H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni,
President of the Republic of Uganda,
At the Uganda International Conference Centre, Serena, Kampala, 6th June, 2013.
His Excellency the Vice President,
Rt. Hon. Speaker,
The Rt. Hon. The Chief Justice,
Rt. Hon. Speaker of EALA,
Rt. Hon. Prime Minister,
The Leader of the Opposition,
Hon. Members of Parliament
Hon. Members of EALA,
Members of the Diplomatic Corp,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I greet you and thank you for all the positive things you have been doing since I last addressed you on the 13th December 2012, at the Special sitting of Parliament when I was talking about the Oil Industry.
My main concerns, as you may by now know, apart from peace, are socio-economic transformation of our society and economy and the integration (both economic and political) of the African continent.
In the battle for socio-economic transformation, I have identified the ten (10) strategic bottlenecks that I have been repeatedly talking about. Even yesterday, I repeated them to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
They are: ending ideological disorientation; building the State pillars to ensure that the State is capable of governing people and protecting them; developing the human resource through education and the improved health for all; promoting the Private Sector, which is a more efficient vehicle for enterprise identification and growth rather than persecuting them as used to happen in the past; developing the infrastructure (especially electricity, the railways, the roads, ICT, etc); modernizing agriculture; modernizing services; integrating the African market to assist the Private Sector; and ensuring democracy.
As you can see, integrating the African market is part of removing the strategic bottlenecks that I, normally, talk about. The East African Community (EAC) broke down in 1977 because of the incompatibility between the principled Mwalimu Nyerere and Idi Amin. Investors, however, cannot invest if they are not sure of the market.
As soon as we had a chance to lead Uganda, along with Presidents Mwinyi and Moi, we revived the EAC in 1999. The EAC does not only aim at Economic Integration, it also aims at Political Integration leading to the creation of the Federation of East Africa. This is a commendable step. Rwanda and Burundi have also joined the EAC, thereby expanding the Union. We (Uganda) are also members of COMESA and we are working for the Common Market of the whole of Africa. A federated East Africa will belong to those wider markets as one Political Unit. Therefore, on the bottleneck of fragmented markets, on account of colonialism, we are moving well. We could have moved much faster but, nevertheless, this is good enough.
Since 1987, we started tackling the issue of the human resource development when we launched Universal Immunization with vaccines against six preventable diseases. These were: measles, polio, tuberculosis, tetanus, whooping cough and diphtheria. We have recently broadened the list to eight (8) vaccines, by adding the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine and Pneumoccal vaccine (PCV). The additional diseases to be prevented by immunization are pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis, human papilloma virus (HPV). If the Ugandans, individually and/or collectively, could add hygiene, nutrition and personal discipline (e.g. avoiding umalaya, alcohol, smoking and obesity), the total disease burden eliminated would amount to 80%. We would only remain with 20% of diseases and traumas to deal with.
Nevertheless, that residual percentage of diseases and traumas include accidents. These accidents are caused by reckless driving which contributes 20% to the hospital cases. I do not know where the water-borne diseases belong. Do they belong to hygiene or do they belong to their own category? The Ministry of Health will have to help me on this.
These contribute 20% of the sicknesses. Therefore, continued programme of providing safe water is a crucial element in disease elimination.
The district of Mukono recently came up with a good idea of buying its own borehole drilling equipment. This would enable them to make a borehole at a less cost compared to the money they spend when they private contractors. Even before borehole water is available, let everybody boil all the water that he/she uses. It is as effective as borehole water.
In 1997, we introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE), in 2007 we introduced Universal Secondary Education (USE) and we have now introduced free education for A-level as well as for vocational schools. In the coming budget we are going to introduce the Student Loans Scheme on top of the free education for the top 4,000 best performers admitted to Government Universities. The challenge, then, will remain, first of all, the diligent implementation of these schemes, eliminating all the corruption – especially the enforced collection of school fees. If you want voluntary contribution to the school, let the community contribute to the building of the school through labour. Then, those who are able to contribute in cash voluntarily could do so. Non of that should affect the student’s attendance.
