The challenge around the world in the last 300 years has been unbalanced development. And so for development to happen , there must be fair global trade, President Museveni has said.
The President, who was speaking at the Ninth Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States Summit in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday, added that since the Industrial Revolution in Europe, there has been development in some corners of the globe and underdevelopment in others.
“The expectation is that the whole world should get out of under-development and we work for global prosperity. It should be prosperity for all of us instead of having a small number of people who are prosperous and the majority who are in under development,” said Museveni, adding that one of the tools to ensure this prosperity happens is to enforce fair trade at all costs.
“When we trade together, we stimulate growth in our respective countries. However, in order to trade, we must have the basics. We must resolve the issues of infrastructure, cost of production, cost of money and the human resource,” he added.
According to Museveni the challenge now is with global organisations such as ACP, who should come out and create enablers of trade. Citing Uganda’s case, he said the country has a lot of potentials, given that just 32 per cent of its population was in the money economy.
“Ugandan have not maximised their potential and I know this is the case with most African countries, we are therefore working to better this through commercial agriculture, building industries, supporting the services sector and tapping into ICT opportunities,” he said.
President Museveni said once this was done, production would be massive, noting that Uganda was already experiencing over-supply of maize, milk, sugarcane and bananas.
“The internal market is not enough, even the East African market is not enough. Therefore, it is imperative that we talk about global trade. The ACP is right by emphasising multilateralism. It will cause prosperity in the whole world,” he said.
Meanwhile, on matters of governance, social-economic transformation and climate change, Museveni said such matters should be discussed as a whole.
“These topics are linked because if you don’t encourage the social-economic transformation of society, you cannot sustainably deal with issues of governance,” guided the President.
On climate change, he observed that Uganda had recently suffered the wrath of the weather, with landslides and floods killing several people.
” This is partly because people go to wetlands for land for agriculture. Why don’t they go to industries? It is because they are not enough industries for them. That’s the linkage but also because of greed, especially in the North, where people are using bad methods of production and producing a lot of carbon dioxide we now have climatic changes,” said Museveni.
President Museveni also discouraged the idea that Africa should be separated from the Caribbean.
“I don’t know where that idea came from. I don’t think it’s a good one. Why do we separate ourselves from the African diaspora? The Caribbean, the US, Brazil these are part of the African Diaspora,” he said.
The summit whose theme was “A Transformed ACP: Committed to Multilateralism” took two days at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, where several heads of state from the 79-member state group attended it.
The summit ended by appointing President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya the new chairman of the ACP Group for a three-year tenure while Ambassador Georges Chikoti of Angola became the new secretary-general.
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