The Observer (Kampala)

2 July 2014

Uganda: Museveni - Aid Cuts Good for Uganda

The United States in June cut aid to Uganda, imposed visa restrictions and cancelled a regional military exercise in response to the enactment of the anti-homosexuality law that imposes harsh penalties on homosexuality. Speaking yesterday at the African Faith Leaders' summit on the post-2015 development agenda at the Speke Resort Munyonyo, Museveni said aid cuts were a wake-up call for all Ugandans to rise up and work for their country.

"This is good because they have woken you up and shown you who they are. You used to go and join them but for me I was aware of the mistakes. Africa doesn't need aid. You heard when they said they are going to cut aid; I was not bothered because we are so rich. The only problem is that Uganda is so rich and it should be the one to give aid," Museveni said at the opening ceremony.

He added that what Uganda needs is to turn each homestead into a cash cow. The 2002 Population Census indicates that only 32% of the country's families are in the money economy, the other 68 per cent being in subsistence economy.

"What Africa needs is not aid; they have cut some aid but what has happened now? Nothing and yet you are still asleep. I don't think I am insulting you. I want you to wake up and work," Museveni said.

The summit was convened to consider the role and place of faith communities in the post-millennium development agenda as the world moves towards sustainable development goals. The religious leaders want African faith communities and leaders to find a common platform to engage and influence a conversation on the post-2015 development agenda as well as contribute to public policy and programmes in connection with the new charter on development.

"Religious institutions play an integral part in development and are pioneers of health and education. They are pioneers of about 43 per cent of health care and 60 per cent of educational institutions in Uganda.

A religious institution serves communities in the most hard to reach areas which include war zones and those affected by epidemics and other forms of human rights factors. It is important that we continue to be active players to transform our communities and the whole world," said Metropolitan Archbishop Jonah Lwanga, chairman of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda.

The summit attracted delegates from across Africa.

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