The permanent secretary in the ministry of Finance, Ramadhan Ggoobi has said that in order to fully recover from the effects of Covid-19, government has to take a number of initiatives including vaccinating a big number of the population.
Ggoobi said Covid-19 has affected economic growth, causing shortages in tax collections and forcing the government to rely more on foreign aid.
He made the remarks during a virtual economic forum conference organised by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU).
He noted that there was decline in the overall economic growth of between 3 and 4 percent in the financial year (FY) 2019/20 against the targeted growth.
The forum is an annual event that brings together experts from various sectors to discuss, share thoughts and generate solutions on salient issues that affect development of the economy.
On what is needed to stimulate economic growth and development for sustainability, Ggoobi said vaccination will be a game changer.
“The best of economic recovery will be increased and be sustained only when we are fully reopened and the game changer is vaccination, we are going to put money in this area to ensure that we get vaccines, there has been challenges in getting vaccines to the extent that people had started thinking that perhaps inefficiency is in the side of the Ministry of Health,” he said.
Ggoobi said it is also important to depart away from medium to long term goals in the National Development Plan and vision 2040 which he said it is very fantastic for the country.
The chief executive officer Federation of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) Uganda, John Walugembe said that the pandemic has affected SMEs especially those led by women.
He explained that entrepreneurs contribute to employment, tax payment, skills creation, empower women and youth but they are not given much attention like the creative industry.
“As country we spend more time praising musicians instead of entrepreneurship that make this country to run. Look at our programme, the focus on entrepreneurs is extremely limited because of those gaps in the entrepreneurship ecosystem,” he said.
He noted that some business were forced to close due to the effects of the pandemic.