President Museveni has said the country should now work towards attaining an upper rather than a lower middle-income status in a few years.
Uganda had envisioned attaining the upper–middle-income status by 2040 and to achieve this, the key medium-term target was attaining a lower-middle-income status with a per capita income of $1,039 by 2020.
However, this was not possible.
Speaking during the 36th liberation day celebrations at Kololo Independence Grounds on Wednesday, Museveni said had it not been for the Coronavirus pandemic that hit the entire world, the country would have attained the desired lower-middle income status by last year.
“In July the GDP per capita will be about 980 dollars that is very near the middle-income status which is $1039. In July we shall be about $50 short of the lower middle-income status. We would have achieved middle income status if it had not been for Covid .In this term we shall definitely achieve it because we are near,” Museveni said.
Giving an account of the last 36 years since the NRM captured power in 1986, Museveni said Uganda’s economy has grown by leaps and bounds, adding that the country will continue on this trajectory.
“The economy of Uganda now will be $44bn in July yet when we started (in 1986) it was only $1.5 million. This means that the economy has grown 29 times since that time in size. In 1986, the population was only 14 million but it is now 44.2 million.”
The president however noted that he can not be carried away but the achievements the country has got, noting that he was the economy to grow at a faster rate than it is now.
“I am not satisfied with this level of growth. It is high time we rapidly grow to an upper middle -income status and not low middle income status. I don’t fully agree with our planners who keep talking of this growth of 6% or 7%.We can grow rapidly to a much higher level because some of the people have already achieved high middle income status at individual , home stead of even area level. Some parts of the country have achieved this,” Museveni said.
“I am demanding from the NRM leaders that they should not only be called leaders when running around and not leading anybody anywhere. Everybody who has got land can increase their income. This is what I will demand for all those involved. We can’t go with this minimalist approach. We must take advantage of full potential of economy of Uganda.”
Museveni reminded the country of the four sectors of wealth creation including commercial agriculture, services, ICT and industries.
He said these will ensure the country attains the upper middle -income status.
“We want Uganda to be not just a low but an upper middle -income status. Don’t engage in empty talk without giving researched and clear guidance to the people. I am normally polite thinking people will do what I tell them but this time I am going to be rude.”