‘Africa mediating on Ukraine crisis’ – Museveni

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. File photo: Twitter/@KagutaMuseveni

Kampala – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday said African leaders are in talks with global actors on the Ukraine crisis in efforts to address high commodity prices.

Museveni in the State of the Nation Address to parliament said the high commodity prices on the continent are largely due to the Ukraine crisis and the sanctions against Russia.

He told parliament that the African Union chief and Senegalese President Macky Sall met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to ask him to assist in getting the wheat of Ukraine out of the Port of Odessa.

Sall, according to Museveni, has also talked to the Europeans to stop sanctioning wheat from Russia and fertilizers because Africa needs them.

Museveni said the other alternative to the highly-priced import commodities is focusing on local substitutes like cassava and banana flour for bread, and sunflower, soya beans oil for cooking oil.

He reiterated his position that the government would not cut taxes to address the high commodity prices.

“Cutting taxes or subsidies, especially on imports, is suicidal because our people may buy carelessly and we end up draining our forex reserves,” he said.