President Museveni has said Africa can fight off the European and American bullies if the continent unites to have a consolidated voice.
Speaking during the 57th Independence Day celebrations held in Sironko district on Wednesday, Museveni said Africa has always been bullied because the various countries stand-alone but said this can change if they unite.
“European countries have been putting sanctions on Zimbabwe because Zimbabwe is a small man but when the US did it to China, China also put sanctions on them. When you have a problem where someone slaps you and can’t hit back, it is a big problem and that is what Zimbabwe has been facing,”Museveni said.
“When the US tried to put sanctions on China, they (China) did the same by putting counter sanctions on the US and they have decided to negotiate.”
Museveni said that despite producing a number of goods, African countries will always be cheated if they cannot unite and form a formidable force that can agitate for good prices for goods.
“You can’t sustainably produce if nobody is buying what you are producing. The Continental Free Trade Area will allow us to negotiate with USA, India, Russia and Asia countries for good prices. For small African countries that can’t stand on their own, continental free trade area is our salvation.”
The President said that despite undergoing minimum recovery in the past 33 years, Uganda can only develop if it joins the rest of the region through the East African Political Federation that will form a big market for goods produced.
Museveni, however, urged Ugandans to abandon subsistence production and get engaged in commercial production so as to produce for both home consumption and sale in a bid to earn some income and this way, he said, poverty will be tackled.
Zimbabwe President, Emerson Mnangagwa who attended the function as a special guest said Uganda’s independence inspired Zimbabwe to fight for their own.
“I am here to cement relations with Uganda because your independence inspired us that it was possible to remove colonial powers from our country. We admire the progress and focus you are enjoying in unity and love,”Mnangagwa said.
“We aspire to follow and achieve like you. Zimbabwe is a country in transition after sanctions for 20 years but because of the support from our sister countries like Uganda we are still surviving.”
The 57th independence celebrations were held under theme, “Consolidation of unity, security, freedom and prosperity.”