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Government to focus on improving private sector development

By Edward Kayiwa

Added 26th July 2016 05:01 PM

Bahati said government has already secured sh220b to for coffee, cocoa and tea growing across the country,

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David Bahati, state minister for planning

Bahati said government has already secured sh220b to for coffee, cocoa and tea growing across the country,

The state minister for planning, David Bahati, has said government is determined to deliver Uganda into a lower mid-income economic status by 2020, regardless of the skepticism from both local and international bodies.

A lower mid income country, according to the World Bank, is supposed to have a Gross National Income (GNI) Per capita of at least $1,046 (sh3.518m).Uganda‘s GNI per capita is currently rated at$ 730 (sh 2.45m).

According to Bahati, this will be achieved through recapitalization of the Uganda Development Bank to provide cheap capital for local investments and putting emphasis on the agro processing value chain to boost exports.

He said government will also put emphasis on building a vibrant private sector and effective service delivery to ensure value for projects in the public sector.

“I have no doubts that by 2020, every Ugandan household will be earning at least sh3.5m annually, which we need to hit the lower mid income status. As government, we believe the strategies we have come up with will deliver this dream, so we need to be forward looking and aim at total economic stability,” he said.

This was during the Institute of Chattered Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) fourth economic forum at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe over the weekend.

Bahati said government has already secured sh220b to for coffee, cocoa and tea growing across the country, and also boosting the value addition chain, to increase exports and create jobs.  

“With this, we shall have more factories to provide jobs, which will in turn improve house hold incomes as the 4.8m households living in a subsistence economy will be turned into economically viable units that benefit the country,” he said.

However, according to the World Bank, Uganda will not be able to achieve middle income status within the next four years, given a sharp slowdown in its economic growth rate to approximately 5%.

The World Bank also cites a high population growth rate, high levels of unemployment and the existence of a large informal sector as hindrances to Uganda’ dream for a lower mid income status.

The executive director of the National Planning Authority, Joseph Muvawala said for a mid-income dream to be achieved, government must spend on critical areas of the economy and avoid wastage of resources.

“We cannot afford to spend the way we have been and continue to think of a mid-income status by 2020. We cannot continue to fail to absorb and having projects that are not well structured and think that we will grow .The fundamental for the next five years will therefore, be political will,” he said.

Muvawala also said Uganda’s population should be controlled to avoid putting pressure on the country’s resources.

He also said government should invest in  areas where the private sector are less willing to invest, regulate those areas, then leave most of the work to the private sector.

“This will boost production and improve our GDP. Currently the country is growing at 5% but to be confortable, we should be growing at 8%, and also ensure that exchange rate does not go beyond sh3500,” he said.

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