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Museveni Calls For Focus On Socio-economic Transformation

Friday, 25th June 2021

In an upbeat state of the nation address last week, President Yoweri Museveni dismissed COVID and other challenges the country faces as temporary phenomena. Among those he named as temporary in particular were locusts, floods, rising water of the Lakes, land-slides and corona. He assured Ugandans that his government is  coping with them. But, he said, our real historical task is to cause social-economic transformation of our society. This society must move from it spre-capitalist, preindustrial way of life, to a middle-class, skilled working class society.

Recalling Ugandan capacity to produce a variety of raw materials, President Museveni said many such products had global markets. Maize and maize products for example had a world demand of 852 million metric tonnes, valued at US$153.4 billion. Maize was produced in large quantities in Uganda and could easily be bought from global markets, save for the poor quality of the product which Uganda puts on the market. He urged farmers and other actors in the maize value chain to get rid of the shameful aflatoxins ? caused by people who mishandle food in harvesting. Museveni told maize farmers in Uganda that Iran had expressed interest to buy all the maize produced in the country; as that country has an annual demand of 9.4 million tonnes.

The President reminded the country that Uganda has the advantage of many markets including: the internal market of Uganda boosted by increased purchasing power from all Ugandan homesteads; the East African market through the Community mechanism; the African market through CFTA; and the Global market. The latter was composed of  trade access agreements like AGOA, the Chinese preferential access market, the EU Enhanced Partnership Agreement etc.

State House Uganda has been a hub of activity in the last four or so days. No sooner had the President delivered the state of the nation address than he had to deliver an address updating Ugandan citizenry of the latest developments on the COVID pandemic. He advised the country to take note of the three variants of COVID which had found their way to Uganda; and to observe the standard operating procedures against the virus. Museveni then introduced a partial lockdown halting the re-opening of schools and cross-country movements with a few exceptions.

The latest activity from Uganda State House was the appointment of a post-election Cabinet, which saw women take the high ranking posts of Vice President and Prime Minister. Uganda thus has a woman Vice President in the form of Retired Major Jessica Alupo and a woman Prime Minister in the form of Ms Robinah Nabbanja.