By Mary Karugaba & David Mugabe
KAMPALA - President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday launched Uganda’s $200b development master plan at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala.
Launching Uganda Vision 2040, the President said he is optimistic that the programme is achievable with oil and gas money.
He made it clear that even without the oil money, with financial discipline, the country would use its own resources to achieve the plan.
He outlined a number of projects that the country has implemented over the years using local resources such as Mityana-Mubende, Jinja- Kamuli, Masaka-Mbarara and others.
The President said the country has already started showing signs that the vision is achievable even without oil money.
He said he supports the vision since it outlines issues covered in point 5 of the NRM 10-point programme specifi cally dealing with the building of an independent and integrated economy through export of processed products.
Museveni said the country loses $11.80 on every kilogramme of maize and coffee seeds to foreign markets.
“When we export unprocessed products, we lose a lot of money that would otherwise have been invested here and created more jobs and bi-products. Every export should be processed from here and we export fi nished products,” he emphasised.
GDP to grow to $25b
Museveni said that Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will soon grow to $25b compared to $1.5b in 1996.
This will be the same as that of Nigeria in 1992 or twice that of Kenya in 2006.
“This size of the economy will generate more taxes and increase the revenue collection needed for sustaining an independent economy.”
He said since 1986 the NRM has been working towards re-formalisation of the economy but some politicians have been frustrating the measures by blocking projects such as Bujagali dam.
“In 2001, some political leaders tried to block Bujagali Dam. It was only completed last year. Such people have caused problems but after some reflection, I realized where the problem was. I realized that we could not achieve our goal if we do not deal with the bottlenecks, he said
“When you bring a plan for a dam, it is opposed in Parliament and in government. How can people be so blind? I am so happy today that one agency of government (NPA) has developed a position that is in line with NRM vision.”
National Planning Authority Deputy Chairperson Abel Rwendeire unveils the logo for the Uganda Vision 2040 at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala on 15th April 2013. PHOTO/Maria Wamala
The 10 bottlenecks
The President identified ten bottlenecks to economic transformation.
These include ideological disorientation, inability to build state infrastructure, stifling the private sector, undeveloped human resource, inadequate infrastructure, small internal markets, undeveloped services, lack of industrialization, electricity shortage and lack of democracy.
He wondered why Africa has not realised the fact that the bottlenecks have been the biggest hindrance to development, especially electricity.
He was happy that Uganda has addressed some of the bottlenecks such as infrastructure and small markets through COMESA and EAC.
Uganda would need 42,000MW of electricity from all the sources, he stressed.
Revamping the transport sector
To achieve the plan the President said the Government needs to revamp the railway and water transport.
He warned government officials against frustrating the private sector by delaying their investments. He said an entrepreneur should be listened to, supported and encouraged.
Private sector reacts
Gerald Sendaula, the Private Sector Foundation chairman said the foundation supports the vision that will move the country to self-actualization.
“Each Ugandan should leave a life that is worth. We have just celebrated 50 years of independence and we must create jobs and train the youth in a conducive investment environment,” he said.
Core projects to be executed
- A high-tech ICT city and associated infrastructure
- Building five regional cities
- Science and technology parks in each regional city
- An oil refinery with associated pipeline
- Globally competitive skills
- Standard gauge railway
- Phosphate industry in Tororo for fertilizer in-puts
- Large irrigation schemes
- A nuclear and several hydro-power stations
- Centre of excellence in education
- Construction of multilane, paved road network linking major towns