British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) meets President Museveni during the Somalia Conference on Thursday in London. Photo by AFP
President Museveni has damned foreign interference and called on African leaders in the Great Lakes region to unite and fight foreign interests which he says has hampered development efforts on the continent.
“Foreign influence and interference will destabilise our countries if we don’t act as a team,” President Museveni said, citing the problems in Somalia and Sudan but without delving into the details on how foreign powers have messed up things in the two countries.
Once again, the President castigated development partners who deal with the peripherals like homosexuality and emancipation instead of supporting economic development such as infrastructure development.
However, opposition leaders have accused him of being opportunistic advancing the campaign against foreign intervention
The President made the appeal on Friday in a key address on the “Role of Uganda in Africa’s development” in London.
The dialogue was organised by Chatham House, a UK Think Tank. The function was attended by members from the Commonwealth office, Tullow Oil Plc and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Addressing a one-day London Conference on Somalia which took place at Lancaster House, Mr Museveni reiterated that the problems in Africa can best be solved if African countries take the lead.
Africans for Africa
“When external stakeholders usurp the powers to solve African problems, failure and catastrophe is unavoidable; whereas where Africans take the lead in partnership with others, results are better,” the President said.
The conference, organised by the British government, attracted over 40 delegations and heads of state from Africa and Europe.
Asking African leaders to stop depending on foreigners in support of self help, he cited the independence of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and the majority rule in South Africa as some of Africa’s successfully-handled situations.
While the President criticised foreign intervention in solving African problems, he, however, appreciated “the material and financial assistance” given by external partners to AMISOM regarding the ongoing humanitarian efforts and problems in Somalia.
On trade in Africa in general, President Museveni, according to a State House statement issued at the weekend, said industrialisation “is the way forward”, adding that exportation of raw materials has been one of the biggest draw backs in Africa because it leads to loss of revenue and jobs.
The British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, said the conference is the most influential with every region in Somalia represented, adding that the focus is on the plight of Somalis who have suffered for two decades with famine, bloodshed and poverty.
The UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki Moon, paid tribute to soldiers who died in the course of fighting for peace in Somalia.
By Yasiin Mugerwa, Daily Monitor