President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who also serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), delivered a compelling lecture to a delegation of 31 military students and 15 staff members from Botswana Defence Command and Staff College. During the lecture, President Museveni emphasized that Uganda’s current stability is the result of a significant ideological and philosophical shift in the country.
In his address at State House-Entebbe, President Museveni highlighted the critical importance of moving away from the politics of identity and focusing on the politics of interest. He stated that before the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government came to power 37 years ago, Uganda was plagued by turbulence and had become a failed state. However, thanks to the right ideological approach, the country has not only stabilized but is also progressing towards development.
President Museveni urged the military students and staff from Botswana to promote politics centered on the people’s interests rather than identity-based politics, stating, “The ideology is very crucial for the prosperity of your country.”
He explained, “Right from Independence, we had a crisis of what is primary? What is important? Is it identity or interest?” He went on to question the relevance of identity-based politics, emphasizing the need to address the basic needs of the people, such as food, shelter, jobs, and wealth.
President Museveni’s lecture delved into four key principles that have contributed to Uganda’s stability and development:
- Patriotism: He emphasized the importance of loving one’s country and seeing it as more valuable than individual tribal or ethnic affiliations.
- Pan-Africanism: President Museveni highlighted the necessity of regional and continental cooperation, stating that Uganda looks beyond its borders to East Africa and the entire African continent for economic prosperity.
- Socio-economic Transformation: He stressed the need for Uganda to transition from a predominantly agrarian society to one where all adults participate in the money economy, with a focus on sectors like commercial agriculture, manufacturing, services, and ICT.
- Democracy: President Museveni underscored the significance of government by the people and for the people in maintaining stability and progress.
President Museveni also cautioned against the exportation of raw materials without value addition, as this leads to economic losses and job shortages in African countries. He further noted the importance of transitioning from raw material production to industrial production as a means of achieving long-term stability and development.
Colonel Dumisani Bakang Ndzinge, the head of the Botswana Defence Command and Staff College delegation, expressed gratitude to President Museveni for his insightful lecture. He commended Museveni’s visionary leadership, which has contributed to Uganda’s enduring stability and economic growth.
The lecture, which touched on ideological and philosophical shifts that have played a pivotal role in Uganda’s transformation, left an indelible impression on the Botswana military students and staff, offering valuable insights into the country’s journey towards stability and prosperity.