Interview: Uganda’s new PM hails China’s partnership, promises economic transformation

Posted June 12, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Business ~ 3,444 views


By Ronald Ssekandi and Yuan Qing ~ Uganda’s new Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi regards highly China’s partnership with the East African country in economic development, noting that within the next five years Uganda will go through an economic transformation.

In an interview with Xinhua this week, Mbabazi, a former security minister turned premier and leader of government business in parliament, said China and Uganda enjoy excellent relations that will boost each other’s development.

“We have had very close collaboration and partnership with China, so many of the achievements we have registered in building up our capacity to stabilize Uganda has been with help and support or partnership with our Chinese friends,” he said.

He urged China to invest more in the Uganda especially in the oil sector, food production, agro-processing and tourism.

He noted that although the country in recent months has faced opposition protests leading to the death of about 10 people and hundreds of other injured in running battles with the police, the country is safe.

“There is no insecurity here, there is no likelihood that those who are agitating will cause any insecurity threatening investment,” he said.

Over the next three years, the Ugandan government is optimistic that the commercial production of oil in the country will start, bringing in huge revenues that will be used to address the bottlenecks to the country’s economic growth.

High on agenda is infrastructural development both transport and energy.

The country faces a poor transport network both road and railway, and a huge energy deficit that economic experts say is stalling the economic development.

“With the discovery of oil, we believe that in the next five years exploitation of oil will commence and one of the things we are going to begin with is using oil to produce electricity as well. So we are concentrating on power generation in order to make it cheaper for industries to produce competitively for the international market and therefore attract industrialization,” Mbabazi said.

With rapid industrialization, the government anticipates job creation and hence raising the general standard of living among Ugandans.

Mbabazi said the government is also going to invest more in provision of social services like education and health.

Already the government is providing free Universal Primary Education, Universal Secondary Education and it sponsors some students at university.

In the 2011/12 fiscal year that starts on July 1, the government has allocated 660 billion shillings (about 280 million U.S. dollars) to the health sector, making it the sector with the sixth biggest budget.

According to the national budget that was presented on Wednesday, the government will maintain a focus on increasing funding for drugs and improving maternal health.

In the previous fiscal year, the government priorities in the health sector were improving infrastructure and providing drugs especially for HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Mbabazi said over the next five years the government is going to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation measures to ensure that there is value for money.

He said the government will intensify the war against corruption, a vice activists say needs to be addressed urgently if the country is to develop.

Source: Xinhua

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


Be the first to comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.