Museveni downplays Uganda’s removal from US-Africa trade programme

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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has downplayed concerns over the expulsion of his country from a special US-Africa trade programme.

Last week, US President Joe Biden said Uganda and three other African countries would be removed from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), citing Uganda’s “gross violations of internationally recognised human rights”.

But President Museveni on Sunday criticised the US, saying they “overestimate themselves” and “erroneously think that African countries cannot move forward without their support”.

“As far as Uganda is concerned, we have the capacity to achieve our growth and transformation targets, even if some of the actors do not support us,” he added.

The US is the latest to take action against Uganda, which in May passed a controversial anti-homosexuality law that includes a death penalty for certain same-sex acts.

The law prompted the World Bank to withdraw Uganda’s funding, but President Museveni doubled down, accusing the organisation of coercing his country to reverse the law. He stated that Uganda could still develop without the bank’s support.

Mr Museveni, however, hailed the American government for maintaining funding for HIV drugs, but added that his government had a contingency plan to acquire the drugs if foreign donors pulled out.

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