Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has suggested Liberia has huge deposit of iron ore that can be processed into steel and supply the entire African continent.
The West African nation has been sending money and jobs away from the country by surrendering its iron ore to multinational corporations for exploitation and export, he said.
Museveni who has been in office for more than three decades made the statement when Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor visited Uganda in search of investment opportunities.
Jewel asked Uganda Airlines starts direct flights to Monrovia.
Using natural resources to build industries would ensure Africa’s economic independence, she said while meeting President Museveni at State House Entebbe according to Ugandan media (Chimpreport).
“Free trade is about people working together to build a better sustaining Africa.
“We need an easier way to get back and forth. So I want to make that as my first request if it is possible to begin thinking about it.”
The veteran African Leader replied Liberia has better investment opportunities than Uganda.
“You have got I think 4 billion tons of iron ore. So you should be supplying the whole of Africa,” he said.
‘I told Sirleaf [former president] that why don’t you build a steel industry for the whole of Africa? Here [Uganda] we have got only I think 500 million tones but we are building a steel industry.
‘You should struggle very hard and build a steel industry. Apart from rubber you Liberians also have iron ore.
The President said when iron ore are exported unprocessed economics are cheated.
‘They are cheating you. Ugandans wanted to export iron ore I stopped them. They were going to pay the Indians 47$ per tom and then they take the iron ore to India and turn it into steel. Our iron ore here is very good. It is 70% pure. So, when you take a ton of iron ore you get 700kg out of it but they were going to pay them 47$ per ton and when they the Indians transformed it for them they get $550.
‘I said over my dead body. This will not happen when I am here. I stopped it but it is just the money; it’s the jobs because when the iron ore goes the people who will be working in the factories will not be Liberians. You are donating money but also jobs.