President launches 2019 FOCAC Conference

Thursday, November 28, 2019

President Yoweri Museveni has launched the 2019 FOCAC Conference with a highlight on ways of eradicating poverty not only in Uganda but in the whole of Africa.

While addressing the conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo today, the President highlighted the major sectors of the economy that will address the problem of poverty as being commercial agriculture, Industries, services and Information Communication Technology (ICT). 

“When I think about poverty eradication the one sector I think about is agriculture,” he noted.

He pointed out that for Uganda and Africa to get out of poverty each household must engage in production of goods and services to be able to earn something. “The way to abolish poverty is through each family in Uganda and Africa participating in production of goods and services which can be sold in the market and this poverty may be addressed,” he said.

In response to African countries’ interests in China’s poverty reduction experience, the International Poverty Reduction Centre in China (IPRCC) launched the China-Africa Poverty Reduction and Development Conference in 2010 and started to discuss and share extensive poverty reduction experience. 

The theme of the current Munyonyo conference covered a series of issues like agricultural modernization, special economic zones, development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), industrialization and China-Africa cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

The President further told the conference that for a country to eradicate poverty, it must focus not only on modernization but also expand the four sectors. He said that the problem that Africa has been facing in the four sectors of agriculture, industry, services and ICT is that they are not integrated and linked to create tangible results. He cited the production of cotton that is not linked to factories leading to a country missing out on all the steps that would translate into jobs and income for the people. He stressed that agriculture should produce raw materials for industry and industries should produce machinery for agriculture and other areas.

Since 2010, the conference has been held for nine consecutive years in China and African countries (Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa and Mauritius).

The co-host and head of the high level Chinese delegation who is also Vice-Minister of State Council leading group on poverty alleviation, Mr. Chen Zhigang, commended Uganda for the friendship and cooperation. He said China has engaged in several programs such as training in education and health, among others, aimed at eliminating poverty in African countries.

The UN Under-Secretary General Ms. Bience Gawanas who is also and Special Adviser on Africa to the UN Secretary General, highlighted the role of UN through its specialised agencies citing continued support to efforts to fight poverty and facilitating partner states to eradicate poverty.