KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has taken a swipe at Western World, saying their stringent conditions were making access to funds difficult and ultimately stalling projects.
“You go for funding and they bring so many jokers,” Museveni said.
“I hear they are creating a level ground for all bidders. Then a small one loses and appeals and this stalls a project for five years. Africa should find its own money. Payless salaries and develops your infrastructure.”
President Museveni was speaking at the opening of the 2019 FOCAC Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference in Munyonyo Kampala.
Mr. Museveni who was the Chief Guest also said that begging and giving money to unemployed youths will not end poverty in Africa but leaders should engage households in production of goods
“We cannot end poverty by witchcraft, magic or begging. It’s only when each household engages in production of goods and services to sell in the market,” the president said.
Mr. Museveni noted that the medicine for poverty is wealth creation but the cause for poverty is lack of sensitization to the people by their leaders.
He also noted Ugandans must stop being mere spectators in poverty alleviation efforts set up by his government and that they must embrace the presence of peace to lift their own living standards by engaging in wealth creation projects and utilize the development and infrastructure put in place by his government.
“Poverty alleviation can be addressed through investment in four major sectors, among other sectors. These are Industries, Agriculture, Services, and ICT,” he noting that “these should be interlinked. For instance, Agriculture should produce raw materials for Industries. The industries should produce machines and chemicals for Agriculture.”
He noted that most of the agricultural produce in Africa is exported in raw form, meaning that the countries lose out in terms of jobs and money in the value chain.
Other sectors critical to poverty alleviation include the service and the information and communication technology sectors.
United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Africa Bience Gawanas urged African leaders to address social injustices as a basis of fighting poverty on the continent.
The 10th FOCAC Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference, co-hosted by China’s State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOP) and the Uganda Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, has the theme of “Partnership for Transformation in Africa”.
Since 2010, the conference has been held for nine consecutive years in China and African countries (Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, and Mauritius).
About 1,800 people attended the conference, including leaders of African countries, senior government officials from China and African countries, experts and scholars, representatives from the private sector and non-governmental organizations, and representatives of international and regional development agencies.
The aim of extensive knowledge-sharing and exchange activities is to enhance the capacity of relevant countries, as well as to develop and implement countermeasures to poverty and hunger in rural areas based on knowledge of sustainable, inclusive agriculture and rural transformation acquired by other countries.
In recent years, international organizations such as the African Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation have effectively alleviated poverty in African countries and established their own poverty-reduction knowledge exchange platform, gaining some progress in formulating policy strategies and helping people get rid of poverty and hunger in African countries.