Just as a father takes it upon himself to be the source of hope for his family in times of difficulty, President Museveni has from time to time taken it upon himself to reaffirm his belief in the fact that the Ugandan economy is not going to be hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic as most people are predicting.
In his Labour Day address that has just been concluded, President Museveni provided not just a ray, but a full beam of hope to Ugandans that are being pessimistic about the state of the country’s economy during and after the pandemic.
The President pointed out that it is true some ‘fair weather’ sectors have been hit hard and put on a standstill by the pandemic, but several others are still standing and those that have not been performing well will only thrive even more.
Tourism, and hotels, restaurants and bars, sports, music and entertainment and all other activities of leisure and pleasure are currently on hold, but all weather sectors like agriculture, and manufacturing are only going to grow.
For the manufacturing sector, the President preached nothing but import substitution, where manufacturers produce all the previously imported good here. Plans are in place for products like industrial sugar used in making medicine and beverages, starch, leather, milk products and weapons for defense to be produced locally for both local consumption, and export.
“We have 14 million cows, 14 million goats, and sheep but we have been importing shoes, handbags and all leather. Some of our young people are making shoes because we trained them but they are using imported leather from I don’t know where,” Museveni said, adding that that problem is going to be solved because machines have been imported to process leather locally.
The President said that the process of driving our manufacturing sector will be done together with the private sector, with government doing its part through Uganda Development Bank (UDB) that will provide loans at low interest rates.