President Museveni said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Uganda’s economy grew by 3.3% in 2020. The head of state said this while addressing the 11th Parliament at the Kololo independence grounds on Friday as he noted that there was an economic growth registered from FY 2019/20 where the economy stood at 3 %.
He went on to highlight some of the challenges the country was faced with during this time and he said that despite all this, we were able to pull through and see our economy growing.
“2020 came with locusts, floods, the rising levels of the Lakes, landslides, floating islands, etc. Soon after, corona came in, starting with March 2020. I am happy to repeat to you what everybody knows,” said the head of state.
Additionally, he said that just like we made it through all those challenges, even the economy was able to survive and thrive to better heights as he noted his speech;
“Uganda did not only manage to cope with these challenges, but also the economy managed a modest expansion of 3 per cent for the financial year 2019- 2020 and will manage an expansion of 3.3 per cent for the financial year 2020-2021. If it had not been for Corona, the economy was projected to grow by 6.3 per cent and 6.2 percent in the financial years 2019-2020 and 2020- 2021, respectively. We defeated the locusts and coped with all the other problems.”
More to this, President Museveni informed that Uganda’s economy had grown a whole 31 times beyond what it stood at back in 1986 when he took on power and it is certainly heading for a middle income status.
Basing on his estimation, Uganda’s economy shall be equivalent to either $69 billion or $193 billion by the year 2026 through the triple P method.
He went on to say that this shall be attained through basic steps which he listed as commercial agriculture to realize increased agricultural products, industrialization, the service sector and the Information Communication Technology (ICT) to finish the job.
After this, President Museveni talked about the four main markets for Ugandan products as being the internal market within the country, the regional market which is the East African Community, the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) that is the African continent and finally the global market.
Aside from these, he went on to say that their other markets for our products as well as he pointed out the European Union and the AGOA among many other market.
Furthermore, President Museveni went on to point out some of the factors hindering our economic growth as he talked of the high costs of electricity, the high interest rates which he terms as exploitative commercial banks and high transport rates especially transportation by road.
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However, in a bid to curb some of these he said, “On the cost of money, we are continuing to fund the UDB ─ so that it can give loans for manufacturing, agriculture, some services (tourism, medical, etc.) and ICT (BPOs) at not more than 12 % and the more they lend, the lower the interest rate will become.”
While he addressed the challenge of high costs of energy by saying, “One solution that I have already ordered for Industrial Parks is to supply power directly from some of the Government dams to them. I will not be deflected from that.”