October 9th is Ugandan Independence Day. On behalf of myself and my party, the Rwanda People’s Party, I would like to wish the president, H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the government and people a happy independence day on the 9th of October. On that day the President Museveni, his government and the Ugandan nation will be celebrating the 53rd anniversary of their country’s independence from Britain.
Ugandans has made great progress in recent years, uniting together for their country’s good and welfare. The day-to-day’s changing face of Uganda, clearly demonstrates that Ugandans have responded positively to Mr Musiven’s call to “Prosperity For All” (Boona Bagagawale) so as to improve their average house hold income. The RPP congratulates Uganda on its great achievements. Uganda is joining the ranks of developing Industrialised countries, there is no doubt not to believe that this will continue and as they progress and develop Ugandans are becoming more business orientated and this encourages both economic liberalisation and entrepreneurs in the nation. It is only collective economic development that can guarantee a solid foundation and promote the social, political and economic freedoms of a progressive nation.
The government of President Museveni has played a crucial role in Uganda’s progress. It is an example of how modern government can help to fulfil the potential of every Ugandan. The primary role of any modern world governments should be to ensure peace and tranquillity in order to secure justice and encourage development. Because of the changing nature of the world economy, education is more important than ever before. For the past 5 years, the RPP has had many opportunities’ to talk to many Ugandans and Rwandans, Tanzanians, Kenyans and youths from the rest of Africa in wide-ranging discussions on the impact of education and high unemployment levels upon their lives. Any graduate can become discontented by a lack of employment opportunities. However, I would like to take the opportunity, to note, that the primary focus of education has been changed from one, where education was seen as a way of securing employment to one, where now,
Education is a means of providing students with the capabilities and insights to broaden their knowledge and understanding so that they can influence those in the corridors of power and also to use their education to create opportunities for themselves and others so as to contribute to the social, political and economic development of their countries.
In other words, people are not motivated to go school in anticipation of jobs but rather to be taught, encouraged and supported to be creative and innovative. For example in the UK, only one percent of graduates go into the public sector, while the rest go into the private sector or establish their own business. Where there is a peaceful and stable environment such us Uganda, graduates do not need to sit back waiting for their country’s help, rather they go out to help themselves and their country by innovating and creating to produce jobs for themselves and others. This is what is happening in every modern society because the world has become a ‘global village’. In this new world, education is like a soldiers lost or operating in enemies territory or in a jungle, filled with dangerous animals, with only a gun and his survival kits. The soldiers doesn’t rely on their gun and survival kits alone, but he or she relies on their knowledge, know-how and capability and must rely above all on their training, so that he or she can effectively and efficiently use their equipment to protect themselves and their colleagues from dangers and hazards. This is what today’s education is about; you use your education to look for opportunities but not for opportunity to wait for you. My party, the Rwanda People’s Party (RPP) have been encouraging and advising these frustrated young people that” like the survival kits, education is the key to gaining opportunities. There is no doubt they can beat the “odds” and unlock their frustrations, by accepting, adopting and managing the new trends of change as they occur.
Due to the prevailing circumstances, in Europe or North America, a doctor can be forced to work as taxi driver, a lawyer as bar tender, an engineer as a carer, a journalist as a shopkeeper, a nurse as garbage collector or post man delivery. This is in contrast to their fellow graduates in Africa, where in a reality, an engineer, teacher, and other members of the professional class, will exercise their freedom of choice to remain unemployed rather than looking for other jobs opportunities outside their area of expertise. In Africa educated people do not want to work outside the areas they are qualified in. This is why we have many unemployed youth in Africa. Educated people need to be flexible and take any fair employment opportunity.
In the past or during the colonial period, colleges and universities admissions had to be matched with the numbers of vacancies available in the police, administrative clerks and secretaries, teachers, nurses etc. Today education, has been dramatically changed and education has been commercialised like McDonalds Burger Restaurants. The nature of the working environments has also been changed as a result of the introduction of technologies to improve the production of goods and services. As a result many job opportunities were lost or virtually destroyed among others in the communication sector - where introduction of mobile phone and the internet have adversely impacted upon the paper industries, landline telephone, post office, bookshops, publishers, the banking industries to mention just a few. This has also changed the nature of civil and private services which are the biggest employers. As a result, today’s, employment sector is the most competitive as ever. For example, last month 368 advertised posts in the State of Uttar Pradesh, India attracted 2.3 million applicants, while in the UK they are 400 applications for each advertised vacancy.
In the past in African nations had too much freedom, this resulted in dangers and instability. This is because African people choose what to do, how and when to do it, irresponsibly. Freedom has been abused in many ways and this has prevented many nations from developing and reaching their full potential. Freedom has been misused to divide people and has prevented them from working together for their country’s good and welfare. In terms of tolerance and freedom of speech Uganda and Ugandans have come to the forefront of other nations. This form of freedom is the opposite of that in Western countries, where people are denied any real freedom of choice.
The freedom in Uganda, like elsewhere in Africa is the opposite to that of western people, where their governments have sown fears among them that helped to secure peace among westerners but took away their freedom. In other words, in Africa we do have an abundant and genuine freedom but without accountability, this has denied us peace, but not of a kind that is dangerous to ourselves and others. Africans have free guaranteed housing, food, water, heating and a culture that is premised on collective social responsibility. While in the West they have fear and peace, premised on monetary values and they have been denied real freedom of choice. For example, in the West people work hard to pay their mortgages, bills (water, gas, electricity, heating etc.), to buy food, loans, store cards, transport etc. Their freedom is curtailed, to an extent that they have to be told where to buy food and the time (opening hours) to buy it. This is in contrast to Africa where we have food from our own gardens, collect water from the well and fire wood from the forest and are therefore independent. Hence, when you hear westerns fighting everywhere, it is not because that they want to fight, but they are rather driven to do so by the wish to survive.
There are those who wish by exploiting the freedom of speech to divide people and spread uncertainty and cynicism. Freedom of speech is a most important right. However, there are some politicians and others that may resort to abuse and insult the police and the pillars of the state. They have even exposed state secrets, which could have dire consequences for their nations’ welfare and security. There are many people who just cannot go home and live in peace in Europe or USA. This is evident in the case of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden who have used freedom of expression, but the West believe that they stir up trouble around the world and have compromised governments’ ability to protect their citizens from terrorists and criminals. And those who abuse free speech can never be free in the western world. This is not the case in Uganda. The RPP calls on Ugandans to continue the spirit of toleration and to accommodate different views.
The relationship between Uganda and Rwanda is unique in its nature. The unbreakable fraternal bond of the two people is so extraordinary because of the prevailing history. Rwandans and Ugandans share the same hopes, objectives and have values in common. Indeed what only separates Rwanda and Uganda are the first three letters that spell out the names of ‘Rwanda’ and ‘Uganda’ and let there be no doubt that Rwanda - Uganda are looking forward to continue to enhance this bond beyond even further.
The RPP once again, wish the President, government and people of Uganda, a very peaceful and happy 53-rd Independence Day.
May God Bless Uganda