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Uganda Will Not Vanish, we still stand on our core values Minister Bahati on the US disengaging Uganda from AGOA Market.

By Jimmy Muhumuza 

Kampala 

The Minister of State for Industry, David Bahati, has spoken out on the decision by the United States to disengage Uganda from the AGOA market, saying Uganda won’t sacrifice its culture & values to the altar of homosexuality.

 Bahati made the remarks while speaking to journalists at his private office in kololo following the final decision by the US to ban Uganda’s exports to this market.

 Bahati urged Ugandans to understand that the decision made by Parliament on homosexuality in Uganda was intended to defend the institution of family and reaffirm Uganda’s belief that marriage as understood biblically and culturally is meant to be between the union of a man and a woman.

 Minister Bahati said that he is going to continue praying for Americans so that they change their minds against supporting homosexuality and said the NRM Government will also continue defending human rights both in Uganda and in Africa.

The Minister asked the other African nations to learn from Uganda’s ordeal and use this as a lesson for Africa and its leaders to build a base for the continent’s economic survival to avoid such scenarios from happening in the future.

Bahati also said that he is analyzing the situation and see whether Uganda will vanish from planet Earth by February, following the decision by the Joe Biden Administration to lockout Uganda from the American market, saying Uganda can do away with the American market because Uganda has only been importing second-hand clothes, which can be replaced with an increase in cotton production to bridge that gap.

Minister Bahati also falsely claimed that Uganda is importing second-hand clothes from Americans worth over US$800m and yet according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, in 2022/2023, Uganda exported goods worth US$87.766m (Shs333.584Bn), which is higher than US$203.127Mn (Shs770.644Bn) goods Uganda imported from the US in the same period. 

In December 2023, the White House announced a wave of new sanctions to be imposed on Uganda, by pausing approximately US$15 million (Shs57.031Bn) for all biological threat reduction activities with the Ugandan Ministries of Health, Agriculture, and Tourism. 

The U.S also announced plans to redirect more than US$5 million (Shs18.972Bn) through PEPFAR from the Government to non-governmental implementing partners due to concerns over how the AHA impacts the Government of Uganda’s ability to deliver services in a non-discriminatory manner, with the US noting that these actions are not intended to impact HIV/AIDS service delivery to key populations negatively.

The United States has continued to pile pressure on Uganda following the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act with the North American nation imposing visa restrictions and entry to the United States including current and former Ugandan officials believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda or for policies or actions aimed at repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations.

The Biden administration also imposed sanctions against Johnson Byabashaija, Commissioner General of Prisons on allegations of engaging in torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment against prisoners held within UPS facilities.

However despite all those sanctions, Minister Bahati has said that Uganda has built and continues to build a strong integrated market of the East African Community which now has a population of over 300m people and we shall be around 886 million people in 2050 this has further been boosted by the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area with a population of around 1.2billion people and it will be 2.5billion people in 2050, and these two markets will be complemented with the markets like the preferential Chinese market, European Union, the Asians, we are opening up in the Arabs.

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