The State Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Kabuye Kyofatogabye has called-on Ugandans living in the diaspora to invest in Uganda and innovation in Kampala.
He made the call on Saturday while presenting a paper on the potential business and investment opportunities in Uganda for the diasporas at the 1st Canada NRM Chapter Symposium.
He said that government of Uganda has consistently pursued a private sector–led Economic Development Strategy for its Socioeconomic Transformation.
“Vision 2040 is the overarching planning framework through which Government plans to drive Uganda’s aspiration to become a middle income country by 2040 with a GDP per capita of USD 9,500,” Hon Kyofatogabye told the participants.
“The Hon. Minister of Finance during the budget speech reading for Financial Year 2022/2023 reported that Uganda’s GDP per capita had increased to US Dollars 1,046 in current prices,” he added.
He says the building blocks of Vision 2040 consist of a combination of nine opportunities and seven fundamentals which call for both public and private investments that address the core development priorities of the Country.
The Minister noted that the consorted efforts are currently being put on growth of four sectors which include Agro-industrialization, Petroleum development, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Tourism development.
Case for Agro-industrialization
Minister Kyofatogabye noted that despite the sector accounting for only about one-quarter of the country’s overall economic output, agriculture provides livelihoods for the vast majority of the population and generates the raw inputs needed to fuel a small yet growing industrial sector dominated by agro-based manufacturing enterprises.
The agricultural sector plays a central role in Uganda’s economy, generating some 24 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounting for more than half of the country’s export earnings of 54% according to the World Bank, 2019. Almost 70 per cent of the working population is engaged in agriculture which also provides the first job for three-quarters of those aged between 15 and 24 years. 78% of the Ugandan population lives in “rural” areas where farming is the predominant economic activity.
At the same time, agro-processing is the backbone of the manufacturing sector accounting for approximately 60 per cent of its total output. Many of the agricultural products are raw materials in many of these industries.
Kyofatogabye says that overnment is aggressively promoting agro-industrialization through various schemes like the recently launched Parish Development Model.
Parish Development Model is where government structures and frameworks for planning, budgeting and delivery of public services have been set up so that people at the parish level are to decide development priorities under the policies formulated at the national level.
“The whole-of-government approach to development as envisaged under NDPIII, with the Parish as the lowest administrative and operational hub for delivering services closer to the people and hence foster local economic development,” Kyofatogabye said.
“PDM will focus on the following pillars Production, Storage, Processing and Marketing, Infrastructure and Economic Services, Financial Inclusion, Social Services, Community mobilization and Mindset change, Parish Based Management Information System and Governance and Administration,” he added.
The Minister noted that the goal of the PDM is to increase household incomes and improve quality of life of Ugandans with a specific focus on the total transformation of the subsistence households (both on-farm and off-farm, in rural and urban settings) into the money economy, as well as eradication of poverty and vulnerability in Uganda.
PDM mainly seeks to enable households increase agriculture production and productivity on the land they have, add value to the produce through improved post-harvest handling, storage, processing and marketing, provide a revolving fund at the parish level for the farmers to borrow from at affordable rates (6%) and appropriate repayment period to invest in their economic enterprises, according to Kyofatogabye.
For the case of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), Kyofatogabye said it aims at transforming subsistence farmers to commercial farmers through distribution of production inputs equitably, upgrade rural technology to allow farmers upscale to small scale industries and stimulate local and community enterprise development.
The discovery of commercially viable quantities of oil in the Albertine Graben in Western Uganda was announced by the Government of Uganda in 2006 (Veit, Excell and Zomer, 2011).
By the end of 2017/2018 Uganda had 21 oil and gas discoveries with an estimated accumulation of 6.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, of which 1.3 billion barrels is recoverable (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development [MEMD], 2018).
Oil in Uganda presents a unique opportunity to transform the economy through infrastructure development and poverty alleviation. Oil is expected to contribute an average net present value of US$ 2 billion (10 per cent of GDP) for at least 26 years.
In this regard, Kabuye says, oil and gas have been identified as an important building block to realizing the long-term aspirations and objectives of Uganda’s Vision 2040 of ‘A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern economy.
Tourism was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Country is fortunate that the sector is recovering fast.
Government, according to the Minister, has been intentional about supporting the sector to return to its pre-pandemic levels and beyond by facilitating Uganda Tourism Board to rebrand and promote Uganda under the new ‘Explore Uganda’ brand, sustaining and up scaling investment in tourism infrastructure like roads, electricity, internet, security, easing access to recovery financing at the Uganda Development Bank; and intensifying promotion of domestic tourism.
“A lot of effort is being made to further develop the hotelier industry by supporting entrepreneurs to expand and grow the sector, train stakeholders in proper management as well as construction of standard five star facilities to be competitive on the World market,” he said.
The Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area Strategy (GKMA) 2020-2030
The strategy aims at improving service delivery and improve infrastructure of the metropolitan area through coordination of activities of the Ministry of Kampala together with the 9 GKMA sub-nationals which includes; Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso District Local Governments, together with their respective urban authorities of Entebbe, Nansana, Makindye Ssabagabo, Mukono and Kiira Municipality for holistic planning and management of the Metropolitan area.
