By Ismael Kasooha
President Yoweri Museveni has called on developed countries to build relationships with African countries based on partnerships rather than aid to promote socioeconomic transformation.
In a speech delivered by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja at the Italy-Africa Summit which took place in Rome on Monday, Museveni said meaningful partnerships between the developed and developing countries should provide solutions to challenges the underdeveloped nations are grappling with.
The solutions, according to the President could include mechanizing agriculture, promoting irrigation, mitigating climate change disasters, increasing access to agricultural finance, access to the markets and appropriate technology. The summit was held under the theme: “A bridge for common growth”.
“What Africa needs is trade, not aid,” Museveni said. “We need to catch the fish rather than being given that fish. The Italy-Africa Summit is an important platform that could help us address challenges like food security,”
The President said Uganda counts on Italy – the current leader of the G7 – to encourage members to support Africa’s efforts to eliminate barriers that hinder the continent’s progress.
Museveni said Uganda, which is the current chair of the Non-Aligned Movement and the G77 and China could work with Italy to harness the power of these groups, including G7 to promote useful partnerships.
“Because of these reasons, Uganda finds the Italy – Africa Summit to be a very important platform for cooperation and partnership to address challenges like food security,” he added.
The Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Melon, who opened the summit, unveiled her government’s new plan to boost cooperation with Africa. The plan, she said, includes interventions in various priority areas such as education and training, health and agriculture, water and energy.
Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni was honoured with a Social and Economic Commitment Award by the European Corporate Council on Africa and the Middle East.
The award was announced at the ECAM dinner, which was attended by various Heads of State and Government in Rome. ECAM also held its fifth annual conference after the Italy-Africa Summit.
Kamel Ghribi, the ECAM President said Museveni was honoured for his tireless efforts to transform Uganda and Africa in general.
“President Museveni is a man who works for the good of other people and this can be seen through the open door policy when it comes to refugees,” Ghribi said. “We thank him for being humane,”