, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has challenged residents of the East African region to initiate programmes that will propel their countries to first world status.
President Museveni noted that agricultural based economies would not enable the countries to secure the future of their increasing populations adding that they must industrialise and move towards value added programmes that would enable raw agricultural products fetch high prices in the international market.
The Ugandan leader who spoke while proposing a toast to Kenya at State luncheon hosted by President Kibaki and the First Lady at State House, Nairobi paid glowing tribute to Kenyans for realizing the new constitutional order through consensus to entrench wide-ranging political reforms in various sectors of governance.
He urged other countries in the region to emulate Kenya so as to lay a firm foundation on which future generations can build on, to uplift their standards of living.
“East African countries have remained in the third world for a long time and it is time more transformational efforts were put in the way of doing things to catch up with the developed world”, President Museveni said.
He said the adoption of the new constitution in Kenya early this month was a loud democratic message Kenyans were relaying to the rest of the world that they were ready for change in management of affairs in their country.
The luncheon was attended by Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Ahmed Abdalla Sambi of the United Republic of Comoros, Zanzibar’s President Amani Abeid Karume, several retired Heads of State and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan among other dignitaries.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka thanked the country’s international friends and the visiting foreign dignitaries for the steadfast support extended to Kenyans during the defining moment.
Mr Musyoka specifically lauded the Saudi Arabian delegation to the Uhuru Park new constitution promulgation ceremony for breaking the Ramadhan fast to join Kenyans during the auspicious occasion.
The President in his busy schedule, soon thereafter witnessed the swearing in of Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Service Commanders, permanent secretaries, judges and other constitutional office holders in allegiance to and execution of the new constitution.
The oath was administered by the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura.
Later in Parliament, President Kibaki as the MP for Othaya led other legislators in taking oath of allegiance to and execution of the new constitution.