Museveni Rallies Leaders on Industrial Revolution for Africa

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

President Yoweri Museveni has called on leaders to concentrate on solving issues that undermine economic productivity by removing cost pushers through improved infrastructure such as roads and railway, electricity and cost of money, saying this will not only improve the cost of doing business but also attract private investment.

“I would want to have a harmonized thinking with colleagues on the issue of removing cost pushers which undermine productivity of the          economy. These are the cost of transport, electricity and money. If we don’t solve these we can’t move. I want all friends to concentrate on these,” he said. This was during his address to the Conference plenary held under the theme, “Accelerating Economic Transformation and improving Business Environment through Innovation and Private Sector engagement”.

President Museveni pointed out the 3 crucial words in the theme:  “transformation”, “acceleration” and “private sector engagement” saying economic transformation will attract the private sector and spur development. (See H.Es full Speech attached here)

“Africa, for various reasons, has not fully joined this transformation and this is where there is the huge opportunity,” he said. 

The President said the use of machines to do work, instead of relying on the muscles of man or beast, was the beginning of the first Industrial Revolution. Then the introduction of the railway and electricity lowering the costs of transport and production and supporting big volumes of output and conveyance constituted the second Industrial Revolution. Automation of machines ushered in the third Industrial Revolution. 

“We are now dealing with the fourth Industrial Revolution in the form of Artificial Intelligence ─ Intelligent Machines. All these jumps and leaps in technology, increase the productive capacities of the innovating or adopting societies to their benefit, first and foremost, and, to some extent, the rest of humanity,” he said.

Japanese and African leaders from over 50 countries are meeting here at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD. The three-day event is focused on boosting Japanese private investment in Africa. It's the seventh time the event has been held since the conference began in 1993 and according to reports the Japanese government wants to use the occasion to unveil a three-year investment package aimed at expanding its presence on the continent.

The continent's population is increasing rapidly, with the UN projecting that by 2050, one in four people on Earth will be African. Its economy has also been on the upswing, growing by around three percent a year. 

Over 20 African leaders are attending the conference including: President Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leone, Andry Rajoelina, Madagascar, Ismail Omar Guelleh, Djibouti, Joao Lourenco, Angola, Hage Geingob, Namibia, George Weah, Liberia, Felix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya, Yoweri Museveni, Uganda, Abdul Fatten Al-Sisi, Egypt and current African Union president, Paul Kagame, Rwanda, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, Somalia, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe, Faure Gnassingbe, Togo, Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria, Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa, Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, Mali, Edgar Lungu, Zambia and Macky Sall, Senegal.