Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda

By Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

I always like to start the issues of Africa in 1900.  Our Banyankole people say: “Kamara matsiko nka icumu rya ahanda.”  This translates as: “When a spear thrust by the enemy injures your internal organs, then you know that your hope for survival is very limited.”  In other words, injuring the internal organs of a person is a decisive blow. I call 1900 Kamara matsiko (the extinguisher of hope) because by that year, the whole of Africa had been colonized except for Ethiopia.  Why couldn’t Africa defend itself? Mainly because of internal weaknesses.

The Africans are favoured by God and nature.  They live in a land area which is 11.7 million square miles in size ─ bigger than USA, China, Brazil and Western Europe combined.  This land is very well watered by powerful Rivers ─ the Nile, the Congo, the Zambezi, the Limpopo and the Niger.  It contains vast Lakes: Nalubaale (L. Victoria), Rutshuru – Butumbi (L. Edward), Masyooro (L. George), Kivu, Tanganyika, Nyasa and Turkana, among others. Africa’s 1 billion people are divided into just four linguistic groups:  the Niger-Congo (including the Bantu and the Kwa groups), the Nilo-Saharan (including the Nilotic and Nilo-Hamitic dialects), the Afro-Asiatic (Arabic and Amharic) and the Khoisan (so called bush men).

Reactionaries talk as if the African peoples are so divided that they cannot live together. Even the four linguistic groups mentioned above, are linked among one another.  The Somalis, for instance, call a cow: “Saa.”  The Banyankore, Banyarwanda and Baganda use that word “saa” for cow-dung (busa, amasha).  Our Nilotic people call water “Pii.” The Somalis call water “Biyo.”




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