President Yoweri Museveni has said that while Uganda and the United States face many challenges that they are collaborating on together including peace and security in South Sudan, Somalia, DR Congo, they will intensify their efforts for durable solutions.
The President however urged the United States to balance these efforts by paying attention to other practical areas such as investments and trade that contribute to peace in the region.
The President was yesterday meeting the United States Undersecretary for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, at Uganda House in New York City. The President is in New York to attend the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Oryem Okello and Uganda’s Chief of Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi.
The President said he supported President Trump’s statement to the United Nations for leaders to put their individual countries first, adding that initially the US wasted a lot of time on the ‘wrong things’ instead of pushing for mutual benefits in trade and investments.
“The World Bank had policies that were not pro-development. They were not interested in infrastructure development such as in the energy sector and roads. Without electricity for example, how can you industrialize?”
On the security situation in the Horn, including in South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and DR Congo, the President said from his assessment, conflicts stem mainly from focusing on peoples identities rather than interests and in other cases the lack of institutions and ideology.
On trade, President Yoweri Museveni said Uganda is against importation of secondhand clothes because it is trying to develop its textile and apparel sector.
“Second hand clothes are killing the textile and apparel sector in Uganda. Industrialization of this sector is not only good for Uganda but for America as well. As partners the volume of trade grows and creates more incomes,” he said.
Mr. Thomas Shannon appreciated President’s call for trade and investments as part of finding solutions to the conflicts in the region and thanked him and the people of Uganda for opening their doors to refugees.
“We appreciate Uganda’s policy on refugees. We thank you and your government for taking care of them and for allowing them to produce their own food,” he said.