With great ideas, the Uganda’s future is bright
There is no secret with my love affair with Melbourne, the best and greatest city in the world as I have argued before on this blog . Australia is a nation defined by culture, history and diversity in its people. It escaped economic recession in 2010 that hit other western world economies because its success is determined by how healthy, capable and smart Australians are. In an article that I published a couple of months ago,I cited how libraries spread all over Melbourne helped inspire my thinking and the same could be said of Uganda. The country’s progress has taught me that despite devastation and deprivation during the colonial period inflicted on innocent Africans as noted by Martin Meredith in his book just like other parts of the continent,Uganda has made economic, social and political progress like no other country that has ever suffered more than a quarter century of political turmoil that came to an end courtesy of President Yoweri Museveni and his comrades. Under his stewardship, Uganda could become one of Africa’s strongest economies and develop into a economic power in sub saharan Africa. In a different way from the libraries in Melbourne, Uganda dynamism has taught me that anything is possible as long as you possess the right mentality needed to succeed as Uganda’s first Lady Janet Kataaha Museveni explained in her life’s journey.
Uganda has long been a shining star for more than two decades now but there are fields that government bureaucrats need to address starting with ability to provide a comprehensive health care program to all the citizens. The country boasts of highly educated and has one of the youngest populations in Africa. Quality of healthy people will be key in realization of the country great future following the recent discovery of oil in western Uganda’s Albertine region. With large numbers of Ugandans still mired in abject poverty, depending on your class in the society, majority of people are forced into making choices when it comes to education and health and more often rural folks who are the majority are shunted to the side when it comes to development and access to quality education and health facilities, overtaken by towns and cities. To guarantee Ugandans a better future, there is need for an introduction of comprehensive health care program that will help reduce maternal mortalities and address the dilapidation of colonial era built health facilities that continue to be underfunded and understaffed.
In order for the vision of the country to trickle down to the common man, Uganda should stop drifting apart from other East African countries and should do all whatever is possible to prevent protectionist policies being suggested by some local manufacturers, and instead continue on the path of trade liberalization in ways that uplift the well-being of all Ugandans and that is why I wrote before.Just like Tanzanian President said couple of months ago, stakeholders must also ensure that trade relations are not only strong but also balanced and address complaints that have been coming from traders complaining of how the regional integration has cost them millions of dollars in losses. There is also need to intensify efforts to stimulate investment within Uganda so as to maintain growth and create jobs to more than 8 million unemployed youths according to government of Uganda official figures released mid this year. There are tremendous opportunities for Ugandans as they are experiencing a rapid growth of the middle class and a rise in number of wealthy population and as I said in a previous article the country has a bright future.
I must laud the government of Uganda that has seen the urgent need to develop more and better infrastructure as an essential element for the country connectivity like the planned expansion of Entebbe International Airport, the country’s largest airport and one of the busiest in the region but there is need to involve more Ugandans in their plans. Involving them would help not only to facilitate trade and investment, but also boost job creation in the country. Kampala based technocrats should tackle inefficiency in the supply chain across the country that continues to cost business community millions of dollars annually. The Ugandan government has to make it easier, cheaper, and faster to conduct trade in goods and services across the country. In this regard, it is crucial that for the country to promote connectivity and support public-private partnerships to develop the needed infrastructure. The objective should be to make Uganda commonly referred to as pearl of Africa the epicenter for the East and Central Africa’s economic advancement and to accelerate development in coming years if sectors like health, tourism agriculture, mining, energy, industrialization, marine, tourism and telecommunications are prioritized and eventually will help realization of the much touted Vision 2040 that is expected to move the country to a middle income economy.