Johannesburg, South Africa.
By HICGI News Agency
President Museveni has addressed the recently concluded BRICS Summit in South Africa.
HICGI News Agency brings his full speech.
Earlier museveni met his counterpart President Xi Jinping of China at the sidelines of the BRICS summit currently on going in South Africa
The two leaders discussed a series of infrastructure development projects and new areas of cooperation including support to the Uganda Airline route opening in China.
This is the second time the two leaders are meeting in three years with a possible third meeting scheduled for this September during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit will take place in Beijing.
“In March 2015, we had very productive discussions regarding Uganda as an important partner in Africa. Am grateful that we are meeting again and our relationship is growing fast. You have supported us in a number of projects including Karuma and Isimba power stations that will see more power added on River Nile. The Standard Railway negotiations with CCECC are near conclusion and China needs to help us on this. A Chinese company Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group Limited, is also licensed to mine phosphates in Sukulu hills in Tororo Districtamong other areas,” President Museveni said at the bilateral meeting in Sandton, South Africa.
President Museveni used the meeting to discuss possibilities of a line of credit to buy industrial machinery from China and the industrial Park where China agreed to assist with a power line in Kapeeka and support to Uganda through tourism since Uganda is reviving the Uganda Airlines that will also be flying to China.
President Xi Jinping said China would try to find well-positioned companies to support the SGR project and to encourage Chinese companies to operate in Uganda. He also said China will open up its markets to Uganda agricultural products. He said China will invite NRM officials to China to benchmark on the governance and poverty reduction processes there.
The summit, being held under the theme: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”seeks to strengthen the relationship between BRICS member states and Africa. The BRICS Summit is an international relations conference attended by the heads of state or heads of government of the five member states including H.E Michel Temer of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E Vladimir Putin of the Russia Federation, the Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi of Republic of India, H.E Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and H.E Cryil Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa.
South Africa, in its role as Chair of the 10th BRICS chose the theme: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. The Summit seeks to strengthen the relationship between BRICS member states and Africa. The BRICS leaders interacted with African leaders during the BRICS Africa Outreach on how best they can bring about “inclusive growth” and “shared prosperity”.
African Heads of State who have attended the Summit include: His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of Namibia, His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon, His Excellency João Manuel Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola, His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellency Faure Essozimma Gnassingbe, President of the Republic of Togo, and His Excellency Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda.
South Africa will remain Chair of BRICS until December 31, 2018. The 10th BRICS Summit culminated in the adoption of the “Johannesburg declaration” which included joint commitments for the year ahead. The next Chair will be the Republic of Brazil. South Africa has proposed the following adoption at the Summit: establishment of a working group on peacekeeping, establishment of a vaccine research center for collaboration with BRICS vaccine innovation and development partners intended to be a physical research center focused on research and development and vaccine innovation, establishment of BRICS tourism track of cooperation, leveraging the strategy for BRICS economic partnership towards the pursuit of inclusive growth and advancing the 4th industrial revolution to foster discussions to address opportunities provided by the fourth industrial revolution and establishment of a BRICS gender and women’s forum intended as a dedicated track for gender and women issues, given the economic benefit to be derived from the socio-economic empowerment of women particularly in developing countries.
Other Guests who attended the summit included; Mauricio Macri,Argentina President & Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey President
Statement By President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the BRICS Africa Outreach Summit, South Africa
His Excellency Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa; and all their Excellencies who are here today. I am here representing the 6 African Countries of the East African Community as the Chairman for this year. The East African Community (EAC) is comprised of: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda. Our population is now 168 million people and our combined GDP (PPP) is now US$ 440 billion. By 2050, the population of East Africa will be 878,236,244 people.
East Africa is, of course, part of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which comprises most of the 1.25 billion people of Africa.
The EAC has already achieved the Common Market and the Customs Union status. This has helped businesses in East Africa grow. There are quite a number of Industries that greatly benefit from this integration of the East Africa Markets: cement, steel, milk, grain and cereals, veterinary drugs, just to mention a few of them. It will also benefit auto-mobiles manufactured or assembled in East Africa, the pharmaceuticals, some of the electronic machinery, etc., etc.
The BRICS Countries could easily find investment opportunities in East Africa in value addition to cereals, fruits, milk products, fish products, forest products, beverages, minerals such as iron ore, copper, nickel, tungsten, cobalt, coltan etc. These minerals produce steel and copper that are needed in all basic industries and are also alloys for metal products for specialized purposes such as heat resistance. We no longer want to export raw-materials for which we get only 10% of the value and also export jobs. The good example in this area is the Chinese Company Guanzhou DongSong Energy Group, that has invested US$ 650 million in using Uganda’s huge deposits of phosphates and iron-ore to produce fertilizers and steel. The whole spectrum of other opportunities exist. The steel and phosphates complexes will save East Africa US$420 million in imports and create 1.2 million jobs. There is also a huge market of electronics and other heavy and light engineering products.
Moreover, the BRICS countries or their companies could invest in some of the Infrastructure elements such as building electricity generating units, the modern railways, some of the roads, some health units and some tourism units. The rate of return on investment for the companies in East Africa is always of a magnitude of 11%, compared to 9 % in Europe, 8 % in Latin America and 13 % in Asia. The rate of return in East Africa will improve with improved infrastructure which means lower costs of production.
On the side of infrastructure, I particularly point out the plan we have for the Railway from Kenya, through Uganda to Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Tanzania is also developing a Standard Gauge Railway line from Dar-es-Salaam to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and through Lake Tanganyika to Congo. Such good infrastructure would enable us to trade more easily with Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, as well as linking more easily with the outside World through the Ports of Mombasa, Dar-es-Salaam, Lamu, Tanga, etc.
The economic-political integration of East Africa, is enshrined in our treaty, is assisted by the similarities of our people’s in terms of languages and customs, geographical proximity and inter-dependence and the historical linkages of our People’s which the progressive forces in our area have been working hard to enhance. Above all, we are assisted by the heritage of a lingua franca, in the form of Swahili, which is easy to learn and is already historically spoken in Tanzania, Kenya, Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Northern Mozambique and in even parts of Zambia and the Comoro Islands.
The advantages of 1.3 billion Chinese in a land area of 3 million Square miles, 1.25 billion Indians in a land area of 1 million square miles, 150 million Russians in a land of 5.3 million square miles of land and 200 million Brazilians in a land area of 3.29 million square miles are not lost and have never been lost on the Pan Africanists in Africa. Therefore, our partners in BRICS should be aware of the sustained integration efforts in Africa that will, in the end, rationalize the interactions between us and the BRICS powers.
Finally, I salute the BRICS Countries for starting this forum. Three of the forum members were our partners in the anti-colonial struggle. These were: the Soviet Union (Russia), China and India. One of the five, South Africa, was part of the resistance effort. Brazil has a huge section of their population being people of African descent. We salute, commend and encourage the BRICS Countries to continue and, when we need to, we co-ordinate. I am amazed to see some People who describe themselves as Africans “demonstrating” against BRICS. Those Africans seem not to know who their enemy is. If you do not know, ask; do not kutomera (bump into some situations). The BRICS Countries have always been part of our struggles, or they are part of us (Brazil) or were, actually, part of the struggles (South Africa). The BRICS and ourselves have every right to organize ourselves for mutual support.
I thank you.