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FULL SPEECH: Museveni Urges Russia To Take Advantage Of Africa Free Trade Pact

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has urged Russia and other global powers to take advantage of the Africa continental Free Trade Area in their relations with the continent.

Museveni made the remarks on Thursday in Sochi, Russia during the Africa – Russia Summit.


His Excellency Vladimir Putin,

Their Excellencies, the African Heads of State,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

Africa is the cradle of mankind.  All humanity, originated and only lived in Africa until about 100,000 years ago.  Africa is 12 times bigger than India and more than 2 times the size of the vast Russian Federation (6.5 million sq. miles for Russia vs 12 million square miles for Africa).  However, even today, when the population of Africa has grown tremendously, it is still about the same size as the population of India. The population of Africa has been small on account of the tropical diseases.  This problem, however, has now been addressed by modern medicine. Consequently, the population of Africa will be 2.5 billion by 2050. The population of Uganda is now 42 million. However, it will be 106 million by 2050.  Hence, the potential for supporting one another’s prosperity through trade among the four blocs: Africa, Russia, China, India and the other Third World Countries, is very great and Africa will be a great stimulus in that cluster.  This should not leave out our friends in Europe and the United States of America. I am only highlighting the additional energies for prosperity, a modern and more prosperous Africa and the Third World can bring to humanity in partnership with Russia.

In Uganda, I always tell the cadres of our political Movement and the elements of the elite that I get opportunity to address, that between 1787 when the first European reached the Western Coast and 1994 when our South African brothers and sisters regained their freedom, the African Peoples were afflicted by calamity causing phenomena. These were: the slave trade; genocide in some cases; colonialism; neo-colonialism; stagnation if not regression in Social-economic transformations; and missing out on the historic industrial revolutions that helped man to relatively tame the natural phenomena that oppressed them since creation (disease, floods, drought etc.).

However, the African Peoples survived all those calamities and regained their freedom by 1994.  By 1900, the whole of Africa, except for Ethiopia, had been colonized. Yet, by 1994, as already pointed out above, the whole of Africa had regained its political independence.

Four factors helped us to overcome these calamities.  These were: Africans do not easily die – that is how they survived these calamities while others – e.g. the indigenous Americans – did not survive or were greatly reduced in population and their lands were taken over by other people; the continued resistance of our people against colonialism; the mutual killings among the imperialists in the First and Second World Wars sparked by the greed and quarrelling over the division of the World among themselves; and support for our struggle for freedom by the Socialist countries led by the Soviet Union after 1917, joined by China and other Socialist countries after 1949.

It is these four factors that enabled us to regain our freedom.  Therefore, I am always most pleased to visit the Russian Federation because it carries the heritage of the glory of the Soviet Union, not only in having supported us in our anti-colonial struggle but also in having saved the human race from the dangers of the demonic fascism of Hitler and allies.

Africa had capitulated to foreign domination on account of internal weaknesses. Since independence, we have been addressing some of those weaknesses.

Recently, we signed the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Agreement as a follow up on the 1991 Abuja Treaty. Therefore, we can now support one another’s prosperity through trade, investments and tourism.  The historic relationship between Africa, on the one hand, with Russia, China, India and the other Third World Countries on the other hand, can bring about stability in the World through balanced and mutually beneficial trade, investments and tourism. 

The future of the World is bright if we act rightly. 

Thank you   

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