The issue of lunch should also be handled in a voluntary manner – although my preference has always been for the parents to provide packed lunch in their own way (entaanda, peke, etc).
The second challenge with universal education is, then, giving the students vocational skills – technical skills as well as science education. One issue that is still lagging behind is the issue of maternal mortality. It is still 438 per 100,000. It must be brought down. What are the causes of this level of maternal mortality when we have got a health unit at every sub-county? When I was growing up in the entire district of Ntungamo plus Rwampara, there were only four Health Units at: Kinoni, Rubaare, Rwashamaire and, in 1959, Rwenyangyi or Kitwe, as I hear the present groups calling it, was added. In spite of these huge distances, I was born in the hospital in 1944 (at Mbarara), My sister Dr. Kajubiri, was born at Rubaare in 1949, etc.
That same area now has the following Health Units:
HC IVs 3
HC IIIs 11
HC IIs 25
Plus Itojo district Hospital.
All these total to 40 Health Centres in Ntungamo alone which in my time had only four Health units.
Therefore, the hardware facilities are there. What is not adequate are the soft-ware facilities; full staffing which we dealt with the other time. We decided that 19 health personnel be put at HCIV and 39 health personnel be at HCIII; female midwives instead of having men delivering women on account of our culture; underage marriages and pregnancies that turn children (abaana) into mothers (abazaire); etc. Let the Ministry of Health sensitize the population on these issues using the radios that spend endless time talking lies. The radios could be used positively to educate people about these challenges.
The remaining big health challenge is malaria. Malaria accounts for 40-50% of out patients and 20% of the inpatients of all the deaths in Uganda. We must get rid of the mosquitoes. There is the effort of bed-nets distribution. This is good. However, the real answer is to get rid of the mosquitoes through the use of larvicides. Our scientists are working on this.
I am, therefore, proud that the NRM has expended quite a bit of energy on the issue of human resource development – education and health – the very low base we started with notwithstanding.
Let everybody else do their assignment. Results will be much better. Even, however, with the failure of some of the actors doing their assignments, the results are good. That is why the population has grown from 14 million people in 1986 to 35 million now. That is why you can hardly see a youth or child below the age of 26 years crippled by polio. These are not mean achievements.
The other big bottleneck is infrastructure (electricity, the roads, the railways, water works and ICT). The issue of the underground and undersea cables has been handled. Telephones should become cheaper in time especially the international calls.
We are working aggressively on electricity, the railways and the roads. Karuma will be built. There is even the possibility that we may get good and cheap funding for it so that we can switch our own money to something else – e.g. the roads.
Karuma (600 mgws)
Ayago will be built (600 mgws),
Oryang will be built (392 mgws),
Kiba will be built (288 mgws),
Isimba will be built (188 mgws) etc.
We have got good offers for all these.
The railway will be built. We have got good offers from some reliable financiers. Besides, we have trained the UPDF Engineering Brigade to build the railways.
Some of the roads will be built by the use of our own money and others by financing from outside. The Minister of finance in her budget speech will give the details. I am, however, very confident that the infrastructure envisaged in the 2040 Vision will be built.
Then, there is our oil and gas. It has taken long because we have been haggling with the oil companies. Our plan is clear and unequivocal – it must include a right sized refinery of 60,000 barrels per day, built in two phases according to the dictates of the market.
When more reserves are discovered, provided the internal market so dictates, this refinery will be expanded. Although we did not, initially, have interest in a pipeline, our commercial Partners, the Oil Companies seem to have a big interest in it as do their financiers we are told. Their position seems to be based on their failure to understand the new dynamics in Africa and what was, previously, called the Third World.
