Museveni: UAE is Challenge to Africa for Turning Desert into Paradise

 Museveni spoke in Dubai where he asked Africans to emulate the transformation in UAE

President Museveni has commended the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for organizing the Expo event where the world can meet and discuss prosperity, saying Africa should pick a leaf from the country’s rapid transformation.  

He also commended the visionary leadership of the forefathers of the United Arab Emirates whose contributions have seen UAE growing economically.

“The UAE is a challenge to Africa because they have turned a desert into a center of affluence simply because of the vision of their leaders,” said Museveni, adding, “They turned geography into an advantage.”

President Museveni this Sunday presided over celebrations at the Uganda National Day at the Dubai Expo 2020 in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai Expo 2020 is a World Expo currently hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which was officially opened on the 1 st of October 2021 and is to run for 182 day with over 192 participating countries, Uganda inclusive.

Uganda’s leader of opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga observed: “Seeing how Museveni and his ministers were mesmerised at how the UAE turned a desert into an opportunity and transformed it into a powerful economy that it is today, I was left wondering whether besides touring EXPO 2021 Dubai, they’re picking any lessons.”

The United Arab Emirates can be rightfully termed a global phenomenon. In less than 50 years, the country has emerged from a sandy desert into a futuristic centre. 

It is an oasis, rich in history and traditions, but also embracing modernity.Loading…

With a population of over 9.5 million people, 80% of which come from around the world as expatriates, the country is known for its fascinating architecture, luxury resorts, golden beaches, expensive cars and desert safaris. However, these are not the only factors that allure hundreds of thousands of international investors each year. 

The United Arab Emirates’ oil production, along with robust growth in other business sectors, has transformed the country into one of the Middle East’s major economic powerhouses.

UAE holds some $1 trillion in assets and reserves through two of its major sovereign wealth funds, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Mubadala. For comparison, $1 trillion is about one-third of the continent of Africa’s total GDP. 

UAE’s capital city, Dubai, is recognised amongst the top 10 financial centres in the Global Financial Centres Index.

In 2019, Dubai ranked third in the world in attracting foreign direct investments (FDI), in terms of both capital flows and the number of greenfield projects, according to the Financial Times’ FDI Markets data.

Arriving at the leadership Expo pavilion, President Museveni and his delegation were received by Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, the Minister of Tolerance in the United Arab Emirates.

It was a great honor as the Ugandan flag and that of UAE were raised and national anthems played to symbolize the warm brotherly relationship Uganda and UAE enjoy.

Ki kati to the wonderful people of Uganda
Today we congratulate the amazing people of Uganda ?? and celebrate them.
Who’s coming to celebrate this wonderful day with us at the Uganda pavilion located in Opportunity District? ?#Expo2020 #Dubai

— Expo 2020 Dubai (@expo2020dubai) October 3, 2021


Meanwhile, President Museveni also commended the UAE for the seriousness in handling Covid19 pandemic and added that they are following his line of every one must test.

“Yesterday when I arrived, they took me for COVID test. In Africa, sometimes we say, ‘big’ people should not be checked. But I was happy to note that everyone here must test,” he said.cid:[email protected]

Speaking at the event, Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, the Minister of Tolerance in the United Arab Emirates welcomed President Museveni to UAE and thanked him for sparing time to come and attend the function in person.

“Your Excellency, it’s an honor to be with you today to celebrate the National Day of Uganda the pearl of Africa. We are pleased to have your presence here,” said Sheikh Nahayan.

He commended President Museveni’s leadership for a remarkable role in peace and economic building of the country Uganda.

Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan noted that Covid -19 pandemic has presented many challenges globally even when mankind has become resilient.

“We are looking forward to working together with Uganda to recover from the Covid 19 challenges,” said Sheikh Nahayan.

He said the United Arab Emirates is looking forward to strengthening the bilateral economic ties between the two countries and is ready to continue investing in Agro-processing, Tourism, ICE among other sectors.


Speaking at the Expo, President Museveni said that Uganda is the right place at the right time for any serious business people looking for profitable investments.

“We are here to talk about profit, how do you maximize profit. Because you can’t do business when you are making losses. So, if you want to make profits, Uganda is the right place at the right time to invest in,” said President Museveni.

In order to make profits continuously, President Museveni said one needs three elements i.e. to produce goods or service, the market and infrastructure.

“To make sure that the goods or services you have produced reach the market, you need infrastructure. If you want business to succeed, these three are vital,” he said.

Mr. Museveni told his hosts that Uganda has a highly educated population amongst whom are scientists who can produce knowledge-based services.

On the side of the market, President Museveni revealed that Uganda has a market population of 42m people and is estimated to be 100m in 30 years.

“Uganda is not the only market we have. When you produce in Uganda, you can sell in all African countries, we have agreements to sell in USA, Europe, China etc. therefore the market is there,” he said.

After the remarks from their Excellences, the host and guests were treated to a cultural folklore performance by the Crane Performers showcasing Uganda’s culture through music and dance.

Thereafter, President Museveni went on a guided tour of the Ugandan Pavilion together with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

In the Ugandan Pavilion, Uganda showcased her products ranging from tourism, beverages, tea, bird species and Gorillas among others.

President Museveni was also taken to a guided tour of the UAE pavilion by Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al-Nahyan the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation of UAE.

The President wound up his tour of the Expo by signing the book symbolizing the honor and his presence at the event.

Among the Ugandan delegation that attended the celebrations included the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Jacob Oulanya, the third deputy Prime Minister Rukia Nakadama, Ministers, members of Parliament and the members of the business community

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