By Vision reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has lashed out at financial institutions which charge high interest rates even when inflation is at its lowest saying they are out to fleece their clients and frustrate economic growth.
The President said there is not enough cheap money in the financial sector to spur growth saying the high interest rates are a hindrance.
“What we want is affordable money. Inflation is low but the banks have maintained the rates very high,” he said.
Museveni was on Wednesday giving a key note address at this year’s African heads of State and government Investment working lunch at the New York Stock Exchange under the theme, “Intra-African investment and regional economic integration”.
The luncheon organized by the Africa Investor, the office of the Special Adviser on Africa and the Global Partnership Forum in support of NEPADs capital flows initiatives is aimed at raising awareness and position Africa as a competitive and preferred international investment destination.
It was attended and addressed by among others the African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique, South Sudanese new Vice President James Wani Igga, Amir Dossal, Chairman of the Global Partnerships Forum and High Representative of the UN Secretary General Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser.
The President highlighted what he described as stimuli for growth, investments and enhancing profitability saying Africa is a huge continent that had a setback due to balkanization and colonialism, adding however that African countries using regional economic blocks are aiming at re integration for a common market citing blocks such as EAC, COMESA, ECOWAS etc.
“You can’t produce what you can’t sell. Our first task was to solve the problems created by the balkanization of Africa with the aim of one common market. Once you produce in Uganda, you don’t only sell here but in the whole region,” he said, adding investing in Uganda ensures that producers have access to markets in the USA, China, India and the EU, tax and quota free.
Museveni said Uganda is now biasing its education system towards science with incentives and scholarships, adding however that most of their secientsts migrate to developed countries for jobs.
The President faulted passed leaders in Africa for attacking the private sector which they claimed was causing the haemorrhage of resources and also for nationalizing assets of the private sector, saying this was a policy mistake that had to be reversed.
“I want to encourage you to see the potential of money in Africa. I want to encourage you to come and make money and for us we get industries. Don’t come to do agriculture or to look after cows, we have enough experience in that, we need value addition and agro processing,” he said.