The goal of Uganda becoming a middle income country by 2020 has of late been mentioned by President Museveni on quite several occasions who having taken an oath to his fifth term has affirmed that this term is for “business unusual.” However this has left so many questions to many Ugandans if Uganda can really obtain this and what are the possible ways to attain this? To me as a Ugandan, I have affirm conviction that yes, Uganda can conquer this if possibly put in much effort and some things are done away with. Dr Fred Muhumuza an economist argues, “The journey to middle income status is not simply an economic issue to be addressed through the National Development Plan but has significant political, institutional and social aspects.” Anyone will agree with me on Dr. Muhumuza’s statement which carries much water to it because looking at only monetary policy can not resuscitate Uganda from a low income country to a middle income status but rather some aspects of political and social should gravely be well sought out.
First and foremost the minimum wage of the country needs to be addressed, in Uganda the minimum wage bill needs to be enacted. Dr. Patrick Birungi an economist who works with National Planning Authority says, “A middle income is a situation where every Ugandan is earning Shs. 300,000 per month.” This is not the case in our country as a good number of citizens are earning Shs. 60,000 per month and yet they have so many dependants. Family planning is another aspect that can drive us to achieve a middle income status by 2020, therefore the need to relegate down our population just like some African countries who have a middle income status, for instance Bostwana and Namibia, Uganda’s population surpasses the economy whereby January 2016, it was estimated to be 39 660 151 people as compared to population of 38 407 677 the year before. Uganda’s population is a big hindrance to our economy especially considering that most people are not income earners. True in any given country the greatest resource are the people however one should put into consideration how these people can be resourceful.
The Oil project flow has been anticipated to help attain for a middle income status and this right in every way as long as it’s properly planned for. However Ugandans need real assurance that when the process of oil begins to flow, it will not be misappropriated and also this process must benefit all but not a few for Uganda to make middle income status a reality and a dream.
Lastly, Ugandans need to be encouraged to be hard working, promote neatness and orderness. Conversely so many Ugandans socialize in laxity and take everything for granted thus being pessimistic. But for Uganda to arrive at this, we need to review our ethics and morals. During the State of Nation Address, the President also commented on the need to increase exports as compared to imports that drain foreign exchange, “we cannot go with the shame of the country being a supermarket of other people’s products; just a supermarket and we call it a country and buy everything from them.” Therefore to achieve this, we all as Ugandans need to wake up from our comfort zone and work with modesty, zealousness, honesty and orderness and by upholding our motto, “For God And My Country.”
By Hope Abonit