By Andrew Ssenyonga
Ugandan vice president, Edward Ssekandi, has urged religious institutions to embark on income generating activities and stop relying on donor funds.
In a message delivered on his behalf by the deputy Attorney General, Ssekandi argued that such projects can sustain institutions’ activities and contribute to the economic development of the country.
He said Uganda has become self-reliant since it is funding the biggest percentage of its infrastructural development.
“We used to beg from African Development Bank, World Bank, Arab countries, but now we can rely on our own funding,” said the VP, whose speech was read by Fred Ruhindi, who is also the state minister for justice and constitutional affairs.
“I ask churches and mosques to also become self-reliant to support their projects.”
This was at a function aimed at raising funds amounting to sh500m to purchase land for the Banda Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) community.
The event was organised by Kyambogo University SDA students on Saturday.
“The church’s location within Kampala city is an added advantage to you. I urge you, therefore, to work hard to make sure that you exploit this location in the commercial centre of Uganda to put up money-generating projects, to support the church,” advised the deputy president.
Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi (left) chats with officials. PHOTO/Agnes Nantambi
The church looks to raise sh500m to purchase land for the Banda Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) community. PHOTO/Agnes Nantambi
Banda SDA community church pastor, James Gumikiriza, said the complex of the church, once raised, will house hostels, a supermarket, health club and a kindergarten, expected to raise sh1bn annually.
Ssekandi pledged sh5m towards the project while Ruhindi, who is also the area MP, contributed sh1m. A total of sh185m was raised in cash and pledges.
On his part, Ruhindi encouraged the church to establish income-generating ventures to support the youth to acquire skills towards nation building.
He cited ventures like training centres – where the youth can be educated on topical issues and social vices – rural banks, fruit processing companies and construction of guest houses.
The minister said the church's partnership with the government was critical for building Uganda's human resource base and attainment of a middle-income status by 2020.
Ruhindi also asked them to support government programmes to fight poverty.
The Nakawa division MP noted that when all Ugandans become rich, they will contribute generously to the church.