Rwandan President Paul Kagame (left) and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.
By Monitor Reporter
Kampala — President Museveni has said the closure of the border by neighbouring Rwanda is a ‘hiccup’ that will not slow the region down.
“Even if the border is closed, trade will go on, only that it will be through smuggling. You can’t stop trade through border administration. People resort to smuggling. Others have resorted to export a lot of things to South Sudan, DR Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, etc,” he said.
The President was yesterday delivering an opportunity lecture to 17 high ranking military officials from 11 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, and Bolivia, among others, at Masindi State Lodge in Masindi District. The team led by Rear Admiral Ross Albon from UK Royal College of Defence Studies, has been in the country for a one-week study tour of Uganda about ‘Uganda’s Geo Politics and Economic Development’.
The UPDF Chief of Training and Recruitment, Maj Genl Jim Willis Byaruhanga, guided the delegation during the course of the study.
Mr Museveni said market integration of Africa and political integration for strategic security will stimulate the continents prosperity and rapid economic transformation for the continent.
“The modern way for prosperity is exchange of goods and services for sell, the more buyers the better. We now have African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) where you can trade with anybody. East Africa is highly compatible, similar and linked. Our fraternity has not been emphasised,” he said.
He added that the six East African countries have agreed to work for a confederation of East Africa to strengthen cooperation.
South Sudan and Somalia
On the issue of South Sudan and Somalia, President Museveni said the problem was opportunists exploiting the issue of identity as opposed to interests.
“Identity is multi-racial and multi-cultural and yet society is dynamic. Politics of identity is very dangerous,” he said.
On the issue of refugees, President Museveni said refugees don’t cause any cultural shock for the country and can be managed if development partners supported government with logistical needs.
The President added, however, that when provided with education and skills, it would help refugees who return home to start a new life with new links.
President Museveni described Africa as a continent of the future with a big potential if we get things right.
About the investments of China and India in African economies, President Museveni said there is no problem with such investments as long as African governments can counter balance in economic and political terms.