By Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda
Sunday 12th May 2019 will mark three years since HE President Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Movement started a five year mandate of leading the country following the 18th February 2016 General elections.
Through the NRM Manifesto for that election, the NRM government pledged to take the country to Modernity through job creation and inclusive development.
I am pleased to launch today, activities of accountability to the country, about how far we have gone in implementing the manifesto, three years into this term of office.
I would like to thank the Manifesto Implementation Unit, under the Hon. Minister of Presidency, Hon. Mbayo and the technical team led by Mr Willis Bashasha for driving this process and organising this Manifesto Week.
Three years into this term of office, we would like to inform Ugandans that we are on course, making steady progress, to achieve the targets we set together with the people of Uganda.
We are using this Manifesto Week to take stock of what has been achieved so far, the challenges that we have encountered, the steps being undertaken to address those challenges, and the roadmap to accomplish the remaining tasks.
Overall, our assessment of the implementation of the Manifesto commitments to date stands at 62 percent.
In the implementation of the Manifesto, we are guided by the 23 Directives issued by HE President Museveni at the first Cabinet Meeting in June 2016, highlighting the critical priority areas that need to be attended to, in order to achieve our goals.
I would like now to mention some specific milestones we have accomplished in the last three years:
1. We have completed and commissioned Isimba Dam which has added 183 MW of electricity on the grid. Generation of reliable energy is critical to attracting investments and driving industrialisation.
2. We promised the country that we will revive Uganda Airlines during this term of office. I am pleased to report, as you already know, that two of the four aircrafts were received in the country only two weeks ago. We expect the airline to begin operations in the next 2 months. This will open Uganda to many opportunities, boost tourism, raise our flag and brand country.
3. We have completed and commissioned the Neo-natal and Specialised Women hospital at Mulago. This a sign of NRM’s continued commitment to improvement of the health children, daughters and mothers.
4. The rehabilitation of Mulago National Referral Hospital is nearing completion.
5. On industrialization, you may all be aware that the President has over the past months been launching and opening several factories that produce goods ranging from food products to agricultural inputs and other essentials. Besides producing goods and services, these industries employ many Ugandans, utilise local raw materials and pay taxes into our national treasury.
6. The Entebbe-Kampala Expressway is complete and was commissioned by the President last year. This is easing traffic flow from Entebbe International Airport to Kampala city and the surroundings.
7. The Nile Bridge has been completed and commissioned.
8. On energy –Karuma Dam will be completed by close of the year and this will add additional 600 MW to the national grid. All our District headquarters are now connected to power save for a few districts which will be connected soon. In addition, money has been mobilized to embark on connecting all our sub counties by close of 2020
9. Work on expansion and modernisation of Entebbe International Airport to accommodate the volume of increasing traffic is also progressing well.
10. In the education sector money was mobilised and Government policy of establishing government aided secondary school for each sub county is on target.
11. We have continued to prioritise investments in agriculture as the backbone of our economy with provision of pesticides, seedlings and extension services to farmers. The recruitment of extension workers in particular will provide farmers with the knowledge and skills to handle their activities professionally and with a business mind.
13. Good work is also being done on increasing coffee production. For example, coffee exported has grown from 3.5 million bags last year to 4.1 million bags to date, bring in USD 490 million.
14. I would like to state that the fundamentals of the economy that are responsible for rapid economic growth are being systematically dealt with. It is not surprising that our GDP growth rate that had declined due to severe drought among other factors has regained pace 6 percent.
15. On investments, the Government is working to improve the investment climate to reduce the cost of doing business and attract investors.
17. The fight against corruption has been re-enforced by the recent establishment of a State House unit led by Lt Col Edith Nakalema to fight corruption.
18. In conclusion, I call upon the public to take interest in these programmes, and by this launch, I am also calling upon all the leaders at the local government levels to organise to use radios and other media to tell our people about the implementation of Government programmes in their various locations.
Editor’s note: Prime Minister’s remarks at the launch of the manifesto week 2019