Ugandan President Museveni Criticizes Western Countries Following US Decision to Remove Uganda from Economic Program.
Following the United States’ decision to exclude Uganda from an economic aid program based on concerns about human rights, the president of Uganda strongly condemned the Western nations.
On Thursday, during a speech, President Yoweri Museveni urged Commonwealth lawmakers to reject the negative actions of Western nations towards societies that are different from their own.
Museveni addressed a gathering of 33 parliament speakers from Commonwealth nations in Kampala, stating that the West’s oppression manifests in various forms including aggression, exploitation, forced labor, displacement, ethnic cleansing, colonization, and indirect control without physically occupying a territory.
“If freedom is important to you, then you should also value the freedom of others,” he stated. “Similarly, if independence and dignity hold significance to you, then it is necessary to show respect towards the dignity of all individuals. Cease attempting to manipulate or lecture societies that differ from your own.”
Museveni alleged that certain nations are utilizing advancements in technology to suppress countries with conflicting beliefs.
He stated that rather than using human advancement for the betterment of everyone, certain individuals driven by greed and lacking in depth of thought and morals, make miscalculations and attempt to control knowledge for their own gain, even using it to oppress others.
The passing of an anti-homosexuality law in May 2023 by lawmakers in Uganda has led to increased scrutiny and criticism of the country’s human rights violations.
The World Bank decided to stop providing funds to the country, and recently, Uganda no longer qualifies for the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act, also known as AGOA.
Under AGOA, certain nations in the region of sub-Saharan Africa, such as Uganda, were granted the privilege of tariff-free entry to the American market for approximately 6,000 goods.
Asuman Basalirwa, the Ugandan parliament member responsible for proposing the controversial legislation targeting the LGBTQ community, expressed no surprise at the repercussions facing the country.
Basalirwa expressed his strong disappointment with the biased treatment of rights, stating that this undermines their credibility to criticize the country for implementing the anti-homosexuality law.
He stated that no one should claim that the country won’t experience negative effects from AGOA’s closure.
Uganda’s profits from AGOA increased from $4 million to approximately $8 million in the 12 months leading up to June 2023.
Uganda’s president, Museveni, stated that the country could still benefit from its connection to the 2.4 billion individuals residing in Commonwealth countries, primarily composed of former British territories, in order to boost its economy.
Basalirwa stated that Uganda must also discover avenues to access markets in East Asia and establish a presence in the United States market.