May 30, 2024

Finance ministry unveils plan to grow economy

The Finance ministry has developed a 15-year economic growth policy expected to increase the economy by a tenfold projector.

This move comes at a time when economic growth has averaged 4.7 percent per annum over the past decade. In the decade from 2001/2002 to 2011/2012, average growth was 7.3 percent. The slowdown in the immediate past decade of 2012/2013 to 2022/2023 was attributed to regional and global shocks such as climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, volatility in commodity prices, global and regional conflicts.

The aforesaid were coupled with low productivity in key growth sectors, especially the agricultural sector, which is the backbone of the Ugandan economy. Adding to the woes were low efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of government institutions stemming from limited coordination across MDAs and low return on public investments.

The high cost of doing business despite infrastructural improvements and the domination of raw primary products in the export market also have not helped matters. Finance minister Matia Kasaija said the government would move to substantially boost Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“This requires intensive economic activity, primarily driven by heightened production levels, scientific research and development, industrialisation, oil and gas,” he said, adding that the budget for Financial Year 2024/2025 will be people-driven.

Health, education, and water are the human capital development areas singled out for critical support. The health sub-programme aims at providing high quality and accessible health services to all Ugandans. This includes addressing broader determinants of health to attain socio-economic development and prosperity.

To achieve this, focus will be on prevention and control of communicable diseases with emphasis on high burden diseases and epidemic-prone diseases through community-based surveillance approaches.

Community-level health promotion, education and prevention services in all programmes and prevention and control of non-communicable diseases will also be prioritised.

The government intends to improve reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health services by functionalising theatres at health centre IVs and enabling blood transfusion services.

In terms of education, the government intends to improve the relevance of learning and knowledge. This will be through promoting STEM/STEI, research and development in education and development of a complete National Vocational Qualifications Framework.

The government also intends to support tourism development, which requires a coordinated merger of all enabler programmes to unlock the existing constraints.

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