts here to interpret your dream,” she said. Dr. Kwame Mukong, an African- American whose country of origin is Cameroon, said, “America is driven by lobbying and I believe that the group we have here can work with Christian outlets to let them know the restrictions about the funding to Uganda and restrictions to consumption to Ugandan made goods on the grounds of LGBTQ which has nothing to do with the goods that are being produced. So, a good Christian lobbying on this matter will actually give the market to the Ugandan made goods.”
Dr. Mukong further appealed to President Museveni to work with the government of Cameroon to mediate between the warring factions in their country.
“We need help and the help we need is bringing the factions together; that of English and French speaking people.”
The meeting was also attended by the newly consecrated General Overseer of the National Fellowship of Born-Again Pentecostal Churches of Uganda, Bishop Moses Odongo, Bishop Joshua Lwere, Mrs. Betty Odongo, Bishop Tom Okello, Rev. Dr Morakinyo Babafemi, Mr. Osarumen Ojiefo Okojie, among others.