A slightly edited 2019 State of the Nation Address
• Museveni impressed by economic growth of Uganda
• Corruption is now public enemy no. 1
• Mulago to be a super-specialized Hospital.
• agriculture mechanization, 280 tractors secured
• 7.8 million Ugandans are now linked to grid power
• Tourism: government targets 4 million tourist arrivals
Madam Speaker, in fulfilment of the Constitutional requirement under Article 101 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I am here to deliver the State of the Nation Address, 2019.
The NRM Government remains committed to ensuring a secure and peaceful Uganda. This has come about by promoting and upholding patriotism, democracy and good governance as core values for National socio-economic transformation.
Significant focus has been placed on professionalizing and modernizing the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and building the Uganda Police Force (UPF) capabilities.
I addressed a special sitting of Parliament on the 20th of June, 2018, where I outlined the measures we had decided to take to cope with the heightened crime. A number of those measures are being implemented. As I assured the country, that crime wave will be defeated.
The recent peaceful holding of the Martyrs Day, where an estimated 3 million people turned up, shows that Police and the UPDF already have good capacity.
Between 1986 and 2015, the economy grew at an annual average rate of 6.92% while per capita income grew at an annual average rate of 3.6% over the same period.
No European country, not even the USA (except West Germany between 1950 and 1980 which did 3.8%) has grown its per capita income at the same rate as Uganda over a period of three decades.
The growth of the per capita income at such high rate was in spite of the high rates of population growth of 3.3% per annum.
To put it in a global context, between 1986 and 2015, Uganda was the 17th fastest growing economy in the world, the 4th in Africa. If we remove mineral-rich countries from the sample (because they were enjoying God’s or nature’s bounty), Uganda was 11th in the world, 1st in Africa.
This achievement is the more impressive because Uganda was in civil war from 1986 to 2005. The country is surrounded by Sudan to the north, which was in civil war for the first 20 years of Uganda’s growth (1986 to 2005).
To the west is DR Congo, which has been in civil war between 1996 to now. To the south is Rwanda, which was in civil war between 1990 and 1994. To the east is Kenya, which was stagnating economically between 1986 and 2002.
Performance of the Economy
The size of the economy is Shs 109.738 trillion in FY 2018/19 equivalent of USD 29.5 bn. The income per person is now equivalent to US$ 800.
Although this is below the level required to the attainment of the Middle Income Status, the renewed impetus of the economy and the large economic base being created will catapult the economy to prosperity within a short period in the future.
In order to regionalize the delivery of Water for Agriculture Production services across the country, Government has opened up Regional Mechanization Centers in South Western Region (at Buwama) and North Eastern Region (at Agwata).
Using the acquired heavy earth moving equipment, Government constructed and rehabilitated valley tanks in the drought and cattle corridor Districts country wide.
The number of valley tanks increased by 83 from 155 in December, 2017 to 238 in December, 2018 with a total holding capacity increasing from 8,000,000million cm3 to 9,245,000million cm³ in the same period.
This has improved the number of farmers accessing and utilizing water for irrigation, aquaculture and livestock from 5% to 8%.
To boost agriculture mechanization, 280 tractors were procured and distributed to farmer groups. The Government intends to procure an additional 100 tractors in FY 2019/20.
Government has enhanced the production of key strategic commodities for Exports and Domestic Value Addition.
Cotton: lint bales increased from 151,071 in 2016/17 to 202,357 bales in 2017/18. As a result, the contribution of cotton to household incomes rose from about UGX 136 billion in 2016/17 to UGX 188 billion in 2017/18.
Milk: Milk annual production increased from 2.08 billion litres in 2015 to 2.5 billion litres in 2018 and is projected to increase to 3.35 billion litres by the end of 2019. The value of marketed milk has increased by 15% from USD 716 million in 2015 to USD 850 million 2018.
Beef: To improve production of quality beef, Government has constructed a modern holding ground (5 square miles) and an Animal Quarantine station (4 square miles) to fatten bulls. These bulls will be supplied to the modern export abattoir in Bombo.
ENERGY AND MINERAL DEVELOPMENT
Electricity Generation Capacity: Over the last one year, a total of 206.6MW was added to the power generation system. Of the new capacity, 183MW was from Isimba Hydropower project commissioned on 21st March, 2019; and 23.6MW was from the GETFiT (Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tarrif) projects.
Nuclear Power Development: Government has completed pre-feasibility studies for a 2000MW Nuclear Power Project following the identification of eight (8) potential sites for nuclear power plants in the Districts of Buyende, Kiruhura, Lamwo, Mubende and Nakasongola.
