Kampala- President Museveni has said there is need to promote sustainable urbanisation if progress is to be achieved in the fight against poverty and backwardness in Africa.
Officiating at the opening of the Future of Cities Forum on Wednesday in Kampala, President Museveni said having more people in rural areas than in towns is a sign of underdevelopment, as such populations cause land fragmentations, which negatively impact constructive production.
“Urbanisation is a tool for reorganising societies through social transformations and development, creating more opportunities to people living in them,” he said.
“If you see that you are having more people in agriculture than in industry and services, and more people in rural areas than in towns, those are characteristics of backwardness,” he said, referring to his pre-economic lessons as a lecturer.
“So, you Africans you are still backward and the Europeans are lenient they can’t tell you that, but for me I have told you. You can also judge yourself and find where you belong,” he stated, attracting laughs from the crowd.
He asked participants at the forum to look at rural-urban migrations as a driver for development and not only discuss planning but also devise mechanisms through which urban centres can be made tools for social transformation.
President Museveni said Europeans had developed through “de-Africanising” themselves through industry and services sectors promotion that employs more people than agriculture.
“Europeans realised their population was growing geographically and yet its production was growing arithmetically, meaning they were less productive, so they de-Africanised themselves,” he said.
This is why, he said, his government introduced a law (KCCA Act 2010) that makes service deliveries in Kampala close to the people with close government monitoring.