By John Vianney Ahumuza
Uganda has adopted a series of national development programmes aimed at transforming the economy. Previous plans have included the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP's) and the Ten Point Programmes that included Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA).
In 2007, a Comprehensive National Development Planning Frame work (CNDPF) was promulgated that would later be a spring board for establishing Vision 2040 whose implementation started in 2010. The Uganda Vision 2040 is a long -term plan containing aspirations of Ugandans to operationalise the country's Vision which is , " A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 Years".
It aims at transforming the country from predominantly peasant and low income country of per capita income $506 to a competitive upper middle income country of per capita income $9,500 by 2040. This will enable Uganda graduate into a lower middle income category by 2032 and attain its target in 2040.
In fulfillment of the above goals, the Government has proposed six National Development Plans(NDP's) each taking a period of five years up to 2040.The first National Development Plan(NDPI) was implemented in July 2010 and is due to expire on June 30,2015. This was aimed at setting stage for future economic growth through wealth creation. The midterm review noted lack of privatisation for better focus and lack of alignment of the budget system to national plan as key hindrances to NDPI implementation.
The National Planning Authority is in the process of developing the second National Development Plan (NDPII) on the theme, "Strengthening Uganda's competitiveness for wealth creation, inclusive growth and employment". The NDP II priority areas include; Agriculture, Tourism, Minerals, Infrastructure and Human Capital Development. These sectors have a greater multiplier effect that can propel Uganda to middle income country in the next five years.
The NDPII focuses on prioritisation and alignment of budgets to national plan. This plan is proposed in view of four strategic objectives namely: Increasing sustainable production, productivity and value addition in the identified priority primary growth drivers; Increasing with stock and quantity of strategic infrastructure to accelerate the country's competitiveness; enhancing human capital development to execute the planned interventions; and strengthening the mechanisms for quality, effective and efficient service delivery. The fundamentals in all these are infrastructure and Human Development.
The country must continue to recognise the role of infrastructural development enshrined in NDPII envisaged in transport projects, standard-gauge railway, Oil and Gas infrastructure, Energy and ICT as critical for national development.
The need for addressing infrastructure deficit to reduce the cost of business and the strategy to ensure that infrastructure is prioritised to aid exploitation of abundant opportunities is central in realising the NDP II theme , reducing poverty ;and setting a firm foundation for meeting Vision 2040 targets. Let’s all support this noble cause because a developed Uganda is everybody's pride.
The writer is a lecturer at Uganda Christian University -Mukono