Museveni: We had a plan to procure HIV drugs if America defunded it, we can stand on our own

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni. PHOTO/COURTESY

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has stated that he had a backup plan to procure HIV drugs if Uganda was delinked from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

While asserting that Uganda can achieve growth devoid of support from “certain actors in the West”, Museveni said that they remain committed to effectively providing services to its citizens. 

“It is good that the American Government avoided the mistake of de-funding the procurement of the HIV drugs for our 1.4 million People on those drugs,” he said in a statement on Monday.

“However, all our People on the ARVs and all the Ugandans need to know that we had a contingency plan to fully fund the procurement of those drugs if ever the external funders were unable to fund them.”

Museveni further claimed that America is hell-bent on discouraging investors from working with Uganda in reference to their removal from being a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by President Joe Biden.

Biden said last week that Uganda, together with Central African Republic (CAR), Gabon and Niger, does not meet the AGOA eligibility requirements and will seize to be beneficiaries of the Act starting January 2024.

“Some of these actors in the Western World overestimate themselves and underestimate the freedom fighters of Africa. On account of some of the freedom fighters making mistakes of philosophy, ideology and strategy, some of the foreign actors, erroneously think that African Countries cannot move forward without their support,” read part of the statement. 

“Certainly, as far as Uganda is concerned, we have the capacity to achieve our growth and transformation targets, even if some of the actors do not support us.”

Terming the pressures from the US as “Jogoo” – arrogance upon African nations – Museveni called upon nations to reject coercion from the West and yearn to be independent.

“I am told that some of the Arab Countries, have similar laws. Why don’t these actors put similar pressures, on them?” he posed.

“The “jogooists” (the arrogant) of the World, mocked us. What can Africans do? In 1964, Frelimo launched the Armed struggle against the Portuguese Army in Mozambique, joining the MPLA that had launched an uprising earlier.”

He therefore maintained that Uganda will succeed regardless of the trajectory and policies some of the external actors put in place.

“Africa has got all the ingredients to succeed if we use them correctly.” 

Uganda has starred at losing financial support from Western nations since it enacted its anti-gay law in May 2023. 

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Busiinge Aggrey
Busiinge Aggrey
Business Aggrey" is a 23-year-old Ugandan journalist and Editor-in-Chief at The Black Examiner newspaper