Kampala — Africa is now in a better position than ever before to partake in global trade because it can now transact affairs on its own terms or as equal partners, President Museveni has said.
Mr Museveni said gone are the times when the continent would easily be overrun by some external forces he described as "greedy foreigners".
Speaking at the 4th World Custom Organisation Global Authorised Economic Operators Conference organised by Uganda Revenue Authority yesterday, he said "greedy foreigners" took advantage of Africa's internal weaknesses to perpetuate slave trade.
As a result of the weaknesses, one of which was disunity of the leaders (kings and chiefs), saw the continent being subjected to colonialism which has since transformed to neo-colonialism.
"Due to the weaknesses and challenges Africa has had over the last 500 years, the continent missed out on human and industrial revolution. But now Africa is awake and we will never be left out again," Mr Museveni said.
The President also observed that with the continent's growing population and the deliberate decision to integrate her economies, Africa can only become stronger. Africa's contribution to the global trade, both in goods and services, is low, with about two per cent performance.
With the East African Community already implementing the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) programme, Mr Museveni and URA senior management believe the volumes of trade and the revenue accrued from customs can only improve further.
The conference was held under the theme; "Promoting mutual recognition of AEOs to strengthen and secure global trade." Uganda is the first African country to host the conference.