Opinion
Busoga can overcome its predicament
Publish Date: Feb 21, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Francis Mukunya

In recent times, the predicament facing Busoga sub- region has attracted a number of opinions. One of the most recent positions was by celebrated gospel artists, Judith Babirye.

She attributed it to a curse from God. In reaction, some people derided her position, and argued particularly that the jiggers problem needed good hygiene, and cemented floors etc.

It should be appreciated that, jiggers are not the only problem facing the sub- region. Indeed there are people who have taunted it as the capital of poverty.

Research data has also not helped matters. There are reports of high school drop out rates, high child abuse rates, and high domestic violence incidences, the list goes on.

The recent dent was in the just released 2013 PLE results, where Busoga had six of the 10 worst performing districts.

A comparative assessment of the Sub- region with other sub- regions in the country would show that Busoga has numerous advantages. It has a better road infrastructure. For instance, out of its 10 districts, six are connected by tarmac.

In addition, Busoga is the leading producer of the country’s sugar. It also produces most of Uganda’s electricity.

Further, aggregation of data from the UBOS 2013 statistical abstract, shows that Busoga is the leading producer of; maize, rice, and sweet potatoes.

Besides, it is also one of the major producers of many other cropsand products that include; coffee, cocoa, horticulture, poultry and fish. With its cool climate and beautiful sceneries, the area is a popular tourist destination. This is not to forget the noticeable manufacturing sector.

Regarding human resources, Busoga is not in short supply. Its parliamentary representation for instance, has generally retuned well educated and articulate members. Unfortunately for many, the glamour ends there.

When a region has all it takes to be prosperous, but it does not! Then one cannot help but concur with those who refer to it as a curse. So we perhaps do not need to totally dismiss Bibirye’s position.

Indeed, the phenomenon of curses and the associated remedial measures is well appreciated in all major faiths and our traditional societies.

However, it rarely finds space in modern public affairs discourse, because of the difficulty to adduce empirical scientific evidence.

That said, it was not until 1993, that British economist Richard Aunty coined the term the resource curse, to describe a related situation.

This is a paradoxical situation where countries or regions with abundance of natural resources tend to have less development outcomes compared those with fewer resources. And as recounted above, Busoga is not far from this picture.

Therefore, without discounting the other propositions earlier made, I suggest that the national and local leaders need to work together to find ways and means to address this disconnect between the resource abundance and the prevailing
unprecedented poverty.

Busoga being a small holder agricultural area, and in light of the current liberalised environment in the country, one critical issue is the need to build and support strong farmer organisations. This would strengthen the collective capabilities of the
people to enable them fully participate the value chains of each crop.

In the case of the maize crop for instance, the region should not be sending out maize gains, but  maize flour, animal feeds, eggs, poultry etc.

Ultimately, the breakthrough for Busoga will only happen when its people appreciate the great resource endowments bestowed on them by God; as sung in their anthem; and cultivate a mindset that inspires them to turn these advantages to
their benefit.

The writer is a a Development Economist from Busoga sub region

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Staying the Course in Europe’s East
As the European Union’s leaders gather in Riga for a summit with the six members of the EU’s “Eastern Partnership,” many recall the dramatic meeting in Vilnius of November 2013....
President Museveni is still right on creation of constituencies
This debate arises from the creation of 36 constituencies by President Yoweri Museveni. The people of Uganda should not criticise the creation of constituencies but argue for a strong policy....
Teachers strike; its high time government enforces contracts
On Tuesday morning, as I set out from home to town to begin my day, a village woman stopped me and requested me to offer her a lift which I did. Before she could settle in the car, she sought my opinion about the ‘silent’ teachers’ strike....
Channeling China’s aspirations
China has begun to stretch its economic and military muscles in recent years. In the South China Sea, it has built a series of quasi-military bases on the tiny Spratly Islands and deployed warships to defend them....
The missing meaning democracy
The decision to abandon relative peace and prosperity for brutal war and instability may seem irrational. But young people, born and raised in democratic societies, have increasingly been yielding to the appeal of death-dealing groups like the Islamic State, leaving their homes and families to wage...
Why Greece is Different,  Daniel Gros
By Daniel Gros The seemingly interminable negotiations between the new Greek government and its international creditors – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission – on a new loan deal have entered a dangerous phase....
Should politicians be banned from addressing religious gatherings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter