President Museveni has said Uganda’s economy will emerge out of the Coronavirus pandemic bigger and stronger.
Speaking while delivering his State of the Nation Address, the president said whereas leisure and pleasure sectors like tourism and entertainment are suffering greatly, real economy which also includes industries and agriculture have not been affected.
“The real economy deals with the basic human needs. It is durable. Even in wars, this economy will survive. It is comprised of agriculture, industry, ICT and some of the services,”Museveni said.
“By March 2020, we didn’t have any single factory making masks, now we have many factories manufacturing masks. By March 2020 we had two factories, Luwero Industries and Saraya making Sanitizers, we now have 107 factories making sanitizers.”
The president explained that whereas it is now 78 days since he imposed the lockdown, the economy has not suffered to the extent predicted by many.
He said that products like coffee, tea, fish and fish are still being exported to earn the country foreign exchange despite the lockdown.
Museveni said Uganda is lucky to have everything including agriculture that produces everything, factories that can process anything from the farms, large educated class, large regional and international markets.
“In spite of the obstructions by the neo-colonial actors and foreign backers, Uganda is able to stand up today and weather this storm because of the correct actions we took.”
President Museveni said that the Coronavirus pandemic has presented a rare opportunity for the country to adopt import substitution as a strategy for its growth.
“Coronavirus has blocked the channel of dependence on colonial foreigners. Uganda has been importing animal feeds worth shs.28billion per year yet, these are from cassava, maize, etc ─ crops that we have in plenty here ─ cassava, 4.1million tonnes per annum; and maize, five million tonnes per annum. We can start making them here.”
“Uganda uses $383 million to import medicines and vaccines for human beings and animals per year. We shall manufacture them here. We are growing to produce more and better livestock activities to achieve more for local regional and international markets. Like floor from banana can make better bread compared to wheat.”
The President told the country that many other products like Paper, glass products, automobiles will be produced here to avoid dependence on importation.
Museveni however said that his NRA 10 point program faced resistance in the bush, “even more resistance now from colonial influences and opposition”, adding that his government would have achieved more if not for opposition which has made them maintain the bush mentality.