The US Ambassador to Uganda, Ms Deborah R. Malac, has said the comments made by President Donald Trump were “unfortunate” and “upsetting” to the African Continent.
Amb Malac, who paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on Tuesday, however said that the US would continue to work, support and improve the lives of people in the mentioned countries.
While meeting lawmakers recently, President Donald Trump, questioned why the US had to take in more immigrants from Haiti and ‘shithole’ countries from Africa, rather than countries such as Norway that would offer trade and foreign policy deals to his country.
Malac however, promised that with all the important work that has to be done they will not allow to be distracted but rather put their energies in more progressive work.
“We shall remain committed to and engaged in working with and in all the countries that we have been involved with on the continent, and continue with our programmes to help improve the lives of Ugandans,” Malac said.
Trumps’ comments attracted a backlash from Africa, with activists and organizations condemning his racism.
However, some bold leaders have since praised Trump for speaking the truth to challenge Africans to work harder to develop their own countries.
President Museveni, while opening the second meeting of the first session of the fourth East African Legislative Assembly at the Uganda’s Parliament in Kampala on Tuesday, expressed his support of President Trump, vile as he may sound some times.
He praised the 71 year old Republican for being frank, and telling Africans what he (Museveni) has spent years repeating.
“America has got one of the best President ever, Mr. Trump, I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly, I don’t know if he was misquoted or not,” said Museveni at Parliament.
The President said time had come for Africans to stop seeking foreign assistance to solve African problems but rather focus on solving their own problems their own way.
“Africans need to solve their problems, they need to be strong. In the world you cannot survive when you are weak and it is the fault of the Africans that they are weak.”
The President in his speech emphasized the need for African integration so as to build a strong bargaining power to the international community.
The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga inquired what would happen to the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in Uganda.
“I would like to inquire about the AGOA engagement for the people of Uganda. We had started last year and had planned an exhibition with the Kenyans, and we have held on since then. I have seen the potential of many Ugandans but what is the way forward?” she asked.
Malac said that the delay to have the exhibition was due to the petition on the second hand clothes whose tariffs were lifted.
“The deadline was extended and sadly Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania did not heed to reduce the tariff and as a result of the petition there is anticipation that some textile funding will be withheld,” she added.
She further assured the Speaker that they would continue handling the AGOA issues and advised that second hand clothing, being a large business, provides a lot of businesses and should have taxes reduced.
Malac further assured Kadaga that there are fewer concerns at the Embassy as it now works hand in hand with the Foreign Affairs to streamline the processes.