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Monetise rural Bugisu for development

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th August 2012 07:12 PM

Local government is one of Uganda’s iconic democratic symbols, especially since it ensures the transfer of power from the central government to the grassroots. This promotes public participation at the lowest levels through established structures.

Monetise rural Bugisu for development

Local government is one of Uganda’s iconic democratic symbols, especially since it ensures the transfer of power from the central government to the grassroots. This promotes public participation at the lowest levels through established structures.

Local government is one of Uganda’s iconic democratic symbols, especially since it ensures the transfer of power from the central government to the grassroots. This promotes public participation at the lowest levels through established structures.  

Before 1993, when decentralisation as a presidential policy was established, local administration structures were dogged by central government hegemony. 

Devolution and transfer of powers and responsibilities require a degree of autonomy. In Uganda this autonomy is represented by districts as pillars of local governance. A district is the basic unit of local government, which other lower local governments and administrative structures evolve.

Bugishu equation
Bugishu voted overwhelmingly for President Yoweri Museveni, perhaps hoping for a brighter future. However, since 80% of the population is rural, can this dream become a reality? The answer is yes, by using the tips of Prosperity-for-All. 

The first step is to monetise rural Bugishu, because they are the main growers of pure Arabica coffee. Other aspects include construction of roads and energy. For instance, Budadiri town council was connected to the national grid in 1958 and electricity was never extended beyond this point to help rural electrification for development. 

The prosperity-for-all policy also emphasises improving the lives of Ugandans by increasing income, access to quality food and nutrition, social services such as health, education, water and physical infrastructure on a sustainable basis. 

In this respect, the Government has committed herself to ensuring that households in Uganda earn at least sh20m per year. In Bugishu and Budadiri, in particular, this target can be met by identifying and supporting a combination of agricultural and non-agricultural enterprises that will maximise returns to households.

This calls for carving a new district out of Sironko to hasten the monetisation of the rural economy. 

As per the 2002 housing census, Budadiri East in the Budadiri county have a population of 186,676. The current population is estimated at 233,133 given a growth rate of 3.5% per annum. The big numbers makes it difficult to deliver services to the rural communities effectively and efficiently. 

Besides, Budadiri is reasonably large, but most of its sub-counties are in the mountains, which make them inaccessible, especially during the rainy season, explaining the need to bring services closer to the people. 

The poor state of many roads can be blamed on the limited resources available in Sironko district, which are inadequate for regular maintenance of the road network and other infrastructure. 

Political administration is easier when elected leaders are closer to the electorate, enhancing monitoring and supervision. 

The World Bank holds the view that good governance is a precursor to development. For the International Monetary Fund (IMF), good governance has been a precondition for financial support, not only to national government, but also to local governments that may wish to access its funds. To a large measure, a district, rather than the central government can promote democratic governance. 

It follows that the more districts in a country, the greater the incidence of a democratic culture there. 

The writer is a marketing and advertising consultant

 

Monetise rural Bugisu for development

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