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Museveni Flags Off AGOA Exports

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd December 2002 03:00 AM

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni yesterday flagged off 164,000 pieces of men’s pair of shorts to America, the first textile export under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative.

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni yesterday flagged off 164,000 pieces of men’s pair of shorts to America, the first textile export under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative.

By Grace Matsiko
and Stephen Illungole

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni yesterday flagged off 164,000 pieces of men’s pair of shorts to America, the first textile export under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative.
An excited Museveni carried a box containing 12 pieces of seaweed and stone-coloured shorts on his head to a waiting 40-feet truck outside the Tri-Star Uganda Limited factory in Bugolobi near Kampala, amidst cheers from the audience which included US ambassador to Uganda, Jimmy Kolker.
The group’s chairman, Kumar Dewapura and managing director Vellupillai Kananathan, the minister for the Presidency, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, trade minister Prof. Edward Rugumayo, presidential advisor on AGOA, Onegi-Obel and AGOA presidential assistant, Susan Muhwezi, looked happy to see the much criticised project bearing fruits.
“Wait, wait, I want these people to take the picture so that I am on record,” Museveni said to Kolker as he laid the heavy box in the truck.
Rugumayo said the first consignment proved wrong government critics who said the project would not take off.
“Americans this time have become Christians. For a long time, they have not been practising Christianity, they blocked our exports. But now they have adhered to Christian teaching and opened their markets for us,” Museveni said.
Kumar said by January 26, Tri-Star will have installed new machines capable of making 50,000 pieces of finished products per day and a plant that can wash 25,000 pieces at a go, making it the biggest plant in Africa.
Museveni said, “If we had 1000 units of such (factories) in Uganda, we would not have unemployment.
“These are over 1,000 jobs created. Come, come, photograph them, don’t photograph me,” Museveni said as he directed his cameraman to the girls working in the factory.
“If someone kills jobs for 1,000 people, why shouldn’t he be hanged? Why should you hang someone who has killed just one person?” he asked.
Museveni, who took to task Keith Muhakanizi, the director for economic affairs in the finance ministry, over the delay to complete the washing plant, threatened to take over its construction if the contractors continued at such a slow pace.
“I preach unity in Uganda but now it is time I teach disunity. I separate (those who want development) from those who don’t want Uganda to change. The politicians and the civil servants must change,” he said. Ends

Museveni Flags Off AGOA Exports

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