Uganda’s economy must reach a new goal in the upcoming years, according to President Museveni.
The president stated that although the nation has already acquired the rank of low middle income, the goal now is to aspire higher while speaking at the 37th freedom anniversary in the Kakumiro district.
“Our economy has grown from a miserable $1.5 billion in 1986, to $48 billion by end of June 2023. We have already entered the middle income status they are talking about but you need three years consecutively to be recognized as a middle income country and in my view all these are low targets that Uganda will easily surpass,” Museveni said.
According to official figures, Uganda’s GDP is estimated to be worth $131 billion using the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) approach or $45.7 billion using the exchange rate method.
If a few things are done correctly, the president claimed, the nation can simply progress beyond its current low middle income status.
“In my view, all those are low targets, which Uganda will easily surpass. Why? You remember my admonitions about losing value through the export of raw-materials. This low middle-income economy we are now talking about, is still, actually, mainly a raw materials producing economy, where for a kilogram of $5 coffee, we get $2 for bean coffee while the wiser foreigners who roast the coffee, grind it and pack it for sale in supermarkets, get 50 for the same kilogram.”
He claimed that by adding value to the country’s agricultural products, the economy could quickly improve its existing standing as a middle-income country with a low income.
“We are going to add value to more and more of our coffee and the other raw materials – cotton, maize, forest products, minerals, etc. This broad spectrum value addition movement will jumpstart our economy in a fairly short time to a- half-trillion economy ($ 500 billion).”
“ We now have the electricity and we are adding more, we have the varied and massive raw materials and, increasingly, we have the entrepreneurs – local and foreign and we have the African market that we have put in place with our Pan-Africanist Comrades.”
The president argued that Ugandans must prioritize wealth generation and economic development.
He pointed out that social-economic transformation calls for the entire society to advance along two axes of economically sound wealth creation and widespread education.
“The NRM has, however, all this time, been telling you that you do not eat tarmac roads but you eat the food that you have either grown or bought. The same applies to clothing, housing, mode of locomotion, etc. The latter, are all part of wealth and the former are part of development. Therefore, for wealth, we are telling you that every adult must engage in wealth for money with proper calculation , either as an entrepreneur or as an employee in the four sectors.”
“You may have development, but if people are asleep, you can continue with the poverty. Why? It is because what eradicates poverty is wealth; development is a mere enabler of wealth creation.”