By Raymond Baguma
Mozambique President Armando Guebuza is expected in the country as guest at Uganda’s 51st Independence Day anniversary celebrations to be held at Rukungiri district stadium.
President Yoweri Museveni will preside over the event commemorated under the theme, “Reenergizing Uganda’s Development Potential: Middle Income Status Achievable.”
Guebuza, 70 from the ruling FRELIMO party, became President of Mozambique in 2005, taking over from Joaquim Chissano. He last came to Uganda in 2010 during the AU Heads of State Summit. Uganda and Mozambique share historical linkages in the post-independence liberation struggles.
During his student days at Dar es Salaam University, President Museveni formed the University Students’ African Revolutionary Front which was an activist group that underwent military training in FRELIMO territory in Mozambique.
“Hosting this day is done on a rotational basis and therefore Rukungiri district was given chance to host this year’s celebrations,” said Tumwebaze.
Addressing the press in Kampala, The Minister for Presidency Frank Tumwebaze said that the theme was in line with the implementation of the Vision 2040, which aims to transform Uganda to middle income status by 2040.
He added, “This 51st Independence anniversary marks an important period in the history of Uganda because we are starting a new era after having attained 50 years of independence. It is such a time when Ugandans should harness the achievements in the last fifty years and strive for a better and prosperous country.”
He said that Uganda’s economy has been growing steadily since 1986 in the sectors of telecommunication, energy, transport, tourism, construction and manufacturing. Also success has been witnessed in governance, security, education and health.
“For the case of education and health, most of the success is based on quantities. Our focus is now ensuring quality education and health service delivery because human development is key in driving the country to middle income status,” Tumwebaze said.
He said that as a consequence of good economic performance, poverty levels have declined from 56.4% in the early 1990s, to 24.5% currently.
Tumwebaze added the reenergizing the country’s development potential will require natural resource exploitation such as oil and gas, tourism, minerals, fresh ware resources, agricultural production, as well as investment in ICT, science and technology.
He however noted that Uganda still needs to improve its Balance of Payments position through import substitution by increasing and diversifying production.
Also, there is need for export promotion by improving standards, value addition, export incentives, and infrastructure development, according to Tumwebaze.