#SOTNU18: Importing too much and Exporting too little; What could be the reason?
“Yet, as our Baganda people say, “Omugo oguli ku murirano, tegugoba engo” ─ (the stick in your neighbour’s house cannot help you to fight off a leopard)” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the State of the Nation, 2018 (06.06.2018).
I have stopped after a years to look and breakdown the whole speech of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Because no one should waste that amount of time, unless your Don Wanyama, Tamale Mirundi or Andrew Mwenda. The rest of the random average Joe’s just shouldn’t waste our time with that. After 32 years, what new thing can he re-up and said, what sort of pledge haven’t he pulled out off his ass. Everything has been said, its just rewind of the previous years. There might something amazing, but you should doubt it.
That is why I will focus the passages on the growth to become a Middle-Income Country:
“I hear so many people talk about the attainment of the middle-income status by Uganda. The main problem here is, actually, the problem of Uganda importing too much and exporting little. The GDP per capita today is US$776. To become a middle income country, you need, at least, US$1,006 per capita. This money is calculated in Dollars. Too much importing and too little exporting undermines the progress to a middle-income status. Therefore, Ugandans, please, buy Ugandan; travel Ugandan; health-wise, be treated in Uganda. The government will facilitate its part as outlines in this speech. All I have said above is about the economy that is being developed to create wealth and jobs for the Ugandans as well as widening the tax base for the State of Uganda. At the same time, this bigger economy provides more goods and services for Uganda’s domestic consumption and for exports. Your NRM, always looking ahead, has already negotiated and arranged with our brother and sister Africans to ensure the market integration of Africa (EAC, COMESA, CFTA), so as to provide capacity for the absorption of the greater supply of goods and services produced by the Ugandans awakened to realize their potential as we also buy from our brothers and sisters in Africa, as we all take advantage of the huge collective market of Africa. Besides the huge continental market we are creating with our African brothers, the NRM always never missing in action when it comes to African issues, we have also negotiated for third party market access to the USA, EU, Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets, in varying degrees. Hence, ladies and gentlemen, the NRM has addressed or is addressing all the factors that are necessary to open the gates to the Ugandans engaged in wealth and jobs creation. Let everybody, then, play his or her own part” (Yoweri Museveni – State of the Nation, 2018, 06.06.3028).
The ironies are staggering as the economic policies, the industrial policies and agricultural outputs of the Republic is all in the hands of Museveni. If the NRM wanted to have trade surplus, they would have put in work and made sure the industries, the agricultural output and the end-product that they wanted to put into the world market. That is if the NRM had actually cared, because most policies seems to be short-term and for the short-con, not even the long-con. The projects and projections are for short term gains, not building things.
The specialized boards for the promotion of Ugandan produce and products has been lacking. Also maybe that they haven’t configured to the standards of the world-wide markets. That is why the coffee is sold as beans and not locally branded robusta. It is blended into random blends of foreign corporations instead of being locally grinded and packed ready for the big multi-national supermarket chains. Instead they are sold with least profits as the produce and not as the product. That is what is wrong with the ideas of Ugandan business. They have not thought of how to get value for the produce. This is all because the business is fixated on quick profits, but not going the extra mile.
That is because the NRM have no incentive to this or to try to do it. If they had incentive and any ideas of this. They would have figured it out and industrialized the agricultural output. Neither is put in the cash and the investment to build juice-factories as promised in Amuru, That has been promised for so long, as people are giving up in Katakwi District. This is the reality.
Therefore, listening to the President bitch about the lack of modernization and industrialization of the Republic. Is his fault, as he has put in the work and the ability to change the business models. That is because the way the state does with investors and designate cronyism. Where the businessmen have to political connected and make sure to grease the wheels to get it running.
It is a nice idea to get Ugandans to buy Ugandan products. But then you have to deliver good Ugandan products to fair price, also make sure it is competitive. There are lacking issues and basic need to make sure the possible produce could create added-value. Instead the quick profit and direct exports is the reason for lack of more currency. That would help the republic and make more money without to heavy investments, while using what they already produce plenty off.
While the state has to figure out if they want this, because this could help them to gain another monetary gain. But they doubt they will, because right now, it is the short-con and the quick-fix instead of actually building something for the future. Peace.