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Yoweri Museveni: “If there is no bread, eat cassava”


On Sunday, on Labor Day, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni outlined his strategy to fight soaring wheat prices.

This May 1, on the occasion of Labor Day, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni addressed his fellow citizens about the rising prices of basic necessities. While most East African countries are experiencing, at the end of the first half of 2022, a slowdown in economic growth compared to last year, "the impact of the conflict in Ukraine will be amplified by the increase the cost of grain and fuel,” warned Museveni.

“We complain that there is no bread or wheat. Please eat cassava. I myself do not eat bread,” the Ugandan president said. Before continuing: “The problem of soaring prices of basic necessities like fuel and fertilizer is created by our friends in Europe”.

Read: Food shortages in Africa: whose fault is it?

With the advent of the Ukrainian crisis, the President of Uganda launched the new PDM development model, which encourages local producers of agricultural products to commercial production. An initiative that involves financial incentives for investment and loans to farmers in exchange for their registration to a consistent quality standard with the requirements of the national and international market.

A problem “created by our European friends”

Yoweri Museveni has worked for some years to personify consumption, among other factors of the Ugandan way of life. For example, his call for the consumption of cassava is reminiscent of his launch of a personal blog in which he details his diet which had helped him, in 2020, to lose 30 kilos by boycotting white bread and consuming 100% Ugandan products.

“I eat cassava because I don't want to eat food imported from Europe or Asia. I prefer to eat our food, cassava, bananas, millet and vegetables,” Museveni said in 2020. diseases.

A two-stage who had helped to bring the Ugandan president closer to the youth as well. For some analysts, this pragmatic, dense and sympathetic communication would have brought Museveni his new mandate.

A certain freshness which also manifests itself in Museveni's opposition to the pro-Western diplomatic line very widespread in its sub-region. Far from being dogmatic, Yoweri Museveni remains open to international partnerships.

“We are talking quietly with Western Europe and Russia. We will update you on any progress in due course,” Museveni said on Sunday.

A pragmatic economic vision?

Addressing his plans for getting out of the basic necessities crisis, Museveni says the new development model and proper awareness raising will be enough to avert recession in Uganda.

"The PDM development model should kick-start the eventual creation of jobs and lift Ugandans out of poverty, especially if we raise awareness properly," said the Ugandan president.

At odds with the national development model, however, we find a Ugandan government agreement with the Uganda Vinci Coffee Company (UVCC). The recent agreement, giving the company exclusive rights to purchase and export Ugandan coffee, has been heavily criticized by the press. The latter considers him a little too liberal for her taste.

Paradoxically, the Ugandan state continues to buy the assets of companies accused of exploiting the country's resources, without becoming economically isolated. “I always advise Ugandans to encourage local and national investment. But there should be no lack of enthusiasm for foreign investment. No one can beat me on Africanism, but I welcome all investors,” said Yoweri Museveni on Sunday.

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