President expresses optimism about Uganda’s economy
President Yoweri Museveni has said that he is very optimistic about the Ugandan economy despite not exporting to some neighbouring countries and the effects of drought that the country has had.
The President was speaking at Serena Conference Centre after the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija had presented the 2017/2018 budget to the nation.
In the 2017/2018 national, the government has earmarked several areas that will be concentrated on including agriculture which has been allocated Shs.863.4 billion; infrastructure where Shs.3410 billion was allotted to the development of the roads sector while Shs.81.8 billion will go power development programmes.
The other sectors are Judiciary which received Shs.9 billion to dispose off a backlog of 28,000 cases in the next 3 years; water and environment received Shs.632 billion; youth and women Shs.67 billion whereby 5,700 youth projects will be handled under the Youth Livelihood Programme and health Shs.1.8 trillion. Government will also release Shs.300 billion to settle domestic arrears.
President Museveni explained that with peace and infrastructure development such as roads, railways and oil and gas mining, Uganda's economy will continue to grow.
"Peace is a big factor for development. No one has the capacity to disturb the peace. The lawlessness, which had come up, will be addressed. It is not such a big challenge," he said
The President said that infrastructure development especially rail and water transport will lower costs as far as the economy is concerned. He also said government is working towards lowering interest rates for manufacturers and farmers. The President said government will continue to fund operation wealth creation in the new budget to ensure that Ugandans get wealth and improve their living standards.
"We are continuing to attack poverty. We are struggling with subsistence farming. People must graduate from subsistence farming to food security and commercial agriculture," he said.
He called upon government leaders to work together to ensure that the youth become employed and property owners.
The President said that instead of exporting labour to foreign countries the youth should be empowered with skills such as weaving and sowing, carpentry among others which will boost Uganda's purchasing power.
"We have a much more educated population. The literacy rate is now 75% but we are exporting these to foreign countries to work as maids. We are squandering our purchasing power," he said.
Mr. Museveni observed that Uganda has many raw materials such as leather which are exported out of the country and yet the youth can take advantage of such resources to create jobs.