The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has said Africa Day which is celebrated every May 25, is historic because it reminds Africans of the struggles our fore-bearers endured to secure our independence and dignity.

“We recall and honour the sacrifices of the African patriots, heroes and heroines who fought to liberate our continent from colonialism, racism and apartheid,” Rugunda said.

The Premier made the remarks on Friday while representing President Yoweri Museveni on the occasion of Africa Day celebrations at the International University of East Africa.

This year’s African Union theme is: “Winning the fight against corruption, A sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation”

Dr Rugunda said this theme, which focuses on winning the fight against corruption is very pertinent in our efforts to achieve the objectives of African Union’s Agenda 2063, the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as Uganda’s vision 2040.

It is estimated that the Continent loses over 50 billion dollars annually through corruption and illicit financial flows.

However, Rugunda said African Union Member states have adopted commendable regulatory instruments and established institutions to combat corruption including the AU Convention on preventing and combating corruption.

“The Government of Uganda led by His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni is fully committed to fighting corruption,” said the Premier.

He called upon African leaders and citizens to redouble efforts for the realization of an Africa which is united, peaceful and prosperous, adding that the negative narrative about Africa must be changed collectively by showcasing our achievements.

The Premier applauded the decisions taken by African Heads of State and Government at the recent AU Summit held in March,2018 in Kigali Rwanda to establish an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in addition to signing protocol on free movement of persons which created a single market with a combined GDP of over US$3.4 trillion and a population of about 1.3 billion people.

The High Commissioner of Rwanda and Dean of the African Group of High Commissioners and Ambassadors, Frank Mugambage reiterated the need to reflect on the African struggles to achieve total liberation.

He said the African Diplomats were celebrating Africa Day with a humanitarian action of supporting Nsambya orphanage.

Panelists at the event discussed measures to combat corruption and these included: Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire, Inspectorate General of Government, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, Makerere University political economist Prof. Julius Kiiza and Major Frank Mugambage, Rwanda’s Ambassador to Uganda.

Fifty-five years ago, African leaders took a decision to form the Organization of African Unity (OAU) which later transformed into African Union (AU) in 2002.

ENDS

Monday, May 28, 2018