President Yoweri Museveni has said that the transformation of Africa is finally taking place. Mr. Museveni was speaking to a group of students from 10 countries that are currently enrolled at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Flagship International Program, a one-year mid-career Masters Degree Program in Public Administration. The students are visiting Uganda to understand the development context of an African nation. “Ten years ago, the purchasing power of Africa was US$500 billion while that of USA was US$12 trillion; but now the purchasing power of Africa is US$8 trillion and in 2035 it will be more than that of USA,” he said. President Museveni said that in the past, because the population of Africa was small in a huge area with a lot of natural resources and difficult geography, such as deserts in the north, rivers like the Nile that were not navigable, thick forests in the Central, the continent was unable to decentralize. He said that lack of decentralization made Africa to be easily colonized by Europeans, who instead of developing Africa to a middle class continent, they left it with only peasants. “Although China is smaller than Africa, it had been a State for many years and this made the Europeans fail to conquer it because it was centralized. Africa was big but not centralized. When you have a small population but plenty of resources then you have a number of problems for example State formation,” he said. The President added that the delay in Africa’s transformation has been due to failure to identify bottlenecks such as ideological disorientation and fragmented markets, among others, but since African countries, such as Uganda, have identified bottlenecks to their development, Africa will have the same social structure of the middle class and working classes as the Western world. “If the population of Africa gets free education, like we are doing here in Uganda, we shall convert the peasants to the middle class status,” he said.

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