By President Yoweri Museveni
After putting in place national systems for securing the physical health [immunizing against all killer diseases] and education of our people [UPE and USE], the next thing that NRM government had to do was to make sure we unlock the full potential of the economy to produce goods and services.
This is because without unlocking the economic potential of the country, we cannot create jobs through industrialization.
I identified the poor road network and low electricity generation as the next constraints to deal with in our quest for economic development.
In 2006, government expenditure prioritized construction of electricity and roads infrastructure.
The benefits of these roads to the economy are already enormous. With regard to electricity, we have also made very good progress.
In March this year, I commissioned the 183.2 megawatts Isimba hydropower dam. This increased power generation capacity in Uganda from 1,167 megawatts up from 984 megawatts. Our generation capacity will increase to 1,767 megawatts when Karuma is completed.
As a result of increased power generation capacity, we have begun to see industries coming up in the non- traditional industrial areas of the country.
For example, in Acholi sub region, an investor; Amina Moghe Hersi and the Uganda Development Corporation are putting up a sugar factory at Atiak in Amuru District.
The factory will employ over 3,500 people directly and another 8,000 will be employed in the plantations. In addition, close to 9000 households will each receive five acres under the out growers scheme.
I also commissioned a Fruit factory in Soroti which will process mangoes and oranges into concentrates and ready to drink juice.
In Kapeeka, I also commissioned Good Will Ceramics Company Limited. This factory has created about 2,000 jobs for both skilled and non-skilled employees.
Not far from Kapeeka, I commissioned at Kakooge in Nakasongola a wood processing plant that will employ over 1,300 jobs in the country. It will also save the country about 130 million US dollars in imports.
You can see that while people are busy politicking, I am busy creating employment for the young people. I am told that the new factories established in different industrial parks in the country have created about 47,000 jobs for Ugandans.
A good road network and sufficient energy supply also reduce the cost of doing business and lead to more local and foreign investments and job creation.
From the foregoing, it is clear that the government is concentrating on the fundamental issues that unlock the potential of the economy, attract investment and trade, spur economic growth and also create jobs.
Therefore, public officers demanding wages will have to wait a bit until we build the infrastructure necessary for creating the money that we shall use to pay public officers.
Editor’s note: Excerpts from President Museveni Speech on the occasion of 2019 International Labour Day, at Patongo in Agago District