9. Co-operation with other African countries in defending human and democratic rights of our brothers in other parts in Africa.
One of the weaknesses of Africa is the balkanisation of Africa into small and, sometimes, uneconomic units.
You hardly find an individual African country with resources that would match those of the USA, USSR, Canada, China, India, Brazil, South Africa Australia simply because these countries are often too small.
Diversity of resources, natural and human, gives a country great potential. That is why former world powers like Britain, Franc Holland or Belgium have declined when they lost their colonies in spite of their advances in technology. The resources available to them are simply insufficient. Hence, countries with a great diversity or resources would have a higher ceiling in terms of potentiality. The resources available to them are simply insufficient. Hence, countries with a greater diversity of resources would have higher ceiling in terms of potentiality. The European countries with limited potentialities—Britain, France, Holland, West Germany, Italy etc. are striving to broaden their spectrum of resources by working through the EEC (the European Economic Community).
They are even talking of an eventual political union of Western Europe to counter-balance the USA and the USSR. Greater unity gives them a larger market for their industries and a diversity of resources. I Africa we have got more reasons to search for this type of cooperation. The existing boundaries of Africa have no logic at all except the colonial interests they were designed to serve. Even the present boundaries of Uganda were fixed in an off-hand way. At one time the Northern boundary of Uganda was almost put north of the cataracts north of Nimule and the whole of the Agoro range would have been in Uganda if the British, who were representing Uganda, had not deliberately sabotaged the idea because they did. not want to have the responsibility of patrolling the difficult Agoro mountains. The same is true of the Kenya-Uganda border Uganda-Rwanda border etc. etc. The point here is not to encourage wrangles over borders but rather to highlight the irrationality behind the present entities and reinforce the argument
for close co-operation among African states in order to defeat the balkanization and maximise advantages among themselves to be able to usefully compete with other world powers.
A good example was East African co-operation. This co-operation would have benefited all of us, but for reasons unknown to the rational minds, some East African leaders decided to destroy this market of 50 million people and the common services and the common infrastructure e.g. railway system that could run from Kasese to Mombasa and from Pakwach to Kigoma or from Pakwach to Kapiri-Mposhi (Zambia). Is it not real treason for people-to do such a thing? You find the same people trotting around the globe saying that they are looking for "markets"!! Why look for markets when you failed to use the guaranteed market of East Africa? The diverse resources of East Africa as a whole present better prospects than the resources of the individual countries used as a basis for development. Uganda is particularly rich in agriculture (we could feed much of Africa as far as maize, millet, sorghum, rice, wheat, bananas, cassava, beans, peas, ground-nuts, etc. etc. are concerned) apart from the export crops of coffee, tea, cotton and tobacco, as well as fisheries and hydro-electric power. There is talk of minerals—e.g. iron and uranium—that is yet confirmed as far as we are informed on top of copper, cobult, salt, cement and fertilisers that we have already been producing. Some parts of Kenya are also rich in agriculture (able to produce; wheat, dairy products, beef, tea, coffee, irish potatoes, maize, cassava, millet, pyrethrum etc. etc.) and fishing on L. Victoria and the Indian Ocean.
Kenya, also, has got access to the sea—a great resource in itself, which Uganda, for instance, lacks.
Tanzania is more diversely endowed with agricultural capacity, minerals, hydro-electric power and fisheries—partly on account of its larger territory. Although many parts of Tanzania are arid, there are still large areas that are capable of producing a variety of agricultural products e.g. Arusha, Moshi, Mara, Mwanza, Tabora, Bukoba, Kigoma, Iringa, Ruvuma, Morogoro etc. Agricultural costs are, however, always higher in Tanzania than in Uganda. In Uganda, for instance, there is little need of using fertilisers while in Tanzania, artificial "mbolea" is a must in many areas. Tanzania, apart from the diamonds at Mwadur and cement, is reported to have coal and iron
ore in the south, uranium in the West Lake region, and natural gas in the Lindi area. Tanzania has also got considerable hydroelectric capacity from the Ruaha River (but not comparable to Ugarda’s capacity with the mighty Nile). It has also got fisheries potential along the lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, Malawi as well as the sea. Of course, like Kenya, Tanzania has also got the advantage of having access to the sea. One can easily see that East Africa would have benefitted greatly working together not only because of the obvious point but also because of the complementarity of the available resources. Kenya, for instance, would have benefitted from Uganda's electricity instead of having to rely on oil generator of electricity or more costly hydro-electric power, and Uganda would, of course, have earned considerable amounts of foreign exchange from the sale of electricity. This is an export that is much more reliable than coffee, being at per with oil in usefulness. In face the Jinja dam with re-inforced capacity could supply power, not only to Kenya, but also to North Western Tanzania, Eastern Zaire and Southern Sudan, thereby earning a lot of foreign exchange for Uganda while saving Uganda's neighbours the cost of trying to get electricity from more costly sources. With cheap power in Uganda agriculture and fisheries in all the three countries and minerals like iron-ore and coal in Tanzania and a big market, a basis for industrialisation would be created. The present fragmentation of the markets and a narrow spectrum of resources available to each country almost exclude, for instance, the development of heavy industry or any other industries that require large markets for then products. This, in turn, means perpetual dependence—with all the attendant problems, some of them already referred to.
Apart from seeking co-operation with other African countries, Uganda, having suffered so greatly at the hands of primitive dictators, ought to play an active part in defending the human and democratic rights of the African people in general. Dictatorships impede progress because they stop debates on development options and allow thieves and nincompoops to remain in power doing whatever damage they are capable of. Without democracy and the human dignity of the African people, Africa will never develop if, even mere debate about, let alone the actuality of, development is hardly taking place. The people are too frightened to comment on the actions of the omnipotent rulers that have got
powers of life and death over every citizen of their countries.
Rulers can squander resources with impunity; they can violate human rights of the people with impunity. Democracy, therefore, becomes a sinequanon of development. We ought to oppose dictatorship in Africa.