President Yoweri Museveni has appealed to all people and organisations working to promote trade and investment in Uganda to put more efforts towards uplifting the 68% of Uganda’s population who are still living the subsistence way of life so that they join money economy.
He said that failure to do that would tantamount to all the country’s efforts towards promotion of trade, investment and industrialisation, not yielding meaningful results.
The President made the remarks while closing a two-day West Nile Investment Symposium 2019 at Muni University in Arua City in West Nile Sub-Region.
The symposium that run under the theme ‘Transformation of Africa’s Upper Nile Valley through Pan African Peace Building and Holistic Development’ was organised by the Department of Operation Wealth Creation in partnership with the Uganda Investment Authority and Muni University
The President said the 68% population is big fraction of the population are very important and if they join the money market they will be consumers who will not only boost the market but also equally be producers who will produce the much needed raw materials to sustain the industries.
“We can’t talk of attracting investment and industrialisation when the majority of Ugandans are still living in pre-capitalist economy and merely work for food. Even if you attract investors, if the country’s purchasing power is low, the factories will collapse because of lack of market,” he said.
“Getting the 68% of Ugandans into the money economy is crucial for us as a country but more so as leaders because leading people who have no money in a modern era, is criminal and a great betrayal to our people,” the President said.
He said that to attract investment, Uganda must ensure that goods in the country are produced cheaply and are of the high quality. He added that to do that, the country must address the cost of transport, electricity and the interest rates on money.