Thursday, July 25News That Matters

President Museveni welcomes Somalia to EAC.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has reiterated the need for the integration of the East African Community (EAC), saying the move is critical for the region’s prosperity.
Museveni observed that prosperity cannot come from aid from foreigners or government handouts but from a family, company or an individual who produces a good or a service and sells it.
“You produce a good or a service and somebody buys it. If more people buy from you, then you become prosperous. Therefore, you cannot talk of prosperity in Africa without talking about market integration,” he said, adding that this is the reason regions like Latin America remain poor despite being richer than the United States in terms of natural resources.
“If you look at the rivers, the biggest river in the world, the Amazon is located in South America, and the forests, agricultural land, and minerals are all there in South America, but you see the misery there. So, what is the problem? Part of the problem is organisation. In the US if you are in New York, you produce a product, it can be sold all the way to California. They have got a market of more than 300 million people,” he noted.
The President made the remarks during the 23rd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State that took place in Arusha, Tanzania. The summit was held under the theme: “Accelerating Economic Recovery through Climate Action and Enhancing Food Security for Improved Livelihoods.”
Museveni further expounded that the market is a stimulus for wealth creation and prosperity and that is why as leaders, they advocate for the integration of the East African market.
“A country like Uganda wasted a lot of time-fighting and so on, when we settled down, we started producing and very soon we realised that the internal market was not enough for milk, maize, sugar, among other products.”
Museveni also outlined strategic security and brotherhood as the other reasons why East Africa needs integration.
“We are even lucky that we have Swahili as the East African language, we can all speak Swahili. Therefore, it is easy for us to unite. This is why some of us under the leadership of Mwalimu Nyerere, for the last more than 60 years have been struggling for East African integration,” Museveni said.
The President of Burundi and outgoing chair of EAC, Evariste Ndayishimiye thanked his counterparts for their active participation in the organised meetings during his tenure. “Without your support, I couldn’t do anything,” he said, before listing some of the milestones the community has achieved during his tenure as the chair of EAC.
The President of South Sudan and also the new chair of EAC, Salva Kiir Mayardit said he believes that the candid discussions they held during the summit will have an impact on the affairs of the community.