President Yoweri Museveni has said that integration will ensure the survival of Africa. The President made the remarks in a meeting held with the Ugandan legislators in the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) aimed at identifying areas of national interest that the legislators should focus on during their tenure.
President Museveni told the legislators yesterday at State House, Entebbe, that their main focus should be on the integration of East Africa, which he observed will enhance the region’s prosperity, security, identity and protection of shared resources.
“African leaders who do not talk about the prosperity of the continent are enemies of the people. There is no way African business people can blossom without a big market,” he said.
Mr. Museveni told the legislators that they should utilize their time in EALA to monitor the progress of the common market so that the region becomes one market for business.
“Although on paper, the East African Community has already removed the trade barriers, tariff and non-tariff barriers still hinder trade and inter-state borders continue to delay and increase the business costs,” he said.
The President said that because of the colonial divisions, borders still remain an inconvenience to the unity of the people.
“While growing up, although there were no buses to take people to and from Goma, Juba or Kigali because of the division by the French, Arabs, British and Belgians, people still managed to communicate informally,” he said.
On security, President Museveni said that through collaboration, East Africa would guarantee its future. “If we succeed in creating a federation, security will be much stronger,” he noted.
He also called upon the legislators to promote the protection of common resources such as River Kagera and Lake Victoria that have been polluted by human activity around the banks and shores.
“We must see how people should protect the lake and river through planting forests around them to help filter the water entering them,” he said.
The legislators, Rose Okullu, Matthias Kasamba, Mary Mugyenyi, Mukasa Mbidde, Nakawuki Susan Nsambu, Musamali Paul Mwasa, Denis Namara, Odongo George Stephen and Opoka Okumu Christopher, told President Museveni that they are committed to sensitizing Ugandans about the issues raised to provide a strong chapter during the legislators’ tenure.