Mr. President, Your Excellencies, Secretary General, Ladies and Gentlemen.
There is a lot of talk floating around regarding the "New International Order", "globalization," the "Global Village" etc. All these ebullient self-gratifying positions are, apparently, due to the end of the Cold War between Western Countries and the former Soviet Union. Of course, the end of the dangerous and misguided rivalry between Communism and Capitalism is welcome and has, indeed, opened some new opportunities if fully utilised by all concerned.
However, it must be pointed out unequivocally that many of the problems in the World predate the Cold War; they predate the onset of Communism in Russia in 1917. Slave trade started in the 1440s along the West African Coast. A shift from bleeding Africa through slavery to resident colonialism was ordained in Berlin in 1884. This was long before Commumism took over in Russia. Therefore, the Cold War could not Nave been responsible for these mistakes and for the complications they created, many of which we are still grappling with up to today, especially in Africa.
Therefore, the euphoria is not wholly justified. The song about Globalization, as I Nave pointed out repeatedly, is not a new tune at all. Since the 1440s, the Africans were globalized as slaves all over all over the World. My Christian name is Joel, a Jewish name. Many of my Countrymen have got Arab names like Aziz, Musa. We were globalized long ago. Unfortunately, though, that "globalization" movement was parasitic; it was not symbiotic.
Therefore, the only new question we can legitimately and usefully ask is: Will the new phase of globalization be less parasitic and more symbiotic or not?
The parasitism in the World is not the solé responsibility of those who benefit from the inequality. Even the victims have always contributed to their marginalization by their own wrong aims and methods before Colonization, during colonization and, even, after colonization. African myopic chiefs were the main facilitators of the slave trade. Until very recently, the Europeans did not possess the technological means to subdue the African Continent as far as transport means (railway), weapons or medicine (Quinine) were concerned. Without the fratricidal wars fomented by the African chiefs, neither slave trade nor colonialism would have been possible. We would have defeated the Colonialists and forced them, right from the beginning, to co-operate with us for everybody's mutual benefit. Weakness on the side of the potential víctim always tempts the aggressor.
Even today, however, the authorship of the inequality among peoples
is still a joint responsibility of the victims (Africans, Arabs and other
marginalized peoples) of the parasitic globalization movement that is now
500 years old on the one hand, and the beneficiaries of this, hitherto,
unequal and, in the past, evil movement on the other. The beneficiaries
of the hitherto parasitic globalization Movement have been the North Americans,
the Europeans and the Japanese. On account of a variety of reasons, some
of the formally colonized peoples (the Indians, the Indonesians, the Pakistanis,
the South East Asians and Latin Americans) and the formerly semi-colonized
peoples (such as the Chinese) have made significant upward movements that
are helping to slowly, but surely, even-out the balance of power in the
World. Some of the other peoples, however, on account of a number of endogenous
and exogenous factors are still living as the wretched of the
Earth. Many of the Africans and some of the Arabs fall into this category
of the still unredeemed of the Earth. As I have said, the unredeemed
are still so categorized partly on account of their own intemal mistakes
(sectarianism, xenophobia, unprincipled conilicts, strangulation of free
enterprise , political balkanization of their regions, strangulation of
political freedom, etc) and, partly; on account of the still very unfavourable
exogenous factors. The most unfavourable exogenous factor is lack of access
to markets in North America, EU, Japan, China, India and Russia.
The song about Aid is meaningless without access to markets. All protectionism, especially in the OECD countries, must end. Subsidies to farmers of Europe must end if we are talking of a "global village" of symbiosis and not parasitism. I commend the American Government and the President, George Bush, for the AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) initiative. Although Uganda has not yet benefitted from AGOA on account of our endogenous weaknesses accentuated by the blurred views of our multi-lateral institutions partners; other African countries have started benefitting. Kenya, Madagascar, Lesotho and Nigeria. This is good. The Americans are, at last, beginning to address their image as non-parasitic global villagers. The Europeans must catch up with the Americans in rubbing off this uncomplimentary label.
Although they have talked about "everything but guns" going finto Europe from Africa, they are still giving subsidies to artificial farmers in Europe. This distorts the trade in agricultural products. As a consequence, out of US$ 1.2 trillion that is the value of the global trade in agricultural products, África gets only about US$ 20 billion (if you include the results of AGOA recently) which is about 2% of the total! ! At the same time, the OECD countries are spending US$ 361 billion subsidizing artificial farmers of these countries. Yet these are the countries that evangelize in the name of free trade! ! What a paradox that is quite unfortunate. These double standards must end.
