At NAM Summit, Ugandan President recalls contribution of Indian diaspora to his country’s economic landscape

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the NAM summit Jan. 21, 2024. PHOTO X @ani_digital

Kampala [Uganda], January 21: At the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Kampala, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni expressed admiration for the substantial contributions made by Indian returnees to the economic development of his country.

Commending their noteworthy accomplishments, he said, “I was asking people how many factories have been built by our Indian returnees. They told me about the 900 factories that they had built since they came back.”

Reflecting on Uganda’s historical events, particularly the expulsion of Asians, primarily Indian Ugandans, during Idi Amin’s regime, President Museveni openly acknowledged the mistakes made by the government.

He said, “NAM countries also sometimes make mistakes like here in Uganda.” He recounted the adverse consequences of Amin’s actions, including the economic impact on his country.

India during Amin’s time had cut ties with his regime due to his actions.

President Museveni noted the adverse impact of Amin’s decisions on the country’s economy, saying, “You had a leader of a NAM country undermining his own economy.” The expelled individuals were actively involved in various sectors, including sugar, hotels, and steel production.

Expressing remorse, the president lamented the lost opportunities for growth and development during that tumultuous period. President Museveni reflected on the measures undertaken by the Ugandan government to address and rectify past injustices.

“So therefore it is very crucial that we study very carefully the issue of the investment climate in our respective countries. When we kicked out all these people and we came into government, we brought back, we gave back the properties of our Asian citizens and non-citizens that Idi Amin had taken. We gave them back. We had a hot debate in parliament, some people saying this. We said, no, they must get back their properties. And they got their properties,” he added.

At the outset of his address, he also recognized India’s pivotal role in the establishment of the NAM group and the nation’s participation in the inaugural NAM summit in Belgrade in 1961.

“This group of countries, accounts for 4.46 billions of people of the World. It was started by our far-sighted elders in the persons of Sukarno of Indonesia, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Nasser of Egypt and Chou En Lai of China,” he said.

The first summit of NAM took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1961 and was attended by: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Republic, Yemen and Yugoslavia, the President of Uganda said.



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