Jan 25, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Why the Coalition of the Willing is no longer the winning team

The year 2021 is over and the reviews are complete. It could have been more useful to review the decade, and certainly more interesting in the context of the East African community.

Remember the time when Uhuru Kenyatta was the new bride in the EAC and not once old Jakaya Kikwete seemed so tired? I am trying to politely remind you of how Kampala, Kigali and Nairobi conceived the Coalition of the Willing (CoW). The three frowned at Tanzania, which didn’t seem to be enthusiastic about their clever ideas like the single tourist visa.

Uhuru’s energy then seemed unlimited when he chased the Kenyan customs officer from Nairobi to Mombasa where his job was, and in fact the turnaround time for cargo to Uganda and beyond was significantly reduced. It looked as if the EAC was about to dissolve, leaving “lazy” Tanzania alone with Burundi, while the three-headed CoW raced forward.

On the way, the EAC got a new bride, who suddenly Uhuru. looked like a limping old man. The “bulldozer” John Pombe Magufuli came and went just as quickly – RIP – after shaking the sleepy (non-sleeping) giant into a gallop and doing things that restored Tanzania’s limp manhood. The “bulldozer” has been replaced by a real bride, East Africa’s First Lady Commander-in-Chief, which means that Tanzania may have started 15 years without a First Lady.

Will Mama Samia make Tanzania the Germany of Africa? à la Angela Merkel, who came in calmly and ruled for so long?

Samia is already the fastest president East Africa has ever had. It has signed multi-billion dollar agreements with all member states, including the DR Congo, which is about to join the EAC. She doesn’t bully like her predecessor, she casts a spell.

So, where did the cow come from? We closed economic throats with Uganda and Kenya in 2021. In fact, after the brief CoW romance, the two have spent the last half decade arguing over sugar, milk, chicken and eggs.

As for Uganda and Rwanda, even God cannot understand our bizarre relationship ; only the devil can do that. In fact, the worst mistake a soldier from either country who is near the border can make is to go on vacation (where families from both countries mix); as he / she runs the risk of being captured “on duty” and taken prisoner of war.

Since no living person seems to understand the Uganda-Rwanda issue (the humorous Angolans staged a short comedy about the Mediation of the dispute, the cause of which is unknown), let’s stick with the fight between Uganda and Kenya.

As things stand and over the decade, Uganda has little chance of winning the trade dispute with Kenya . The thing is, Uganda’s handling of its resources is fun at best. So while the two have more or less the same population size and age (Uganda is 14 months older), Kenya’s GDP is three times that of Uganda, even though Uganda has many times more natural resources than Kenya.

< p> Having had a head start in Western education, one would expect Uganda to be more economically advanced than Kenya, with more dynamic manufacturing and trade service sectors.

For some reason this is not the case, as Uganda a smaller chance of fighting in the economic race. Uganda has neglected all of its production factors, but above all the labor factor.

We talk about clichés like “qualify the youth” and issue guidelines and programs for them, but ignore the aspect of recruitment. The only sector where we emphasize our stance is in the domestic labor export market to the Middle East. The girls and boys (who become custodians and porters) are taught a great work ethic: “Never question an Arab boss”.

As the nation’s youth are encouraged to become domestic servants, how do they stand Chances that nationals will become major actors in the use of Uganda’s vast resources? It is good to make some money, but what useful skills will they bring with them to enable Uganda to produce high quality goods to compete with Kenyan products in the Ugandan market and beyond in the Congo and South Sudan.

< You remember how Uganda spent years of resources and life to liberate South Sudan? After independence, a better prepared Kenya moved in to do serious business, while most of the Ugandan expatriates in Juba were market women selling groceries.

Joachim Buwembo is a Kampala-based journalist. Email: [emailprotected]