The groups in the West should know that this category of people categorized as Third World are an endangered species. In the next 50 years, certainly, Uganda will be a First World Country and a middle income country by 2017. You cannot have a country with 10 million of its children in schools continuing to be a Third World country for long. On account of their fundamental misunderstanding, they under estimate the consumption level of the Ugandans and their purchasing power. That is why they are desperate for a pipeline to insure their investments. They fear that they may invest and, then, nobody buys the finished oil products in Uganda.
Hence, the desperation for a pipeline. I have agreed to this re-packaging because, whatever the packaging, much of the money is ours – whether it goes through the refinery or through the pipeline. Of course, with this pipeline, the coastal countries deduct some money for transit and there is the fee for the use of the pipeline. Nevertheless, paralysis is also costly. We need the money to build our infrastructure and to do other important things.
I recommend that we all support the addition of the pipeline provided the refinery gets the first call on the crude oil if the internal and the regional market justify it. A number of groups have shown interest in building and financing the refinery.
Of course, oil and gas will also contribute to the electricity generating capacity of Uganda. These infrastructure projects will boost our growth and expand our GDP by a factor of 9%.
With the battle for an integrated market, for a developed human resource and for infrastructure going well as shown above, we need to conclude the battle on another front – a conducive atmosphere for the Private Sector-led growth. I call this concluding because we long ago started this battle in 1987 when we liberalized, de-regulated and privatized many activities in the economy. We put in place a Code of Investment and a one-stop-centre for registering and enabling investments to be implemented. The one-stop-centre has, however, never worked properly. I will insist that this Investment Authority becomes a real one-stop-centre. I will also bring amendments to the Investment Code to criminalize malicious sabotage of investments in Uganda.
The achievements and struggles enumerated above will be in vain if we do not attract and retain private investments. Nobody should obstruct private investments out of malice with impunity. A request for an investment should not take more than three days. Why? It is because these processes are well known. They are not new science for most of the time. What does a leather processing plant need, for instance? What does a maize milling machine need? Etc. Does it have those requirements or does it not? UIA, NEMA, should have these standard requirements and should be able to approve or disapprove quickly.
While market integration, the human resource development and the infrastructure development are enablers, the real wealth creation is effected and created by the Private Sector investing in real estate, services, manufacturing, agriculture, ICT, etc. Everybody must promote this and not obstruct or delay investment. It is the Private Sector that will create jobs, produce more goods and services for domestic consumption as well as exports and expand the tax base. The investors may be local or outsiders. They are all, however, doing one job of expanding the GDP of Uganda.
The ignorant but really subversive talk I normally hear must stop. You hear people talking of “factory y’omuyindi” – an Indian’s factory; or “factory y’omuzungu” – the European’s factory. When I was commissioning Coca Cola factory in Namanve recently, I told those present that there is not a single Muyindi’s factory or Muzungu’s factory in Uganda. All the factories in Uganda are Ugandan whether they are owned by Ugandan citizens or outsiders. If a Ugandan African built a factory in India, that factory would not be Ugandan, it would be Indian. Sometime ago, we had a Ugandan that was getting wealthy, the Late Chris Mboijana. He had businesses and properties in Kenya, in Mombasa. Those properties were Kenyan and not Ugandan. To prove they were Kenyan, when he died suddenly, I heard some wrangles about those properties but I could not easily follow up precisely because they were in Kenya and not in Uganda.
Apart from the small investments that will be attracted by the conducive atmosphere created by us, especially if UIA and NEMA correct their ways, there are big projects that we have for long been promoting without success. There are two in particular – the Phosphates factory in Tororo which will also produce Sulphuric acid and iron ore and the Muko iron ore near Kabaale. We seem to have, finally, identified capable investors who can get these huge projects going. These will add significantly to the size of our GDP and also feed into the other sectors of the economy – fertilizers into agriculture and iron ore and steel into construction, dam building, manufacturing, etc.