The system power demand has grown by 10% from 605MW at the start of the FY 2018/19 to the current 670MW.
Government has consequently implemented over 10,000 km of Medium Voltage (MV) power lines and approximately 9,000 km of Low Voltage (LV) distribution power lines.
This has translated into the connections of over 1.3 million customers onto the national grid and the increment of the rural electrification access rate from 1% in 2001 to over 13% in 2019.
This means that a total of about 7.8 million Ugandans are now linked to grid power. Additionally, another 500,000 customers are connected to power off the grid. This means that a total of about 3million people access power off grid.
WORKS AND TRANSPORT
Revival of the National Airline: the two Bombardier CRJ900s were received on 23rd April, 2019. Government revived the National carrier which had ceased operations. Commercial operations are expected to commence in July, 2019.
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR): Government continues to fast track the development of the Standard Gauge Railway with the expectation to improve the quality of the transport system and provide a globally competitive quality service.
Standard Gauge Railway (SGR): Acquiring 93.9Acres of land for the Right of Way and 376 Project Affected Persons (PAP) were compensated. The Uganda Railways Cooperation (URC) re-instated freight services across Lake Victoria (central corridor) and passenger train services on the Namanve-Kampala passenger line.
Tourism continues to be the leading foreign exchange earner for Uganda generating US$1.45 bn foreign exchange earnings in 2017 compared to USD 1.37 bn in 2016.
Although the proportion of leisure visitors to total visitor arrivals is still relatively small, it increased from 18 % in 2016 to 20.1 % in 2017 and Tourist arrivals into Uganda have steadily increased from 850,000 in 2008 to over 1.4 million arrivals in 2017.
The overall goal for the Government is to attract 4 million tourist arrivals and increase the contribution of tourism to GDP from Shillings 7.3 trillion to Shillings 14.68 trillion at the end of the year 2020.
The tempo of Uganda’s development is, however, interfered with by the action of corrupt public servants and political actors. That is why corruption is now public enemy no. 1. Hence, the Government has put in place a number of strategies to eliminate corruption and promote the principle of zero tolerance to corruption.
Government has provided more funding to the Inspectorate of Government to increase their capacity to verify the Leaders’ Declaration. The verification exercise will be increased further to crack down on Public Officers who have illicitly acquired wealth at the expense of effective service delivery to the citizens.
Prevention of corruption has been enhanced by increasing citizen participation in the monitoring of Government programs and encouraging citizens to report cases related to abuse of public funds.
A new Unit was created headed by Lt. Colonel Edith Nakalema. There is a 24 hours Call-Centre where people can report bribery cases, embezzlement, land evictions, crime, etc.
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
On the side of human capital, I would like to comment on education and health. Since the elections in 2016, a total of 256 new classrooms for Government Primary Schools have been added. This brings the total number of classrooms in permanent materials for Government Primary Schools to 102,557.
The Government Primary Schools are now 12,437 in total. Out of 9,096 old parishes in Uganda, there is, at least, one Primary School in 6,167 parishes. The only parishes without Government Primary Schools are: 1,100.
The total enrolment of pupils in Government Primary Schools is 7,107,202millions. The enrolment of pupils in Private Schools is 1,733,387millions. The total enrolment in Primary Schools, therefore, in government and Private Schools is 8,840,589millions. In the Government Primary Schools, the teacher-pupils ratio is: 1:43.
Since 2016, a total of 48 new classrooms in permanent materials have been added to the stock of classrooms for the Government Secondary Schools.
The total number of classrooms for Government Secondary Schools is now 12,696. There are 1,194 Government Secondary Schools with an enrolment of 679,215 students. The Private Secondary Schools are 8,269 with an enrolment of 778,062 students.
The total enrolment of students in Government and private Secondary Schools is now 1,457,277millions.
There are 99 Government Technical and Vocational Schools with a total enrolment of 70,248 students. The Universities in Uganda are today 50; 11 of them being Public Universities.
The total enrolment in Universities is 186,412 (96,305 in public universities and 90,107 in private ones).
These do not mean much for a population of 41 million people that, moreover, will be 81 million people by 2040. It is the private sector, in the form of the four sectors (commercial agriculture, industry, services and ICT) that will create jobs and wealth.
On the issue of health, there is a total of 19 referral hospitals including Mulago. Mulago is trying to be a super-specialized Hospital.
With some partners, we are building super-specialized hospitals in Lubowa and another one by HH the Aga Khan. The aim of this is to stop the haemorrhage of money to the outside. Each year, Uganda has been losing US$ 187million to the outside (India) for medical reasons.
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