Western companies are blind to Ugandan investments – President Museveni

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Author of the article:


Elias Biryabarema and Karin Strohecker


Publishing date:

Dec 05, 2021  •  22 minutes in the past  •  3 minute learn  • 

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KYANKWANZI — Chinese non-public funding in Uganda is rising whereas Westerners are shedding urge for food to put cash to work within the nation, President Yoweri Museveni instructed Reuters, pledging to step up efforts to sort out corruption which have made sluggish progress.

Museveni, in energy since 1986 and one in all Africa’s longest-serving leaders, mentioned Uganda was working to signal a variety of offers with Chinese non-public sector lenders in sectors reminiscent of agro- and fertilizer-processing, minerals processing and textiles.


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“The Western companies have lost their spectacles; they no longer have the eyes to see opportunities. But the Chinese see opportunities, and they come, and they are knocking, they are coming very vigorously,” Museveni instructed Reuters. “But (Western companies) are saturated with wealth. They are not bothered.”

Chinese state entities and personal-sector corporations have lengthy been a driving pressure of funding in Africa, lending international locations on the continent a whole lot of billions of {dollars} as a part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

According to the Uganda Investment Authority, the nation ranked third in Africa on overseas direct funding (FDI) from China in recent times.


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The ties haven’t been with out battle, nonetheless.

A parliamentary probe in October concluded that China had imposed onerous circumstances on a $200 million mortgage to Kampala, together with the potential forfeiture of the east African nation’s sole worldwide airport.

Museveni flatly denied utilizing the airport as collateral.

“I don’t remember mortgaging the airport for anything,” Museveni mentioned, including Kampala would pay what it owed to China. “There is no problem, they will be paid.”

Museveni’s administration, in search of to finance its infrastructure building program and shore up political assist, has secured giant credit score strains from China over the past decade.

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Differences over the phrases of the contract have been additionally the explanation why Kampala had not but secured a cope with Beijing on the 1,000-km (620 miles) tremendous-quick rail hyperlink from Kenya’s port of Mombasa to Uganda, although talks have been nonetheless ongoing, the president mentioned.


Talking in regards to the combat in opposition to corruption, Museveni acknowledged extra effort was wanted. Transparency International ranked Uganda 142 out of 179 in its 2020 corruption perceptions index.

“We are still fighting. I wouldn’t boast that we have improved – initially we weren’t really concentrating much on corruption,” the 77-12 months-previous mentioned, including the battle in opposition to graft was one in all his foremost priorities for his present and sixth time period as president.

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His administration was specializing in recruiting from religion teams, of which the nation had lots, to have sufficient manpower to combat that warfare on corruption and would offer an evaluation of progress on the problem in two years time, he mentioned.

“That is our struggle: to get clean people to implement – otherwise the laws are there, the institutions are there,” Museveni mentioned.

Speaking in regards to the Nov. 16 bombings in Kampala, which killed three individuals and have been blamed on the Islamic State-aligned Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Museveni mentioned that there was proof of coordination from overseas with the lads who carried out the assault.

The blasts within the coronary heart of the capital shocked a nation generally known as a bulwark in opposition to violent Islamist militants in East Africa, and prompted Museveni to ship 1,700 troops into neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, the place the ADF has coaching camps. But Museveni mentioned overseas hyperlinks stretched past japanese Congo.

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“The bombs which they exploded in Kampala recently, we have some indication that they were coordinating with groups in Kenya and in Somalia,” Museveni mentioned. “Maybe not command and control but collaboration.”

He was coordinating the operation with Congo’s president, Museveni mentioned, however he didn’t reply a query whether or not there was coordination with Rwanda, which additionally has safety pursuits in japanese Congo, and which has fought with Ugandan troops there earlier than.

Uganda mentioned on Friday that its troops despatched this week into japanese Democratic Republic of Congo would keep so long as wanted to defeat Islamist militants. (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kyankwanzi, Karin Strohecker in London, Katharine Houreld in Nairobi, Hereward Holland in Kinshasa and Tommy Wilkes in London; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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