The sector that can reach many Ugandans and quickly is agriculture. Let us work on the 68% of the homesteads that were found by 2002 census to still be in subsistence agriculture. What is amazing is the lack of seriousness by many of our actors. Since 1996, we talked of a cluster of enterprises per household per zone – the 18 zones of Uganda. Where this has been implemented, the results have been dramatic – in the Bundibugyo area, in the Kanungu area, in the Kiruhuura area, in the Kapchorwa area. Yet the other day, when I was in Asia, I heard some of our people talking of Asian Model of “one product per village”!!! Maybe that is a good model. However, before you go for that model, what about our own model of several products per zone? Where it has been implemented, it has done miracles. Why not implement it elsewhere? Let each home of 4 acres of land do the following according to the respective zones: an acre of coffee, an acre of fruits, an acre of bananas and an acre of elephant grass or other pasture. In some variations, you can plant cassava, Irish potatoes or rice instead of bananas or you could have two acres of fruits instead of giving one acre to coffee. At the level of processing, you will then have all those products to deal with. In the courtyard, behind the house, you will, then, add chicken as layers, Pigs, Improved goats, apiary in one corner of the land and fish farming in the valley. Then, there are the six or so cows fed by animal fodder in the shelters (what we call zero grazing). This will work. It has already worked in some parts of the country.
There are two disappointments in the sector of agriculture and fisheries.
One is the problem of over fishing on Lake Victoria and the other is the mismanagement of tick control in Uganda. African communities have been specializing in their respective activities over the millennia – crops, livestock, fishing etc. Normally, these specialized communities develop conservation practices that ensure sustainable use of these resources even in very difficult circumstances. These practices get ingrained in the culture. Banyankore, being cattle-keepers and crop people, have practices that have preserved certain activities, the neglect and discouragement by the colonial and subsequent governments notwithstanding. That is why the Ankore cattle, this bananas and the millet, for instance have been preserved. A Munyankore will, for instance, never slaughter a female young cow (enyena) under any circumstances. Even today, in spite of the commercialization of the economy that has forced Banyakore to sell female cattle, they still sell the middle aged ones (ejigija) and not the young ones (enyena).
I was sure that the Bassese and other fishing communities of Lake Victoria had such deeply ingrained cultural practices to preserve the resources of the lake. Who, then, was destroying the resources of the lake by eating the young fish? It is called mudeeke in Lussesse dialect. If only you allow the fish to survive for 9 months, it will have laid many millions of eggs. The lake will always be well stocked. Who, then, is so uncivilized, so unconcerned that he/she eats the mudeeke? I am beginning to get information that the people causing destruction to the resources off the lakes are not indigenous people around the Lake. That it is immigrants who come from other areas of Uganda and/or other parts of East Africa, push aside the locals and inflict such damage to our heritage. One thing I cannot compromise on is our heritage. Those who do not respect our heritage should not be tolerated. What should we do with this situation? We are going to discuss it in the cabinet and in the NRM Caucus and find a radical solution.
In the meantime, the many factories we attracted on Lake Victoria, 21 of them in number are closed or are operating far below capacity. This is not acceptable. Our earnings from fish had gone to US$ 196 million in 2005/2006, they have now declined to US$ 142.6 million in 2012/2013 because of these parasites. This is not acceptable. The Banyakore have a superstition regarding preventing lightening strikes (enkuba). It is called okugangahura. When the lightening damages something, the most indigenous resident of the area is the one that can perform the ceremony and rites that will stop the lightening from causing damage again. Riding rough against indigenous practices can sometimes, lead to serious mistakes. We should all assist the Minister Nankabirwa to solve this problem. It is a big shame. It is a type of suicide. Polluting the Lakes must also stop. People who dig gardens up to the edge of the lakes or the rivers should be stopped. The Minister of Environment should ensure that. I flew over Luzira Bay the other day. The whole lake is full of algae, a sign of pollution. This should also be addressed by the Minister of the Environment.
