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“Africa’s target Should be to cause Social Economic Transformation – President Museveni

Friday, 26th August 2016
President Yoweri Museveni has said that Africa’s target should be to cause social and economic transformation if good governance is to be achieved.
Mr. Museveni made the comments today at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi in a keynote address at a high-level side event ahead of the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
The topic was “TICAD Support for Good Governance in Africa Through Effective Implementation of Agenda 2063 and Yokohama and Nairobi Declaration.”
“The correct way is to handle all the development topics comprehensively. The target should be to cause social economic transformation. Many African countries have been sustainably least developed countries. This should not be allowed to continue,” he said.
President Museveni noted that good governance must be comprehensive adding that it was not sufficient to have regular elections in isolation of solving the various challenges. He highlighted 5 of the strategic bottlenecks out of ten that have hampered the development of the African Continent.
He told the meeting that the first bottleneck was lack of infrastructure such as electricity, good roads, rail and an ICT backbone. He observed that African countries have got low kilowatt-hour per capita except South Africa and Libya prior to the overthrow of Moamer el Gaddafi.
He said that without electricity, no one can be a good governor adding that under such a situation, nobody has got the capacity to create employment opportunities.
The second bottleneck, the President said, is underdeveloped human resource. He noted that the continent needs good health facilities, education and skills. He observed that those who talk about the human resource only do so in isolation.
Fragmented markets, he said, is the third obstacle, noting that colonization fragmented Africa into 53 small markets.
“With a fragmented market, how can you attract investments? How do you support production if you don’t have a big enough market?” he asked.
Citing the case of China, President Museveni said its sporadic development in the past 30 years despite being a communist state, was tagged to its big market.
“Africa is democratic but how come we have not attracted much investment?” he said, adding, however, that Africa was beginning to integrate through bodies like COMESA and the East African Community.
President Museveni observed that the fourth bottleneck was that of States interfering with the private sector either by policy or corruption. He gave the example of Uganda’s experiences after the expulsion of Asians during the Amin regime.
The fifth obstacle, he added, was lack of democracy. He said that it helps to highlight issues. He, however, warned that it should not be in isolation. He reminded them that good governance must lead to social economic transformation. He added that Morocco has done well because it has got electricity adding that the continent can have 53 nuclear power stations.
While responding to questions, President Museveni said that there was an endless list of what needs to be done and has never been done. He observed that handouts are not a solution to the various challenges. He reminded the delegates that Africa has got abundant resources that can facilitate its development adding that handouts can only supplement. He noted that Africa’s rivers have got the capacity to generate 350,000 megawatts of electricity and that there was need to work on nuclear power.
The meeting was organized, among others, by African Union, African Peer review Mechanism and Office of the Special Advice on Africa.

ENDS