President Museveni Emphasizes Socioeconomic Transformation over Sustainable Development in Africa

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President Yoweri Museveni has emphasized the need for socioeconomic transformation in Africa rather than sustainable development, arguing that quantitative growth alone is not enough for the development of the continent.

The President made the remarks on Monday, April 29, 2024, during the International Development Association (IDA) Africa Heads of State Summit at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Museveni attributed the limited economic growth in Africa to lack of funding to growth factors like transportation, and electricity which do not favor the private sector to grow.

In his address, he said that for the private sector to grow, it needs lower costs of production in the form of cheap transportation through the railway, cheap electricity not exceeding five cents per kilowatt hour, low-interest funding for manufacturing, and funding for irrigation.

Museveni also highlighted how Uganda has been struggling with the continued existence of a larger percentage of citizens living a subsistence lifestyle, noting that by 2013, over 68 percent of Ugandans were outside the money economy.

β€œEach year we spend about USD 3 million of our own to make villagers join the money economy by producing not only for the stomach but also for the pocket,β€œ he said, adding that now 69 percent of the people are in the money economy.

He lashed at the neocolonial civil servants who are always fronting funding for import support and hindering the production of goods locally.

β€œWhy don’t you tell me about import substitution and export promotion instead of import support?” the president questioned.

The President also spoke against Africa exporting raw materials and unprocessed minerals, saying that Africa is losing out on jobs and income by exporting raw materials. He said that it is against this backdrop that he banned the exportation of unprocessed minerals in Uganda in 2012, and this has led to the construction of several processing industries in the country.

On his side, Ajay Banga, the president of the World Bank, promised to cut down on oppressive rules that govern lending to nations under the IDA to make it more efficient and to deliver funds to borrower nations faster.

β€œWe believe a simpler and reimagined IDA can be deployed with more focus to make a meaningful impact,” he said.

The International Development Association (IDA) is a World Bank institution that offers loans with low-interest rates and long tenures.

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