The other bad phenomenon is drug resistant ticks because of the laxity of the veterinary department. There are four categories or classes of acaricides. These are: Pyrethroids, the amidines, the organophosphates and the co-formulations. Each class kills ticks in specific ways. However, ticks develop resistance after about three years. The correct thing is to change to a different class after three years. Unfortunately, the technical staff never told us about this. We, therefore, ended up, including myself, using the same class of drugs for up to 15 years, in my case. When the ticks became resistant to the drugs, recently, the cattle started dying. Although the good news here is that the Ankore cattle and the other indigenous cattle are still immune to the tick-borne diseases. One of my cattle, Kiremba, was found with 154 drug resistant ticks and it was still up ticking and kicking. Anyway, I have moved from pyrethroids to the amidines and all the ticks have disappeared. We have instructed the veterinary people to sensitize the farmers on this issue. I, recently, went to Ireland (UK) specifically on this issue and the drug manufacturers have solution to these drug resistant ticks.
In any case, we are also working on vaccines with other African countries – such as Kenya and Malawi.
Yesterday, I read the malicious self-deception of the Daily Monitor. I am told that the so-called “The East African newspaper”, which is a sister to the Daily Monitor, was similarly jubilating that Museveni will have a hard time making the State of the Nation Address this year, because the things he talked about last year were not fulfilled. Of course, not all the things I talked about last year have been fulfilled because many of them take time and, in any case, the resources are limited. Does the Daily Monitor and the East African paper and some members of the opposition in the Ugandan Parliament, think that Ugandans cannot understand that? Mao Tse Tung once said: “It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly black and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but achieved a great deal in our work.” Therefore, it is a compliment when the Daily Monitor and the East African paper attacks us because it means we are right. However, unfortunately for the anti-NRM groups, Uganda is moving forward. The performance of the economy this year has been as follows:
GDP rate of growth is 5.1%;
Inflation rate is 3.6%;
Foreign exchange Reserves are US$ 3.3 billion;
Export earnings are US$ 4.9 billion;
Remittances from Ugandans abroad are US$ 767.26 million;
The total size of GDP of Uganda is 54.7 trillion shillings;
The total size of GDP in US$ (exchange rate) is US$ 21.2 billion;
This is reasonable given the difficult situation created by the past mistakes caused by the anti-NRM elements prior to 2011, when inflation went up to 30%. I said that the difficult situation will be reversed and it has been reversed. We are also resolved to resist firmly those who block investment programmes, delay development and when difficulties arise they turn round to criticize. The bottlenecks are clear to us. They will be solved partly using our money, partly using money from our Partners outside or through a sovereign bond using regular financial sources because Uganda’s credit rating is good at B+. Besides, our oil money is not very far off.
The evil of corruption is being handled. You saw what happened to the officers who were accused of stealing money in the office the Prime Minister and in the Ministry of Public service by holding ghost seminars, in 2011. In the past, NRM has handled bigger problems than bunches of thieving public servants. These are easier to handle. I promise to give a special address on corruption.
Madam Speaker, it will be recalled that the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament commenced on 7th June 2012. As at 14th February 2013, Parliament had been able to transact business as follows:
Bills passed – 11
Motions passed – 12
Reports considered and concluded by Parliament – 6
Petitions considered and concluded by Parliament – 5
Ministerial Statements presented to Parliament – 13
Other statements – 2
Questions for oral answer presented – 3
Among the Bills which Parliament has passed are the following:
The National Council for Older Persons Bill, 2010;
The Finance Act 2006 (Amendment) Bill, 2012;
The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2012;
The Excise Tariff (Amendment) Bill, 2012;
The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2012;
The East African Excise Management (Amendment) Bill, 2012;
The Uganda Communications Regulatory Authority Bill, 2012;
The Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2012;
The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2012;
The Accountants Bill, 2011;
The Geographical Indications for Bill, 2008;
In the coming session, the Government will present a number of Bills including the following anti money laundering Bill, Public Finance Bill, etc. The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister will communicate these Bills to you.
I thank you very much.
6th June 2013 – UICC, Serena
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