By Praful .R. Patel
I was fortunate enough to witness the surge of energy and enthusiasm that accompanied independence of Uganda in 1962.
Today a fast-paced history of 55 years of independence brings to life the twilight of the British Colonial Uganda and reminds us how twist and turns of fate helped propel our leaders; Obote as first Prime Minister and later President and Museveni President for last 30 years their places in history.
History shows there was more common ground between these strong willed visionaries locked in struggle each believed in growth agenda of his country then most realised. They are both nationalists and what is being portrayed by some in press or elsewhere is far more nuanced than it seems.
"For servitor African President Museveni struggle continues. The President is a warrior and has a long experience of fighting both as a politician and a soldier.
"A warrior lives on his wars..... And he suffers a collapse if finds that his warring capacity is no longer wanted." MOHANDAS K. GANDHI
Uganda's Constitution questions President Museveni's WEARING age, but is less essential.
His WARING capacity, enduring struggles for democracy as well his wise diplomacy that has grown with advance age and experience has risen Uganda's influence in USA and internationally.
He is ever more wanted to accomplish his vision for whole Africa.
Our present situation is neither natural nor eternal for age limit of President. The change in the Constitution is not to perpetuate the past but rather to be liberated from it.
He has been head of country from 1986 a stretch, (terms to stay in power ) that comfortably eclipse most modern politics, but there was no one else who could conceivably have given that kind of leadership certainly not Mbabazi (ex-prime minister) not any other NRM stalwart and not the most serious alternative FDC Dr Besigye.
Museveni saw more clearly than all those we must admit. He has a vision and bellicose flair.
His prolongation was also necessary as to save NRM from destruction. FDC would have gained a gigantic victory at the election.
As a Pan Africanist, his vision extends to liberate whole of Africa, and rewrite history of Africa enabling us to realign future growth of Africa.
Humans first evolved in Africa to be precise in East Africa about 2.5 million years ago from an earlier genus of celled Australopithecus. Given that Africa is where humans originated we are all Africans.
Therefore, question arises what went wrong with the Africa's growth agenda. Javed Diamond put it in brilliant National Geographic article in 2005. "It's the opposite of what one would expect from the runner first off the block."
This is the age of knowledge we know today geography has been our main problem which help explain why Africa is not technologically or politically as successful as western Europe or North America.
Much of the continent have to struggle to connect to the rest of the world land mass as in framed by the Indian and Atlantic oceans and the Sahara Desert.
The exchange of ideas and technology barely touched Sub Sahara for thousands of years.
Museveni visited Bukedia on October 21 (name applies to the whole area) and challenged Christians to live by example quoting from Bible: "When it comes to establishing dominion over nature they have tended to lag behind for many generations". This is true as Africa of the past, given no choice geography shaped it to remain behind.
Modern technology is now bending the iron rules of geography; it has found ways, over, under or through some of the barriers.
To direct our growth it is important that we mark out the times we live in now from those that went before.
Take into account our neighbors, the quality of the geologic-geophysical environment, and the real level of spiritual ethical development of Africa connected to us.
We have to accept there is prophetic divine connection between Uganda and Israel. We share the same longitude therefore we have same time zone as Jerusalem.
Though Uganda as a alternative homeland for the Jews did not materialise was destine blessing for Uganda. Note: Uganda is more than Jerusalem considered to be in middle of earth being on Equator.
Our neighbors; Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo
Both these countries have been hard heat economically, socially and demographically.
In fifteen century and sixteen centuries hundreds of thousands of people from Sudan (to Istanbul, Cairo, Damascus) and across the Arabian world were taken as slaves. D.R.C is so resource full rich and large it has been Belgians' colony and King Leopold personal property from which to steal its natural resources.
From the start to finish there were few attempts to build its infrastructure to help build the country.
All the countries have played their role in D.R.C agony. Congo's wars are known as "Africa's' world war".
