President Yoweri Museveni has urged African political leaders to shun the politics of identity that characterized most of post-independence Africa.
The President was speaking at Meskel Square in the Ethiopian capital Addis-Ababa where he addressed a mammoth rally of Ethiopian people that was also attended by many other African leaders to mark the inauguration of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for a new five-year term.
Museveni said politics of identity that was mostly based on tribes and religions were counterproductive, diversionary and led to the emergency of many failed states in post-independence Africa.
President Museveni who made the opening remarks for the Heads of States and Government said as an observer of African politics for the last 60 years, he had identified politics of identity especially of tribes and religions as one that greatly affected democratic and political progress of many African countries and hindered the continent’s social economic transformation and development.
He called upon the people of Ethiopia and the African continent in general to do away with politics of identity and focus on politics of interest and support leaders based on their political agenda as opposed to their tribes or religious affiliations.
“I have been observing and participating in African politics for 60 years and politics of identity especially of tribes and religions have caused many problems to many African countries including Uganda. Uganda just came up after we had shunned politics of identity and substituted it with politics of interest and I would encourage Ethiopians to always remember that,” President Museveni said.
President Museveni commended the people of Ethiopia for conducting a credible democratic election and congratulated Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for being given the new five-year mandate to serve his people and country.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to work and bring about total peace for all Ethiopians especially by ending the war in the Tigray region which he said had made Ethiopia pay a “heavy price”.
He pledged to work with all peace loving Ethiopians to bring about peace and prosperity for all Ethiopians.
The inauguration ceremony was also attended and addressed by Presidents of Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and South Sudan as well as delegations from several African countries and representatives of the international community.