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STATEMENT

by

H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni


President of the Republic of Uganda

at

the 6th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

December 5, 2015

Johannesburg

Your Excellency Xi Jinping,


Your Excellency Jacob Zuma,
Your Excellencies,

The Chinese and the African Peoples are inheritors of two great
human civilizations. The Egyptian Civilization dating back to
around 3000 BC and the Chinese Civilization dating back to
1500 BC. The two Peoples have, however, faced challenges in
the last 500 years. The dramatic events of the last 550 years
started with the year 1453 AD when the Ottoman Turks
captured Constantinople (Istanbul) and blocked the overland
silk and spices route from the East to Europe. Europe, blocked
from the lucrative and vital trade from the East, feverishly
started looking for routes to go round the massive African

continent. They had to work on improving the ships, the sails,


etc. so as to be able to go around the African continent by sea.

The African continent starts from Latitude 3721' North up to


Latitude 3451' South a total of 72% of Latitude. Within 50
years from 1453, the Europeans had achieved two earthshaking elements of progress. Christopher Columbus had
reached the American Continent (1492) and Vasco Da Gama
had gone around the Southern end of Africa (1498). On
account of internal weaknesses and external greed and
arrogance, by 1900, the whole of the African Continent, except
for Ethiopia, had been colonized and China was also a SemiColony, groaning under the yoke of continuous aggression from
the Western Countries, imposing unequal treaties on her.

As if by co-ordination, both the Chinese People and the African


People, in the last Century, started heroic struggles to regain
their sovereignty. The ANC of South Africa was formed in 1912
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and the Communist Party of China was founded in 1921. By


1949, under the Communist Party of China, the New China
was born. By 1957, the first independent African country,
Ghana, was born. This is not to forget Egypt which had got out
of Ottoman rule after the 1st World War but only took an
independent position in 1952 after the Nasserite Revolution.

Since those two earth-shaking events, our two Peoples have


been working together and mutually supporting one another
where possible. As I told President Xi Jinping recently in
Beijing, with modern economies, if I buy what you produce, I
am supporting your prosperity your export earnings, your
jobs-creation efforts, helping to widen your tax base etc. If you
buy what I produce, you are equally supporting me in
increasing my export earnings, in my efforts to create jobs for
my people, in efforts to expand the tax base etc.

The two Peoples are in a position to mutually support each


other in enhancing our respective prosperity. China today has a
population of 1.3 billion people. Africa has a population of 1.25
billion people. The two combined have a population of 2.6
billion people which is 38% of the total human population. The
African population will be 2.5 billion by 2050. All people with
eyes to see, can clearly see the potential between the two
Peoples. This is not to forget our other friends in the anticolonial struggle, the 1.2 billion Indians or the 200 million
Brazilians or the 200 million Indonesians. The future is clearly
bright. The only complication on the African side is that, unlike
China, India, Brazil or Indonesia, the 1.25 billion Africans are
not organized under one political authority one state.
However, through economic integration and, in some cases,
political integration as well, we are working to overcome this
hurdle. President Xi Jinping yesterday, in his historic speech,
touched on all the crucial elements that are indispensable for

our mutual prosperity: infrastructure development, market


access, human resource development etc.

I would like to end my comments by saluting the Chinese


Government on account of their correct focus on supporting
infrastructure development in Africa. Unlike some global actors
who have been concentrating on using cotton wool to mop up
oozing blood from a wound, the Chinese have agreed with us,
certainly in Ugandas case, that to heal the injury, one needs to
repair the internal primary systems the blood circulatory
system,

the

nervous

system,

the

digestive

system

etc.

Electricity, roads, the railways, the ICT backbone etc. are the
primary internal systems of a modern economy. I salute the
Chinese for seeing eye to eye with us on this very crucial point.

I thank you.