Busoga can overcome its predicament
Publish Date: Feb 21, 2014
  • 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
Makerere should negotiate with Parents, Guardians to reduce fees strikes
This week has been horrendous. There has been student unrest at Makerere and Kyambogo Universities respectively. For Makerere, it marks another vehemently ugly tale that has come to keep haunting the University each time important steps are made in her advancement as a premier institution in the co...
Empower the girl child
Uganda will on 11th Oct join the world to commemorate the third ever International day of the girl child. The national celebration premised on the global theme “The power of the adolescent girl, Vision 2030,” is based on one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were launched on 25th Sep...
NGOs in Development
As Ugandans pay homage to the thousands of people who sacrificed their lives so that the citizenry can always celebrate the end of colonialism, it’s becomes significant to thank the government too, for its steady leadership under the guidance of President Museveni that has provided an enabling grou...
Access to information vital for fight against graft
Uganda recently joined the rest of the African Union and Member states in marking September 28th as the International Right to Information Day....
Latigo: I am not on Amama’s campaign team!
Last Monday, many people spoke to me in tongues. I did not know that they had read the Red Pepper newspaper allegation that I was to head the presidential campaign of Amama Mbabazi (JPAM) in Northern Uganda....
The rise of corruption is the fall of economic development
Corruption has been around us from time immemorial, it has since then established itself world over. According to me corruption is a summarized meaning of broad day robbery, misappropriation of public funds, being self centered about a national matter, failure to deliver services as expected and th...
Should Makerere University fees policy be reviewed?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter