By Vision Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has said that Africa needs to address the issue of electricity shortage as one of the means to enhance and enable its development efforts.
He made the comments on Sunday at the African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he gave an address during a congress to launch the Meles Zenawi Foundation.
The foundation is aimed at serving as a forum to highlight the ideals and vision of Prime Minister Zenawi and chart the way forward to keep his legacy alive.
The Meles Zenawi Foundation will be entrusted with ensuring that the late Prime Minister’s dedication and commitment to improving the lives of the Ethiopian people and his contribution to championing the cause of Africa will continue to inspire future generations.
Uganda pledged a contribution of US $ 300.000, while Djibouti pledged a contribution of US $ 500,000, South Sudan pledged US $ 1,000,000 and Sudan pledged US $ 2,000,000
Museveni who was on a one day working visit to Addis Ababa stressed that electricity on the continent is a big problem.
“Unless it can be scientifically proved that Africans don’t need electricity. Some members of the international community are speaking about promoting homosexuality instead of addressing serious issues. Don’t homosexuals need electricity?”
Museveni noted that the late Meles Zenawi increased electricity generation in Ethiopia from 300 megawatts when he came to power to 2200 megawatts today and was impressed with the construction of a new hydro power station in the country.
The President described Zenawi as one of the new breed of African leaders who comprised a team of independent minds, courageous, patriotic Pan Africanists who transversed their countries in search of development and scorned sectarianism, adding that `the memory of his contribution will be our Motto.’
He said that there is need to create strong structures with particular emphasis on infrastructure development adding that where parastatals do not work well the continent must rely on the private sector.
Museveni noted that Africa has suffered with a population of uneducated people without skills, adding that they could not promote social transformation without human resource development. He said there are two new kings on the continent, namely the consumer who provides a market for the various products and the entrepreneurs who invest and that these need to be respected and facilitated.
The President revealed that the African continent has had a setback by exporting raw materials and failing to export finished goods. Citing the example of coffee, he said that Uganda has been a donor to the U.K. since it has continued to sell its unprocessed coffee at only US $ 3 as compared to US $ 15 per kilogramme in the UK earned from the processed one. He assured the congress that Uganda was determined to stop the export of unprocessed coffee.
Museveni hailed the late Zenawi for modernizing agriculture by providing irrigation and other essential facilities which boosted the agro sector.
The host, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said they would continue the development process, work and the vision of Zenawi and described him as a person of great discipline. He said that he was economical and eager to see things moving forward. He added that he saw challenges and problems before they occurred and managed to bring the country back from the brink of disappearance.
The Somalia Prime Minister, Abdu Fayi said that the Foundation is to keep Zenawi’s legacy alive for the future generations. He hailed the late leader for working for peace and stability in Africa.
President Ismael Galleh of Djibouti said that Zenawi was a man of action who visualized a bright future for his country. He added that he was eager to provide for those who had little. “We will work hard to fulfill the dreams of Djibouti and Ethiopia,” he said.
President Omar Bashir of Sudan said that the deceased had become Africa;s strong voice at the international scene.
The Widow and former First Lady, Mrs. Hazek Zenawi revealed that the Foundation has the goal to continue and complete the successes of their leader who worked without rest. She revealed that there are many young men and women who are going to follow his example of exemplary work. She revealed that his vision was to build the biggest part of the population, the farmers.
“This foundation will help to take our country out of poverty and should be a forum to promote the development of Ethiopia and Africa at large,” she said.