Museveni’s Push for Value Addition: President Museveni has called for more value-addition to Uganda’s raw materials in order to boost the country’s revenue.
President Museveni urged Algerian investors to take advantage of Uganda’s profitability by ensuring value-addition in Uganda’s products while speaking to a team of investors led by the Council for Algerian Economic Renewal-Conseil du renouveau économique algérien (CREA) led by their President, Mr Kamel Moula, in Algiers on Monday.
“The big battle we have now, and we want you to help us [with], is value-addition, such as coffee. The issue here is that when we export unprocessed coffee, we get about $2 per kilo, but after processing it, we get about $50. So this is a massive robbery,” he explained.
Mr Museveni stated that Uganda ranks fourth in the world in coffee production, after Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia, with 9 million bags produced per year.
The President, who was wrapping up a three-day state visit in Algeria, told the Algerian business community that despite the $460 billion global value of the coffee industry, coffee-producing countries share only $25 billion, with Africa receiving only $4.8 billion. Only $900 million of that goes to Uganda.
“It’s a big scandal, and we’re fighting it,” the President said.
President Museveni stated that the continued export of unprocessed products had cost Africa not only money but also jobs, resulting in underdevelopment.
“This is why, when you hear about insecurity in Africa and African youth fleeing to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, you should believe it. “Africa is the one donating money and jobs to the rest of the world,” stated the President.
Coffee value addition is one of the ten key priority areas of investment where Algerian investors should focus their efforts in collaboration with Uganda’s Ministry of Trade.
Textiles, automobiles, cocoa chocolate production, footwear production, animal feeds production, pharmaceutical starch production, fruit processing, human medicine and vaccine production, and tea processing are among the other industries.
“We have got about 30 factories of tea, but we need more tea buyers but also investing in tea processing. Because there are some areas with green leaves but limited processing capacity. “There are some areas that have yet to be covered,” Mr Museveni added.
Mr Kamel Moula, president of CREA, informed President Museveni that their private sector plays an important role in the economy, with many family-based private multinational companies leading in the domestic market and willing to share their knowledge.
“We share the same vision because Africa has relied on the West. “Our president has directed that companies send 150 representatives to your country to interact with the Ugandan business community in order to identify the goods we require from each other so that we can target our objectives,” Mr Kamel said.
President Museveni welcomed them to Uganda and praised their strategy of collaborating with the government.
“That’s a very good strategy to combine the private sector and the government efforts. That’s how China’s economy grew so quickly,” H.E Museveni noted. Mr Francis Mwebesa, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Minister of State for Trade Harriet Ntabazi, permanent secretary Geraldine Ssali, Uganda’s ambassador to Algeria Alintuma Nsambu, and other officials attended the meeting.
Before leaving, the President met with Algeria’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr Mohamed Arkab, as well as the CEO of Sonatrach, Mr Toufik Hakkar, and their delegation, where they discussed opportunities for oil and gas development in Uganda.
Officials from Uganda’s Energy Ministry, led by Minister Ruth Nankabirwa, also attended the meeting.
He also met with M. Mohamed Abdulhafid Hanni, Algeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and his delegation to discuss animal vaccine/animal product exports between the two countries. Officials from Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, led by Minister Frank Tumwebaze, attended the meeting.
This is President Museveni’s second visit to Algeria, following his first visit in October 2015 at the invitation of then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, during which Uganda established its first-ever mission in Algeria to strengthen relations in education, trade, and cooperation in the oil and gas sector in order to boost Uganda’s exports. Museveni’s Push for Value Addition