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By Godfrey Olukya 28-3-2013

President Yoweri Museveni has invited BRICS Economic bloc countries to invest in the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Organisations (ICGLR) because doing so is good for business for the African sub regions and BRICS.

BRICS comprises of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and leaders of those countries are meeting in South Africa where they also invited several other heads of state.

Museveni who is the current chairman of COMESA and ICGLR was last evening addressing the fifth BRICS summit in Durban South Africa hosted by President Jacob Zuma.

The President said the return on investment in the three regions is 32 percent for the financial sector and 25 percent for real economy including manufacturing adding that BRICS can also help in providing soft loans on a country to country basis to build infrastructures in areas of electricity, roads, railways and harbours and industrial parks.

He hailed the South African private sector Telkoms Company MTN for revolutionizing the mobile phone industry in Uganda saying that before MTN came to Uganda, the country had 28 000 telephone lines but now it has gone up to 15 million telephone lines.

He told the Summit that the EAC and COMESA were started as vehicles of economic and political integration in order to reverse the process of colonialism that had fragmented the African continent politically and economically. He saluted those members of BRICS that supported the African peoples struggle for freedom.

‘It is good that this conference is now targeting to translate that historical linkage between Africa and some of the BRICS members into an updated relationship with implications for global securities, trade, investment and mutual support,’ he said.

He told them that even the process of colonisation was not complete until freedom fighters supported by progressive forces both in Africa and elsewhere defeated colonial powers and fought racists through armed struggles. He said the emergence of BRICS was a welcome phenomenon for the maintenance for global peace, security, economic development and prosperity for the people.

The conference was opened by the South Africa Leader, Jacob Zuma and was also addressed by President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Vladimir Putin of Russia, the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the Chinese President Xi Jinping and the host President Zuma. African Regional Bodies attending included the NEPAD, ECOWAS, EGAD, SADC and the Arab Maghreb Union.

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