ZANZIBAR: PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has emphasised the paramount importance of unity among African nations for the continent’s development.
He underscored that fostering unity would create a broader market for African countries, facilitating the exchange of goods and services.
This, he believes, would enhance competition, boost production and ultimately contribute to self-sufficiency across the continent.
Speaking during the 60th Zanzibar Revolution ceremony held at the New Amaan Sports Complex, the Ugandan President stated, “When you are a producer, what first clicks in the mind is the market, where can I sell my produce. It is from this ground, revolutionists and producers, we believe in the East Africa Community (EAC) and the African Union (AU). We want a common market.”
He added that Africa’s development is essentially tied to unity, emphasising the need for collaboration among nations.
President Museveni expressed concern about countries deviating from Pan-Africanist perspectives, prioritising overseas goods and thereby undermining efforts to achieve self-sufficiency.
He highlighted the EAC and the AU as essential pillars in realising a common market and fostering economic growth.
To reinforce multilateral and bilateral cooperation, Museveni affirmed Uganda’s commitment to open trade with African countries, including Tanzania, with a focus on widening the market and embracing Pan-Africanism.
He warned against trade embargoes, stating that such actions could lead to retaliatory measures, hindering the continent’s common market and overall economic growth.
Reflecting on the Zanzibar Revolution, President Museveni commended its Pan-African perspective, paving the way for the formation of the United Republic of Tanzania (URT). He sees this as an inspiring example of the possibility of union among African countries.
President Museveni congratulated Zanzibaris for their steadfast protection of the revolution over 60 years and commended all Tanzanians for cherishing the United Republic of Tanzania.
Historically, the Zanzibar Revolution occurred on January 12, 1964 when the majority Black African population through the Afro-shirazi Party (ASP) led by Mr Abeid Amani Karume overthrew the Sultan of Zanzibar and his mainly Arab government at the island.
According to the official Zanzibari history, the revolution was planned and headed by the ASP leader Abeid Amani Karume.
However, at the time Karume was on the mainland as was the leader of the banned Umma Party, Abdulrahman Muhammad Babu. A charismatic Ugandan named John Okello, in his capacity as the ASP youth branch secretary for Pemba, had sent Karume to the mainland to ensure his safety.