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You’re wasting your time, Museveni tells Biden

You’re wasting your time, Museveni tells Biden

To alleviate global scrutiny concerning human rights violations, Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni attempted to reassure his nation’s citizens that everything was under control. This came after US President Joe Biden suspended the East African nation from a trade deal worth Ush40 billion (approximately $10.5 million).

Biden excluded Uganda, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Niger from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) because they failed to meet the criteria necessary to participate in the trade agreement.

A notification issued in December 2023 by the Office of the Trade Representative has verified the end of an agreement, resulting in the exclusion of goods manufactured in Uganda from receiving preferential treatment in the US market.


“I have determined that Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda do not meet the requirements described in section 506A (a)(1) of the Trade Act. Accordingly, I have decided to terminate the designations of the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries for purposes of section 506A of the Trade Act, effective January 1, 2024,” the statement read.

In a televised address from his country home in Rwakitura, western Uganda, on Tuesday night, President Museveni, who has led the East African nation since 1986 when he fought his way to State House through guerrilla warfare, assured Ugandans that such trade restrictions and pressures “have no meaning” because Uganda is a nation of “wealth creators”.

Unity of Ugandans

“Some of the people who get carried away by linking up with foreign interests forget our strengths. For somebody to come and say “Unless you follow what I’m telling you I’ll not…..” they are not serious,” he said.

According to Museveni, 79, the unity of Ugandans is enough to withstand such economic pressures.

“If we divide ourselves then we’ll be weak, but if we don’t divide ourselves then there’s nothing we cannot do…Those putting pressure on us are just wasting their time. Foreign pressure has no meaning. 

Therefore, what we can do is fight corruption; the usual problems, concentrate on regional integration….But internationally, we can trade with those people who respect us,” said Mr Museveni who was flanked by his wife, Janet Museveni, and assistants. 

Uganda’s exclusion from Agoa, a US trade benefit law established on May 18, 2000, granting tariff-free entry to the US market for over 6,000 goods from eligible nations, comes after a sequence of penalties. These penalties, such as travel limitations on high-ranking officials and warnings of reducing aid, were imposed on Uganda after the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. The US deemed this legislation regressive.

You’re wasting your time, Museveni tells Biden