Vision 2040: How to build Uganda’s future
Few weeks ago, Uganda’s president His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni unveiled the country’s middle Income status development planned dubbed Vision 2040. It was clear that with an economy growing at more than 5% annually since for more than half a decade, Uganda like other African countries desperately needs to accelerate infrastructure and social development. With bottlenecks building up in just about every sector, the situation is dire and therefore the launch of the economic transformation plan is welcome. The government release of its master plan for the acceleration and expansion of Uganda’s economic prosperity, called for the construction of airports, seaports and highways to boost growth in rural and urban economies across the country through to 2040. Uganda estimates it will spend $200 billion to build the required infrastructure, with public-private partnerships seen making up 50% of the total spending. Although this has not happened as yet, public private partnerships are gaining favor in other developing economies of Africa.
However, after studying the Vision 2040, I do believer Ugandan government and other stakeholders will need to convince institutional investors that their private public partnerships in the country will be rock-solid and underpinned by a long term strategy and public sector commitment. Personally, I think it is crucial, therefore, that the government puts its weight behind such projects and even bankrolls the first few to attract serious investors who view Uganda as a stable and developing country. If Uganda does acts quickly and with a sense of urgency, it will surge ahead of its neighbors like Kenya and even fast growing Tanzania, which are investing heavily in infrastructure after recent discoveries of oil and gas respectively. There is need for people entrusted by the government to drive the vision, that public private partnerships are a viable model to build up infrastructure that can be effectively applied to Uganda well known as “pearl of Africa.” Progress has been made in the country over the last few years with better coordination between the national development agencies and as well as the passage of the new Land Laws that have led to digitization of land titles, the first of its kind in the region. Such initiatives need to be built upon and there is no doubt I will be part of the Vision 2040 as an investor.