Africa has now removed some of the old impediments (endogenous factors) to private investment. The sanctity of private property is now almost a universal concept in Africa (nationalization is no more); some of the African countries have got a consistently stable macro-economic framework (inflation in Uganda is now - 0.3%); the African currencies are now convertible; a large part of África is very peaceful; infrastructure is reasonable; and democracy is widely practiced in Africa today. We are even addressing the issue of excessive balkanization of the continent (with 53 states compared to 3 in North America) in a variety of ways, includíng economic blocs like SADC, COMESA and ECOWAS. The World, therefore, needs to encourage these positive trends in Africa by opening up their markets on a quota free, tariff-free basis. This will, ipso facto, force the multi-national
Investors to rush to África to invest there. They are already doing so on account of AGOA. With more civilized aims and methods, balanced world development is possible and desirable for everybody, including the OECD citizens who are forced to eat inferior foods and are taxed to protect those poor quality foods against better foods from África.
Whenever I travel abroad, I pack my own Ugandan foods ( milk, millet-flour,
fruits, legumes, chicken, honey and plantain bananas (matooke),. The other
day my pineapple stocks ran out and my staff bought pineapples from a super
market in UK. I just took one slice and terminated the whole exercise at
once. First of all, the pineapple is hard; it is less sweet; and has got
an ammonia like pungent taste. I had had the same experience in Washington.
Why must the citizens of the world endure these deprivations on account
of policies designed to serve narrow interests? I will not eat pineapple
again until l go back to Uganda.
The oppressors, the colonialists and these who sought to control the
destiny of others, used barbaric methods:- genocide, forced labour, ethnocide,
etc. It is amazing, therefore, that some of these who claim to be fighting
for the liberation of the oppressod peoples also use barbaric means such
as terrorism. In the on-going debate about terrorism I have not heard anybody
bothering to define the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorista
Mzee Nelson Mandela has been a freedom fighter until recently. Was he a
terrorist? Not at all. The difference lies in the fact that, while a freedom
fighter, sometimes, may be forced to use violence, he
cannot use indiscriminate violence. The one who uses indiscriminate violence is a terrorist. A terrorist does not differentiate between combatants and.non-combatants; between civilians and servicemen; between armed servicemen and unarmed servicemen. He fights a war without declaring one. That is why the terrorisms hijack planes, plant bombs in populated centres, etc. In Africa, since 1961, we fought wars of liberation in Mozambique, Angola; Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Uganda against Idi Amin, etc. We, however, never used terrorism. We were always fighting combatant to combatant. Quite a number of times our comrades were using mass action - strikes, demonstrations, petitions, diplomatic struggle, etc. Not a single plane was hijacked by African freedom fighters although there viere anti-colonial wars in all there countries.
The actions by terrorists are misguided, criminal and must be opposed by all as a matter of principle. Africa was beginning to benefit from AGOA. Business has, however, now somewhat slumped in America. Therefore, the terrorists, who claim to be fighting for the Palestinian cause, are objectively hurting the interests of Africa who have always been the allies of the Palestinians. This is counter-productive.
The terrorists try to polarize the World on a wrong basis: Moslems Vs Christians, etc. This is unacceptable. Exploitation does not know the boundary of race or refgion. Exploiters are found in all religions or races. The Arabs had to oppose Turkish imperialism. Yet both the Arabs and the Turks viere Moslems. One of the monsters of the last Century, Idi Amin, was a Moslem. We had to get rid of him to liberate everybody, including the Moslems. War has been going on in the Sudan for decades. Elements that have been claiming to act in the name of Islam Nave been the ones taking a wrong position in this conflict - a position of seeking hegemonísm among the people of God.
I, therefore, this time, support the position of USA as we did in the Gulf-War in fighting and defeating these reactionaries profaning the name of freedom fighters. If necessary, all countries of the
World, opposed to terrorism, should contribute troops and finish his job quickly. The coalition against terrorism should be regarded in the same way as the coalition against fascism in the 1930s and 1940s.
Nevertheless, the just aspirations of the Palestinian peoples and of other oppressed peoples like the people of Southern Sudan must be supported so that we get peaceful resolutions of these conflicts. I salute freedom and equality of all peoples of the World. Anybody with ambitions to dominate other human beings or exploit them has got illegitimate ambitions. We now have the chance to build a just World. Apart from ensuring the freewill of all peoples, the most important instrument of emancipation is free trade, giving quota-free, tariff free access of African goods to the markets of the OECD Countries and vice versa.
Africa is beginning to tame its conflicts. The conflict in Lesotho was
resolved by an African mechanism. Recently, the Arusha Accord ended the
conflict in Burundi: It is possible to resolve our age-old problems and,
finally, become part of the "New World Orden" and not just be spectators
of the process.
I thank you