President Yoweri Museveni has advised the British to quit whining about Chinese investing in Africa and do the same. The president made the call during his address to the House of Lords business meeting hosted by Lord Popat in London at the start of the weekend.
He was responding to the question about Chinese loan infrastructure projects the continent is enjoying. Uganda in particular is benefiting from these loans to build the railway, Karuma Hydro power Dam, Isimba Dam among others.
He told British businessmen to bring their skills and knowledge in Uganda and invest like the Chinese have done. “You have the capital, the entrepreneurship, skills and knowledge to make profits, why not invest in Africa and make money and us we create jobs and expand the spending power so that it’s a win-win,” the president wondered.
Mr. Museveni further explained that when Uganda sold some of her natural minerals, the British looked uninterested until the Chinese came through and took on the projects, adding the country is greatly benefiting from Chinese.
“I do not speak Chinese, I speak English. But if English does not bring factories what do we do?” He asked. We are negotiating the railways project. This coupled with electricity will bring the cost of doing business down. We had huge deposits of phosphates for a long time and tried to hog it around for the West but they were not interested until the Chinese came in” he added.
Asked about the ugly scenes that left one person dead and several others incarcerated on the 13th of August 2018 in Arua, the president said those were in-disciplined people whose case Court is handling well. He called the reports and exaggeration.
“The matter is in Court and I cannot comment much because it will offend the law. They are accused of vote rigging, violence against people who are not their supporters. They even stoned my vehicle. I don’t know whether this is part of democracy. Let’s wait for Court process to determine that” Museveni said.
He accused the Western media of being too eager to portray the negativity in Uganda and not the positive things that are happening, like commissioning of the 600MW hydro power dam that was commissioned on the same day Bobi Wine was in court.
“Your spectacles only see the negative. This is an exaggeration and its wrong. You should see the entirety of the spectrum. Negativity will not stop our country from progressing” Museveni told the western media.
Lord Popat thanked the president for honoring their invitation. He is the first president to address the House of Lords on trade and business.