Government tipped to unleash potential of Ugandan economy

Civil society representatives praised the Ugandan government for its efforts to improve the country’s economy, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic which frustrated most business operations and weakened the economy.

They noted that although the government has put in place measures such as the recapitalization of the Uganda Development Bank (UDB), the introduction of the Parish Development Model (PDM), pledging to stimulate the substitution of imports, the provision of food aid to the poor and to drought-stricken areas like Karamoja, among others. , there is still much to be done to improve the economy.

The Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) Uganda has proposed that the government consider addressing policy inconsistencies in government planning and actions.

“The PDM should be redesigned to address the challenges of production, productivity, value addition and utilization of available markets. The PDM should also be piloted to identify specific issues with its implementation to inform necessary adjustments to the model prior to national roll-out,” said SEATINI Uganda Executive Director Jane Nalunga.

She noted that the government should also focus on entering available markets by negotiating and signing product-specific agreements.

“For example, earlier this year, Kenya and China signed six trade agreements and also formed a joint task force to eliminate trade barriers between the two countries to reduce trade imbalances.12 Kenya has shipped 44 .26 million kg of avocados, earning 6.09 billion shillings (about US$51.18 million) in the first six months of 2022.13 Additionally, other countries like India and Malaysia are now engaging Kenya on the same deal,” Nalunga said.

They also asked the government to speed up the development of the governance framework for tax expenditures.

“Review the 2019 law on the investment code to encourage investors to reinvest their profits in the country. Performance requirements should be put in place to ensure that investors provide decent jobs to citizens, ensure technology transfer and respect human and environmental rights, especially in host communities where investments are located. Address land investments,” the joint statement read.

“They should establish and maintain food reserves in different regions of the country to ensure real-time deliveries to vulnerable households during crises, while ensuring that food stocks are monitored and replenished.”

They noted that once these are established, they would ensure that good quality food aid is stored and distributed to vulnerable households, as opposed to stakeholders pooling food of different qualities or standards. quality.

They also urged non-state actors (civil society organizations, academia, media and the private sector) to undertake evidence-based research in critical sectors of the economy to generate reliable data that can inform planning and government interventions.

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