Museveni Speaks Tough on Security, Corruption, Assures Country of Economic Growth

President Yoweri Museveni has reassured Ugandans of adequate security and steady economic growth following the disruptions occasioned by the global health threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also warned of a need to focus on Uganda’s energy needs to avert a crisis in the future.

“The demand for electricity is increasing by 15 percent per year. This means that even with the 1,800 MW installed electricity generation capacity by the end of this year, there will not be enough power for consumption and for manufacturing in the next 5 years, if we don’t continue to invest in energy generation,” he warned.

Museveni made the remarks while addressing legislators, government officials, foreign diplomats, traditional leaders, and religious representatives during the State of Nation Address – 2023 at Kololo Independent Grounds on Wednesday.

He noted that since 1986, the ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM has built and expanded good infrastructure, and consolidated peace, and security that has enabled the country’s economy to grow 30 times bigger from USD 1.5 billion to USD 49.4 billion.

Deriving statistics from the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, the President said the economic growth rate for FY 2022/2023 is projected at 5.5 percent compared to 4.7 percent in the previous FY 2021/2022.

While the Ministry of Finance projects the economy to grow at an average of 6.5 percent per annum for the next five years, Museveni disagreed saying he believes Uganda will grow faster than the Ministry has projected.

He pointed out that economic stability, the establishment of more factories, implementation of the Parish Development Model, support to Small and Medium Enterprises, increased Oil and Gas sector activities, and growth in regional trade will spur Uganda’s rapid economic growth.

He said the country’s industrialization drive to establish government-owned industrial parks in Kampala, Mbale, Soroti, Koboko, Gulu, Luweero, and Mbarara among others is yielding and creating 2.5 million jobs for the population for the next five years.

The President also explained that by the end of the financial year 2023/2024, Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product – GDP is projected to grow up to 207.22 trillion Shillings, an equivalent of USD 55.2 billion.

In terms of the Purchasing Power Parity method (a measurement of the price of specific goods in different countries), Museveni observed that will grow Uganda’s GDP per capita to USD 1,186 up from USD 1,096 as of the current FY 2022/2023.

Museveni emphasized that the government has embarked on regional integration efforts to promote intra-African trade, noting that 86 percent of Uganda’s exports are being channelled to Africa than to the rest of the world as of February 2023.

On security, the President said the country’s borders and the general security situation remain secure save for the spill-over effects occasioned by activities of negative armed groups in neighbouring Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC, and South Sudan.

Citing the recent incidents of misuse of firearms and killing of innocent civilians in the country are being handled by the Government with immediate effect that includes; strengthening the capacity of security agencies to address emerging security threats, addressing discipline, and welfare of security personnel in uniforms, among others.

The President also pointed out that the Government is strengthening the anti-corruption institutions and expediting the roll-out of electronic government systems in the health, education, and tax procurements to ensure transparency and accountability.

He also eulogized departed senior government officials, Members of Parliament, and dozens of soldiers of the Uganda People’s Défense Forces – UPDF who lost their lives in Somalia following a deadly attack by the Al-Shabaab militants.

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