Now, according to Kyofatogabye, the strategy has four main pillars which include mobility and accessibility which will address rehabilitation or upgrading of existing roads within the existing right of way; improve on existing streets to meet the needs of all users, for both vehicles and non-motorized transport (cyclists and pedestrians), signalization of junctions to handle the increased traffic volume.
He says, “Piloting non-motorized transport (NMT) means of transport by converting some sections of existing streets to only pedestrian and cycling lanes to improve mobility, reduce accidents and reduce carbon emission footprint.”
The second pillar is Resilience and Environment which will address rehabilitation of storm water drainage, promote waste segregation or sorting and characterization to promote recycling and reduce waste.
“It will also involve developing green parks or belts and tree planting along road sides as elements of urban beautification and greening, preparation of GKMA Solid Waste Management (SWM) strategy as well as community sensitization campaigns and protection and conservation of environmental assets.
The third pillar is Job Creation which will include construction of workspaces, including markets, innovation centers and artisan parks where access to common facilities such as utilities business centers for engagement, incubation, and jobs for youth can be created.
It will also on the provision of public local economic infrastructure that can support informal sector, women, and youth entrepreneurs to grow from informal to micro to small and medium enterprises. It will involve organizing the stakeholders (youth or women) that have demanded for the services to have peer to peer learning, economies of scale and be able to graduate from informal to formal sector.
The other pillar is institutional strengthening support which will equip, train and empower all the 9 sub nationals with the capacity to manage the project objectives but also expand knowledge on reforms that will ensure that government gains value for money from the investments.
He says all efforts will be put in expanding sources of revenue collection within the 9 sub nationals as well as grow their capacity on collection.
Ongoing works under the Kampala Capital City Authority
“I want to commend KCCA management for the work that they are doing together with development partners. A number of road infrastructure projects have been completed over the past two years. These projects have greatly improved on the traffic congestion in the city and the lead time of motorists,” said the Minister.
“We are all aware that the Northern Bypass was recently completed, together with various ring roads which have helped to ease traffic flow. These interconnections are a buildup of the growth and development of the transport system that government is putting a lot of effort,” he added.
Innovation and ICT in Kampala
He said innovation in Uganda has majorly been driven by the Private Sector players in various fields and that the covid ’19 pandemic was one catalyst that helped expand and pry a number of innovations that we see on the market today.
“The Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT) together with NITA-U are fostering synergies of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to enhance business development and job creation especially for the youth. So far an incubation center has been set up to incubate growing BPO companies and training to skill the workforce is an on going process,” he explained.
He said that innovations such as these help young Ugandans realize their right to participation, and are one step forward in ensuring transparency and accountability at the grassroots.
Opportunities such as these are virgin points of business production that I urge you all to look into and invest so as to grow the job creation markets not only for the youth but bring about service development, says the Minister.
The Health Sector
The Kampala Metropolitan area covers an area of 1,000 km2. It is the major business and industrial hub of Uganda and contributes over 70 per cent of the country’s industrial production and over 60 per cent of the country’s GDP. Greater Kampala has a day-time population of about 3.5 million.
The population is predicted to keep increasing in the coming future. This creates opportunities for improved social services and health care facilities.
The city has experienced an increase in health care between groups that stem from broader inequities. This has created diverse opportunities for investment in both health care and education.
Kyofatogabye said mentioned opportunities give a basis for investment in Uganda.
“Development should not be left for the government and the citizens living in the Country. I urge you people in the diaspora to grab on and get involved,” he says.
He reiterated that investing in Uganda gives you a chance at holding your leaders accountable for all the resources that they receive from the diaspora.
“The life that you all enjoy, the social amenities, the good roads, reliable public transport system, better education and proper governance are all things that we as government aim at establishing in Uganda and I must say, so far, we are on the right track to achieving many of these,” notes Kyofatogabye.
He appealed to the diasporas to do research and explore the various ways in which they can be part of building Uganda as a greater economic hub and improving the lives of people who live in Uganda.
The Symposium is aimed at seeing NRM party members and other Ugandans share knowledge on how they can tap into the investment opportunities back home but also to promote Uganda while in Canada.
The Ugandan diasporas in Canada are using the event to highlight the challenges faced in the diaspora and the measures put in place by the NRM government to address them.
The Symposium is organized under the theme: “The role of NRM in the social, economic and political transformation of the diaspora community”.
The Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa is representing the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.
She is also leading a delegation from Uganda which also includes Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen Jeje Odong, the Minister of Energy Hon Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister of Lands Hon Judith Nabakooba, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance.
Others are the NRM Deputy National Treasurer Hon Jacqueline Kyatuheire, and Ambassador Abbey Kigozi Walusimbi, the Senior Presidential Advisor Diaspora, Hon Kabuye Kyofatogabye the State Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Hon Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi Special Presidential Advisor on Gender and Youth.