COVID-19: Key investment takeaways from President Museveni’s Labour Day address

By David Rupiny

President Yoweri Museveni has assured Ugandans that the economy will not only grow much bigger but will also be much more expansive because it has a strong base.

In a May Day address to the nation via video and audio link from State House in Entebbe, President Museveni said Ugandans should be cheerful because the economy will not collapse because real economic sectors like agriculture, food, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, clothing, leather, shelter (real estate), and trade, amongst others are robust.

President Museveni emphasized that while sectors like tourism and entertainment have been vulnerable to the pandemic, “the real economy of survival and livelihood is no so vulnerable”.

The President said sectors that have been shocked by the Covid-19 pandemic like tourism, hotels, travel, entertainment, sports, music, etc. will rebound even stronger on account of Uganda’s strong performance against Covid-19, strong reputation of the medical sector, peace, security and economic stability.

He reiterated that economic growth enablers like stability, infrastructure like electricity, roads and railway, raw materials, and skilled labour force are in place to reorient the economy.

President Museveni noted that Uganda is losing lots of money and jobs through imports, emphasizing that the focus will now be on increased domestic production, import substitution and export promotion.

Key points

  • Boost capital base of Uganda Development Bank to increase lending to manufacturers, SMEs, traders involved in production supply chains
  • Stop importation of animal feeds; promote local production of animal feeds.
  • Promote production of industrial grade sugar for pharmaceuticals, beverages, etc.
  • Boost processing of various food products for domestic consumption and exports.
  • Stop importation of clothes (new and unused) and promote domestic apparels industry,
  • Promote manufacturing of pharmaceutical products like hydroxy-chloroquine, syrup and other medicines.
  • Promote manufacturing of products like face masks, sanitizers
  • Promote manufacturing of defence products.
  • Boost trade in local products and exports.
  • Start adding value to hides and skins and feed local leather industry.
  • Promote production of starch in northern Uganda.
  • Promote production of fresh steel and other building products like cement, tiles and marble.
  • Employers should not lay off workers; best option is to send them on leave till the situation normalizes.

President Museveni said the mission is to transform the economy from dependence to an economy of independence, adding that the people should be sensitized to take advantage of the economic opportunities that Covid-19 presents.

The President said once implemented these strategies and others not mentioned will translate into more money and jobs from Ugandans.

He congratulated all workers on the occasion to mark May Day 2020, celebrated under the theme “Improved Access to Financial Services for Employment Creation”.