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Uganda will soon join first world - Museveni

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd October 2012 09:51 AM

Uganda will soon catch up with the most prosperous countries since it has already identified and overcome most of the strategic mistakes to its development, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

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Uganda will soon catch up with the most prosperous countries since it has already identified and overcome most of the strategic mistakes to its development, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

By Cyprian Musoke and Moses Mulondo

Uganda will soon catch up with the most prosperous countries since it has already identified and overcome most of the strategic mistakes to its development, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

Addressing guests at the Presidential Public Lecture at Serena Hotel on Tuesday, the President said in the next few years, Uganda will be in the league of first-world countries.

“This century is for Ugandans and Africans. Uganda will be at par with most prosperous countries. We have the means. We know what is lacking and have always had the will. What is good is that the strategic mistakes have been discovered,” he said.

The theme of the lecture was, “A 50-year journey since independence (1962- 2012): A Good foundation for social and economic transformation.” The First Lady, Janet Museveni; ministers, diplomats, academicians, members of the business community, Members of Parliament and schoolchildren attended .

The President listed the 10 strategic bottlenecks that had impeded Uganda’s take-off as ideological disorientation, sorting out of the army, private sector, human resource development, infrastructure, market, industries, the service sector, agriculture and democracy.

“NRM identified these and addressed them but some groups are promoting sectarianism. No group should be allowed to derail us,” he stressed.

The NRM, he noted stands for the key pillars of nationalism, Pan-Africanism, human and infrastructural development and will not allow sectarian and retrogressive forces. He said although democracy has been attained, some “charlatans” want to turn the gains around through sowing anarchy.

On calls for increased remuneration in the service sector, he appealed to Ugandans to first agree on increasing the remuneration of scientists.

“The other day I bought new planes for Soroti Flying School, and when I asked why their problems persisted since I thought it was corruption, I was told that commercial pilots are paid sh25m which Soroti was not paying. So, there were no instructors,” he said.

“We don’t have enough money to pay all of us well. So, let’s first pay the crucial sectors,” he said.

On electricity, he said Uganda with its resources of hydro-power, petroleum and gas coupled with rich soils, industries will be spurred into leapfrogging the country into the first world.

The President emphasized export-led growth other than import-oriented growth “such that we send our produce to those people with big pockets.

Africa is big, but there is not a big enough market hence the need to target those big markets”.

Responding to remarks on term limits, he said, “In our Constitution we removed term limits but there are term limits still — one cannot rule beyond the age of 75.

In Israel there are no limits at all that’s why Shimon Peres has been active in his country’s politics since the 1920s.

Sometimes he is voted, while other times he is not voted. “Africa’s problem is not who, it is what,” he stressed.

“The ‘who’ can be important if the ‘what’ is answered. If you do not answer ‘what’, you cannot go far,” the President added.

“Even if you get a new bunch of leaders without addressing the what, there will not be any difference. This debate on term limits is just a diversion and I have no much interest in it,” he said.
On the concern raised by Dr. Ezra Suruma concerning the need for Uganda to give priority to the use of fertilisers, Museveni said plans are underway for the factory for producing fertilisers to be put in place.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, at the President’s request, explained that the Indian investors who were licensed to construct the factory were waiting for the Government to compensate the occupants of the land sh40b is required.

Although the National Planning Authority projected Uganda would become a first world country in 2040, the President said it would take the country only 15 years to get there when the oil money starts flowing in and when more infrastructure and electricity are created as he has planned.

He said in a few years to come Uganda will be at the same level of development with the US and European countries, and even be better than many of them. 

Uganda will soon join first world - Museveni

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