President Museveni has hailed the African Leadership Magazine for awarding him for his leadership skills noting that he has played a great role in transforming Uganda in the past 60 years.
“I thank you for giving me the award for leadership. It is true, that for 60 years now. I have been in leadership roles as a student leader (1960-70), a resistance leader (1971-86) and a State leader from 1986 up to today. In all those 60 years, one of my primary tasks was to transform the traditional life-style of the Ugandans (from obujajja to modernity). I could not have had any impact if I did not always work with colleagues, many of them, perishing in the struggle or departing this world since,”Museveni said on Wednesday while speaking at the African Leadership Magazine dialogue (ALM) 2020 in London where he was awarded for his leadership skills.
“Those who died in the struggle included: Raiti Omongin, Natolo-Masaba, Martin Mwesiga, Mwesigwa Black, Valerian Rwaheeru, Kahuunga-Bagira, Joy Mirembe, Mukomboozi, etc. It is the sacrifice of those comrades and the millions of our followers that enabled us to achieve what we achieved.”
Museveni said that there is no doubt that that the NRA/ NRM and other pre-cursor groups like FRONASA played a great role in ensuring the country reaches greater heights as are being enjoyed by the current generation.
He noted that by 1960 when he started following global events closely, the more enlightened parts of the world had gone through the second industrial revolution and were entering the third one a thing he said itched him.
“The big problem we noticed was that, for a number of reasons, mainly internal weaknesses within Africa, this enhancement of human capacity had by-passed Africa. Africa was backward scientifically and also sociologically,” he said.
“Mass production in Europe had restructured the European society and given birth to new social classes that never existed before: the middle class (the bourgeoisie) and the working class (the proletariat). This was in addition to the old feudal, peasant and artisan classes. Given the huge size of Africa, 12 times bigger than India, 4 times bigger than China or the USA, also given the under-population of Africa, this crisis was not easy to see.”
Museveni said that unlike other Africans, he together with his comrades noticed something was wrong and started exposing it through a change in ideology.
“Since that time, our prescription was to fight the sectarian ideas of identity, emphasize patriotism (unity within Uganda), pan-Africanism (unity in Africa), social-economic transformation (sociological leap) to create a middle class and a skilled working class and to deal with global players on equal and mutually beneficial terms through trade, investments and tourism.”
He noted that they then started preaching Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, Social-economic transformation and democracy but also banish sectarianism of religion and tribe and gender-chauvinism against women that don’t address the “crucial” issue of market.
“Therefore, there must be no sectarianism in Uganda because it fragments our market. Moreover, even the Ugandan market is not enough. We need the African market. Hence, Pan-Africanism is core to our program. With a united African market, we can negotiate for access to other markets of the USA, China, India, Russia and Japan, among others.”
“This is how you can talk of harnessing Africa’s economic potential. Once you deal with the ideology, the diagnosis and prescription, you must deal with the strategy now.”
Museveni was also pleased to meet with officials from the Royal Geographical Society officials that he saluted for playing a great role in linking Uganda to the outside world.
“These inquisitive persons were able to link us with the outside world for the first time. The first non-black person to get to Uganda was an Arab man, known as Ibrahim, who got to Uganda in 1841. Otherwise, our people had never seen a non-black person. I do not know the original motivation of the Royal Geographical Society. However, that link up led to the opening up of Africa. I salute you and commend you,”Museveni said.