Underdeveloped countries are job and money donors Ugandan leader tells UN

Video of plenary meeting Listen to UN Radio report President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni told an Assembly meeting on commodities and raw materials that the only way for African nations to stop donating to the richer countries was to process their raw materials and add value to them through a “transformation” of their economies.”African countries including mine are big donors but they are donors in ignorance,” he said.Taking the example of raw cotton that is grown in Uganda, and tracing the process through which it became a suit like the one he was wearing, he said that Uganda winds up donating money taxes and jobs to the developed countries.He said Uganda gets about $1.30 a kilogram for the raw cotton, “but if I do the spinning the value goes up three times. If you weave that cotton the value goes up six times. If you produce the garment the value goes up ten times.””So if I export it as lint (cotton) I am a donor, I am a ‘mega-donor.’ I am donating three or four things. I am donating $9 or $10 out of every kilogram I export. I am donating it to the ones who are doing the value addition. I get one-tenth of the value of my product. I am a donor of money.”Uganda is donating more than money,” he added. “Who will do the spinning, who will do the weaving? Somebody else. Who will do the tailoring? Somebody else. So we are donors of jobs. That’s why there are no jobs in Uganda.”President Museveni said that the lost jobs meant lost taxes, too, as the incomes would be taxed.”Having work means taxes and having work means buying shampoo, which also would be taxed,” he said.He said the price for raw materials will always go down, because of changing demand, oversupply, and “because of the subsidies of United States, Europe and Japan.”He said one solution is diversification, but “the real answer is transformation.””Instead of just diversification, diversify the problem,” President Museveni said. “Transform the economy, so that it becomes an economy that adds value to this material and goes and links with the consumer.”Such transformation, he said would also aid the developed West since Africa, with 800 million people as potential customers, is a large potential market.”We have the stomach; we don’t have the money. We don’t have the money because there are no jobs. But remember the jobs were donated. If you donated a job, you don’t have a job. If you don’t have a job, you have no money. If you have no money you don’t consume,” he said. read more