President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has advised Ugandans to put efforts into adding value to all their raw materials before exporting, saying the country’s economic growth will be unstoppable if this is adhered to.
In his virtual 2023/24 budget speech to Parliament, which gathered at Kololo Independence Ground on Thursday, June 15, 2023, President Museveni said that the country’s economy has remained raw materials-based, calling for the need to add value to all raw materials such as coffee, cotton, timber, cocoa, fish products, gold, iron ore, copper, vermiculite, phosphates, petrochemicals, maize, bananas, etc.
“By doing this, our economy will jump to USD 550 billion instead of the mere USD 55.2 billion. Therefore, no games, no delays, no corruption, no relenting on PDM and Emyooga, Uganda is unstoppable,” Museveni emphasized.
The President revealed that Uganda’s economy has grown 37 times in size compared to that of 1986, when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government came into power.
He attributed the economic growth to the success registered on the three (3) tasks: minimum economic recovery, expansion of the sectors that had recovered, and diversification from the original narrow spectrum of the economy of the 3 C’s (cotton, coffee, and copper) and the 3 T’s (tobacco, tourism, and tea).
He said that Uganda is now able to earn money from other items such as fish, maize, milk, and gold in addition to the fourth task of the knowledge economy based on science and high technology.
The Minister of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija, said that the 2023–24 budget will support Uganda’s transformation from a raw materials-based economy to a manufacturing and knowledge-based economy since it promotes value addition, business growth, and job creation for the youth, women, and all Ugandans.
“The NRM Government has laid a strong foundation to accelerate the socio-economic transformation for all Ugandans. The budget for the next FY 2023–24, therefore, has been prepared to advance this strategic mission,” he said.
He also assured the country that the economy has remained resilient and is on a steady recovery path. He noted that the economy this year is projected to have grown by 5.5% compared to 4.6% last year.
He also revealed that inflation has significantly decreased since October 2022, when it peaked at 10.7%, noting that last month, the pace at which prices were rising slowed down to 6.2%.
“Prices of key items such as soap, sugar, and fuel at pumps, among others, have significantly reduced,” he noted.
The function was also attended by the Vice President Maj (Rtd) Jessica Alupo Rose Epel, His Lordship the Chief Justice and his Deputy, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa, the National Vice Chairperson of NRM Al-Hajji Moses Kigongo and NRM CEC members, the Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business Rt. Hon Robinah Nabbanja, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga, several cabinet ministers, among other government officials.
The budget was running under the theme: “Full Monetization of Uganda’s Economy through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialization, Expanding and Broadening Services, Digital Transformation, and Market Access.”