China is 'knocking' on our door: Uganda president

"The Chinese seem to have more spectacles for seeing business opportunities in Uganda here than your Western companies (...) The Chinese see the opportunities and they come, and they are knocking, and they are coming very vigorously."

That's Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in a Reuters exclusive interview.

Museveni has been in power since 1986 and one of Africa's longest-serving leaders.

And he says that Western companies may be losing interest in his country, but China is upping its game there.

He says Uganda was working to sign a number of deals with Chinese private sector lenders in sectors such as agro- and fertilizer-processing, minerals processing and textiles.

"I think it is a combination of ideology and the interest of people who want opportunities. But also the ideology is the government encourages them, I think encourages their private companies while the Western governments are lecturing us. You find somebody lecturing Yoweri Museveni, it is really madness. What are you telling me that I don't know? So, there is that disconnection between us and the Western systems."

Chinese state entities and private-sector firms have long been a driving force of investment in Africa, lending countries on the continent hundreds of billions of dollars as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

According to the Uganda Investment Authority, the country ranked third in Africa on foreign direct investment from China in recent years.

Talking about the fight against corruption, Museveni acknowledged more effort was needed.

"We started from the beginning by creating the law, putting in place the law, the institutions, but what I told your friends was that the problem has been the manning of those institutions. We think that sometimes they get also infiltrated and they don't become as effective and that is what we are sorting out.

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