In normal circumstances DRC would have become another United States of America to lead economically our planet. So it is not political posturing as some people believe, but a sincere effort by strong willed visionaries, liberating these countries from the past.
Egypt in North Africa and Mediterranean area is special. Its amazing achievement is to have pyramids. It was arguably a Nation state when most Europeans were living in mud huts.
Cleopatra the queen of Egypt recognized Rome as the leading power of the ancient world. Egypt rich in gold and grain provided material resources to fuel that power. We have never been isolated from this ancient world civilisation.
River Niles spinal (back bone vertical) extends from Jinja Uganda to Egypt. The river Nile which was exactly where it should be had it be designed to represent Milky Way.
The Blue Nile which begins in Ethiopia (Africa's water tower') and the White Nile meet in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum before flowing into Mediterranean Sea time immemorial. (Downward pushing gravity force from Lake Victoria and Ethiopia push Nile water to Mediterranean.
More than 30 years ago (1986) President Museveni took over the government in Uganda. The changed circumstances seemed auspicious.
His main issue has been technology to create jobs and develop the growth of the nation. Hence we have Ministry of Trade Industry Technology and Cooperative.
The idea was industry co-operatives and labor come together to protect profits and middle class jobs to meet Uganda's vision to be middle income growth nation.
Our economy is growing and continues to grow as Uganda is endowed with prosperity and living off rich deposits of oil and gas.
But 21st century has brought no improvement in the ethics of capitalism. The most important economic resource is trust in the future and this resource is constantly threatened.
While globalisation and technology have delivered huge benefits in reducing poverty legitimate concern have been raised about the impact on jobs around the world. Uganda is not exception
It seems growth of the modern capitalist economy might turn out to be a colossal fraud. Elites and the global economic may well keep growing but many more individuals may live in hunger and want.
From its belief in the supreme value of growth capitalism deduces its number one commandment: thou shalt invest thy profits in increasing growth.
When growth becomes a supreme good unrestricted by any other ethical consideration it can easily lead to catastrophic.
In my article of New Vision January 6, 2017 what went wrong with Africa's growth agenda, I quoted Prof. Wasswa Balunywa the principle of Makerere Business School, who confirms the catastrophic logic stating that "entrepreneurs are increasing their wealth and retaining all their profiis unaware that living amonR the majority poor would indirectly affect them."
He said the concept of social business arises from the challenges from the people due the nature of the economic system they follow.
This concludes what economic system to avoid for growth and under what circumstances is technical matter and should be dealt by competent professionals
The most important economic resources is trust in the future and this resource is constantly threatened. An ethic of corruption has percolated deep into our civil service and also the judiciary has become notorious for corruption.
There appears to be the end to creativity, open Frank and constructive criticism within the major organs of ruling NRM party.
Our political leaders, Members of Parliament, supreme concern is to raise their salaries and emoluments at the cost of those who elected them.
It doesn't take much to see government network as a form of cronyism. Left unaddressed these weaknesses could compromise government business model.
Today global economies transform from a material base economy into a knowledge base economy. Makerere University Business School (MUBS) is part of countries most influential institution Makerere University establish in 1922 can help build Uganda's economy.
MUBS educates Ugandans MBA students besides this university of intellectual business leaders; Kyambogo University as a technical University can even grow more powerful and create jobs.
For real progress to be made there must be ruthless focus on the major issue of jobs.
MUBS case/study method in which students learn from real business situation is popular. This institution offers free carrier guidance I was impressed by Maureen Tweyongyjre Skill Development Centre. CEO and Remah Namutangara of CEO Entrepreneurship Section. I witnessed students with innovative ideas.
Important thinkers such as Wasswa Balunywa the principal of MUBS, staff and new generation are soon to emerge. We may perpetuate the nature of the economic system Uganda can follow.
The writer is a member of the Theosophical Society, Nile Lodge Kampala and LC 1 chairperson Lourdel Village Nakasero II Parish Kampala