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Museveni pushes for an economy of independence

Saturday, 2nd May 2020


President Museveni has strongly recommended increased domestic production,import substitution and export promotion as a way to strengthen the Ugandan economy. The President made this call in his May Day Message to the nation. He made a special appeal to employers not lay off workers; asking them instead to give all employees leave till the corona-virus situation normalizes.

President Museveni said his mission is to transform the Ugandan economy from dependence to an economy of independence. Accordingly he announced a set of 12 post-coronavirus recovery measures. These range from boosting the capital base of Uganda Development Bank so it can provide investment capital for SMES;  to promoting the production of fresh steel and other building products like cement, tiles and marble. Other measures include promoting a local textile industry and boosting food processing for domestic consumption. The measures cover the promotion of manufacturing in a wide range of areas including in the area of defence. Uganda leather and its potential features in the measures the President outlined to boost economic recovery and growth. Museveni was confident that the implementation of these measures should translate into job-creation and more money in the pockets of Ugandans.

He allayed fears of total economic meltdown, underlining that the economy has suffered a temporary setback, but would recover quickly. The President said that the sectors which provide the back bone to Ugandan economic growth are agriculture, food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, clothing, leather, shelter (real estate), and trade. Many of these sectors had been operating even under lockdown. The President expressed optimism on post-pandemic economic recovery and growth saying that the country had laid a firm enabling basis for fast economic growth by taking care of growth enablers. He enumerated the seas being: stability, infrastructure such as electricity, roads and railway, raw materials, and a skilled labour force.

President Museveni reassured sectors which had suffered Covid-19 shock like tourism; and the associated hospitality industry of hotels, travel,entertainment, sports, music, etc. He expressed great optimism at their bouncing back and recouping losses on account of the strong performance Uganda had shown in her fight against Covid-19. As a result of this performance, the country had acquired a highly favourable reputation for its handling of the pandemic;as well as for the prevailing peace, security and stability.