Museveni discourages foreign funding for Africa's infrastructure growth

Kampala- Uganda (PANA) -- African governments could do well in addressing the dev elopment of maternal, infant and child health by concentrating on strategic stim u li for economic growth, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said here Sunday at th e opening of the 15th Session of the African Union Assembly.
"In order to sustainably support maternal and child health, every country needs economic growth,â? Museveni said referring to the summit theme: Maternal, Infant and Child Health Development.
"How can we discuss this subject without talking about issues of job creation an d development in general?" he asked.
"Our countries, however, cannot develop without collection of taxes, without eco nomic growth and strategic stimuli for economic growth," Museveni said.
He mentioned reliable electricity, good roads and trained manpower as some of th e necessary stimuli for Africaâ?s socio-economic transition from being classifie d as a developing region to the first world status.
As an example, he said the US had average electricity consumption of 14,124 kilo watt hour per capita while some of the African countries have as low as 9 kilowa t t hour per capita.
High cost and shortage of electricity, poor roads, inadequate skills -- all lead to a high cost of doing business in a country, Museveni said, adding that such a n economy cannot attract business and investment.
According to the Ugandan leader, one cause of failure to develop infrastructure in Uganda and other African countries was dependency on foreign borrowing and gr a nts.
For instance, he said, it took 15 years of negotiation with foreign sources to f inance one power dam, adding that dependence on external funding for infrastruct u re development was dangerous.
"The money begged for or borrowed is too little and unreliable and too slow to h elp in infrastructure development.
But, with our own funds we are able to move f a ster.
Our economy will grow faster if we solve our problems without borrowing,â? Museveni said.

25 july 2010 10:54:00




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