From Japan to South Africa then to Tanzania, and back home for more work, it has been such an engaging week for President Yoweri Museveni.
By Joseph Kizza
It has been another packed week for President Yoweri Museveni. Fresh from Japan after attending the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama, he would get back airborne, this time destined for South Africa to catch up with other leaders at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town. Once done there, he would then head straight to neighbouring Tanzania for a two-day working visit, before returning home - for yet more work.
As usual, the President, very well aware that many Ugandans, particularly the Bazzukulu, are social media users, has been updating his 1.1 million Twitter and 540,000 Facebook followers on what he has up to lately.
Last Saturday, which was the last day of August by the way, President Museveni walked down the steps of the presidential jet at Entebbe after several hours of flying from the oriental island nation of Japan.
He had just attended the seventh edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), an initiative of the Government of Japan, that kicked off on August 28 and ended on August 30 in Yokohama, a city south of the capital Tokyo.
It was hosted at the Pacifico Yokohama Convention Centre.
During his stay in Japan, Museveni addressed the TICAD7 summit plenary session, where he "emphasised the need to solve issues that undermine economic productivity, by removing cost pushers through improving infrastructure, for example roads, railway, electricity and the cost of money".
On the sidelines of the conference, he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The President told us that in his meeting with Abe, he "expressed the importance of industrial human resources development, including nurturing trainers". He is looking forward to further engagements with the Japanese government and people.
"I thank the Prime Minister for inviting me to this conference, and the Japanese government for supporting Uganda in infrastructure development and vocational education," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, while away, the President was of course updated on the revived Uganda Airlines' successful inaugural flight from Entebbe to Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya. While congratulating the airlines, he said it will "facilitate tourism" and urged his fellow countrymen and women "and our friends all over the world to fly with Uganda Airlines".
On the sidelines of TICAD, Uganda's Prof. Francis Omaswa received his Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize award in Japan's capital Tokyo, in honour for his 30-year career and dedication to addressing the global health workforce crisis across Africa and worldwide.
The 75-year-old cardiovascular surgeon, academic and administrator, who leads multiple efforts aimed at building health systems and workforces, was the joint recipient of this year's award.
His co-winner is Congolese academic and researcher, Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 4
Four days after his trip to Japan, President Museveni returned to skies. This time, he was headed for South Africa’s southwest coast. His destination: Cape Town.
In this port city, he joined other leaders for the 28th World Economic Forum on Africa themed Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The President, who was in the company of his wife Janet, said the forum was "timely".
There, he took part in a plenary discussion on the subject of Working Towards Peace, which was moderated by Børge Brende, the World Economic Forum president. Ethiopian president Sahle-Work Zewde also featured on the panel.
Arguing that business can be a transformative engine of peace, Museveni tweeted that, in his view, "by supporting and facilitating growth of trade and business, Africa will attain sustained peace courtesy of a middle class whose focus is on interests (horizontal issues) rather than identity that dominates pre-capitalist societies (vertical issues)".
Adding: "On the subject of averting future conflicts, I hold the view that we must condemn unjust wars. These are wars motivated by pseudo-ideology of identity. And even when we subdue their perpetrators, it must involve a comprehensive discussion/audit so that we have principled peace."
President Museveni and the First Lady later in the evening co-hosted a dinner for the business community at Westin Hotel in Cape Town after what he called a "successful plenary discussion" at the World Economic Forum on Africa.
And with that, the South African trip was done. The bearings pointed back to East Africa.
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA - SEPTEMBER 5
After leaving Cape Town, President Museveni and his wife Janet headed to Dar es Salaam, a major city and commercial port on Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coast, for a two-day working visit.
Together with his host, President John Pombe Magufuli, Museveni would, among other scheduled activities, launch the maiden Uganda-Tanzania Business Forum.
The following day, on Friday, news of the death of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe at the age of 95 reached Museveni. Mugabe had previously visited Uganda.
Museveni paid tribute to the "African liberation icon and great Pan-Africanist" and joined "President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the people of Zimbabwe and the entire African continent in mourning the demise of this great son of Africa".
"May his soul rest in peace," he tweeted.
Mugabe breathed his last at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore.
WAKISO, UGANDA - SEPTEMBER 7
Meanwhile, back home from Tanzania, President Museveni on Saturday was destined for St. Lawrence College in Maya, Wakiso district to officiate at the Second National Primary School Teachers’ Conference, during which he was to give awards to excelling teachers.
Here, he was alongside his wife and First Lady Janet, who is the education and sports minister. The top three teachers are set to fly to Israel later this month for a study tour after emerging the best of the best.
"Being asked to raise children you did not produce is a divine assignment. It is an incredible responsibility but also a trap for those who do not appreciate it. Beyond government enforcement, there is accountability to God. This is the most important aspect in teaching," tweeted President Museveni.
The President then made a case for prioritizing infrastructural development over remuneration.
"It is the NRM's plan that in the end, our country's public service sector will be remunerated very well. But it would be wrong, if not foolhardy, to prioritize remuneration over strategic components that are crucial for sustainable economic development.
"For example, if we do not build roads and dams so that the cost of manufacturing is lowered, we shall not get jobs for our people, which in return undermines their purchasing power. Resultantly, the government will not earn taxes, which then affects remuneration of our workers," he said on Twitter.
He also made a case for making sciences a priority over the arts.
"The other issue is prioritizing within the salary increment process. Our view is that we empower our scientists first, to facilitate research and innovations, before we can cater for the arts. Otherwise I thank and congratulate the organisers of this conference plus its sponsors."
The top three teachers are overall winner Peter Ssenono from Kyotera district, first runner-up Margaret Asaba from Kyegegwa district and second runner-up Isaac Omony from Amuru district.
On top of the trip to Israel, the three were awarded each a land title, cash prize of sh1m, a laptop and a certificate of recognition. The land is located in Bujuko, along Mityana road in Wakiso district.
Fifty other teachers were also recognized and each given a cash prize of sh1m and a certificate.
MOYO, UGANDA - SEPTEMBER 7
Museveni was also in Omoro district to attend the burial of Rwot Ananiya Kerwegi Akera. This was in Along village in Bobi sub-county.
Chief Akera died mid-last month at the age of 105 at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital. "I had to travel all the way from Tanzania to Omoro so that I give testimony about Mzee Ananiya's legacy," tweeted the President.
"When there was insurgency in the North, I spoke to him severally on how we could restore peace and he was pivotal in our pacification efforts. Mzee Ananiya was among the pioneer educationists here, having attended Busoga College, Mwiri and later Makerere University, where he shared rooms with Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
"A pioneer teacher in this region, his students included President Milton Obote, Archbishop Janani Luwum, Wilson Rutara and others. Later, he joined the private sector and became a successful farmer, showing how much insight he had, making the right decisions at the right time," said the President.
"He also joined politics but what endeared him to me was his humility. I still celebrate his role in helping stabilise this region and the young people have a perfect role model in him.
"May the soul of Rwot Ananiya Kerwegi Akera rest in peace."
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah attended the burial and tweeted that it was an honour to have President Museveni "celebrate with us as we send off a visionary leader of Acholi, Rwot Akera Anania".
"Throughout his life, Mzee Akera offered his invaluable service to empowering our people through agriculture, teaching and later politics. We will miss him greatly," he added.
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Congratulations Prof. Francis Omaswa!