Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said in a New Year speech late on Monday that he will fast track regional integration in 2019 to guarantee prosperity.
Museveni said in a speech telecast live nationwide that he will work with partner states of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan to consolidate the East Africa unity and create market.
“When we produce goods and services, which big market will absorb them? The more people buy from us, the more prosperous our businesses become,” said Museveni.
“When we talk about integration, it is in order to ensure for our prosperity. We need to export to our neighbors,” he said.
“That is why the NRM (National Resistance Movement, Uganda’s ruling party) insists on patriotism within Uganda, Pan-Africanism in Africa and international trade on the basis of comparative advantage globally,”
said the president.
Additionally, through the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and African Union, the region shall work with the wider Africa to build the African Common Market, Museveni said.
The east African region already has a common market while some 44 African countries in March last year established the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of businesses and investments.
The AfCFTA could create an African market of over 1.2 billion people with a gross domestic product of 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars, according to the Africa Union. Enditem