Europe Must Stop Buying Raw Materials from Africa – Museveni

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged Western companies to consider investing in Africa’s process manufacturing industries instead of solely relying on importing raw materials from the continent, which has hindered its progress.

During a meeting with Directors of BRIDGIN Schools, led by Ugandan Ambassador to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the European Union (EU) – Mirjam Blaak, President Museveni proposed to both Russian and Chinese representatives that they encourage their countries’ companies to set up operations in Africa and purchase finished products. He cited the example of coffee, where Africa, despite being a major coffee producer, receives only a small share of the profits due to the export of unprocessed coffee. By investing in Africa and buying finished products, the global South, including Africa, can achieve greater prosperity, leading to increased trade with Europe, benefiting both continents.

The meeting, held at State House-Entebbe on Tuesday 25th July, 2023, was attended by various dignitaries, including Prof. Tanko Mouhamadou, President, and CEO of BRIDGIN Foundation, Marie Adelaide Mathei, a Belgian diplomat in New York, the Minister of State for Higher Education Dr. JC Muyingo, and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports, Ketty Lamaro.

During the meeting, President Museveni was briefed on the progress of constructing a state-of-the-art teaching hospital in Uganda and establishing the secretariat Headquarters of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), along with a conference center and hotel.

The BRIDGIN Foundation had earlier signed an agreement in April 2022, providing a grant of US$500 million to the Ugandan Government to establish four High Tech Higher Education centers in the country. This aligns with Uganda’s commitment since 2003 to host the RUFORUM Headquarters and provide the necessary support.

President Museveni welcomed the BRIDGIN Foundation’s initiative, viewing it as a mutually beneficial partnership. He emphasized Africa’s historical support for the West and the need for more equitable trade relationships. The President highlighted Africa’s ability to develop independently due to its increasing population, surpassing that of India and China.

Ambassador Mirjam Blaak assured President Museveni that the necessary service providers were ready to meet the required infrastructure specifications for the projects, including the secretariat Headquarters of RUFORUM and the state-of-the-art teaching hospital to be established in Katalemwa.

Overall, President Museveni’s call for increased investment in Africa’s process manufacturing industries aims to promote economic growth and prosperity on the continent, fostering a more balanced global economic landscape.

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