EDITORâ€”I applaud the brains behind the new National Development Plan, which serves as a beacon of hope to Ugandans. As much as pessimists would suggest it is just another document, the realism with which it has been drafted makes me feel it is the path that will take us where Uganda wants to be.
I am especially excited by the new school of thought being propagated by our policy makers. Actually it is not new. Milton Keynes at the beginning of the last century postulated that actions taken by the micro-economic sector can, if not checked, greatly impact on the macro-economic policies.
This hypothesis had been ignored by the brains of today claiming that Government is a poor business actor and that the way to go is free markets, economic liberalisation and privatisation.
Experience is the best teacher. This plan dâ€™action was pursued in Britain and did not work and lately in the USA. Whether the IMF and the World Bank compelled us to emulate the liberalisation and privatisation policies thoughtfully or thoughtlessly, what comes out clearly now is the Government has got to play a key role in development, and not just throw everything to the private sector.
I support the first of the six five-year plans that the Government needs to move from a market economy to a quasi-market economy where both the Government and private sector are involved in production.
I believe that Government in the present day should relinquish the laissez-faire philosophy and play a more profound and regulatory role through its monetary and fiscal policies if we are to achieve our dreams as a nation.
That way our people would not be exploited through for example, high telecom tariffs, high electricity and fuel tariffs and the ridiculous high sugar prices on the local markets when sugar is produced locally, but instead exported so the producers can earn dollars, to the detriment of the Ugandan peasant.
Privatisation is not a magic wand