President Museveni has said that Africa’s transformation should not be one in mere words but rather one with changes involving qualitative leaps.
Museveni made the remarks during the Africa Now Summit held at the Commonwealth Hotel in Munyonyo under the theme ‘Towards a secure, Integrated and growing Africa.’
“By addressing the issues of education and health as well as the issue of the freedom of the private sector in its efforts to create wealth and jobs, we would have removed two strategic bottlenecks,”Museveni said on Tuesday.
“Addressing the bottlenecks will enable us to create prosperity for our people by our producers generating a lot of goods and service products that find a ready market. The more we sell, the more we produce. The more we produce, the more jobs we create and the wider the tax base. The more taxes we collect, the better social services the African governments will provide.”
Museveni told the summit that in the past, African governments focused much on development of their countries through doubling the production of goods and services but noted that this never metamorphosed into the continent’s transformation as had been sought.
“In the 1960s and 1970s when the only affluent part of the world was Western Europe and the USA, double-production of raw-materials meant over supply which would result into lower prices. You produce more but you get the same or lower prices.”
He said that because of “double production” as a means of ensuring economy growth, prices for a number of goods collapse which in the end never helped grow but rather sink the economies.
The Ugandan President explained that through education and liberalisation of the economy, African countries can be able to achieve the desired qualitative transformation.
He cited the Ugandan economy that after government privatised the transport and hospitality sectors, there was accelerated transformation.
“That act of removing government from the sector of transport and hospitality has stimulated a total of 1,685 private buses(2015/18), 10,940 taxis, 1,063,922 boda-bodas and 3,000 private hotels. All these are employing a total of 2 million Ugandans. The NRM took a pioneer role in defogging this issue,”Museveni said.
On education, Museveni said it should be one that not only creates people who want white collar jobs but those with skills to enable them produce goods and services.
“Education per se is not enough if it creates people who only want white collar jobs with no skills to enable them produce goods and services. It will only swell the number of the unemployed. They will have abandoned the subsistence farming of their parents without getting a skill in producing a good or service for the market either as employers or as workers.”
Museveni said other bottlenecks including ideological disorientation, sectarianism, lack of private sector growth and lack of infrastructure among others ought to be worked upon by African countries if they are to achieve qualitative transformation.
The two day Africa Now Summit 2019 which will end on Wednesday was organized by the Africa Strategic Leadership Centre (ASLC) in a bid to help to augment changes through improved dialogue on policy matters of great urgency that need to be addressed through viable and sustainable public-private dialogue initiatives.