In response to the question of how tourism will be revamped, Museveni said its time to focus on other sectors saying the economy will not fall in the absence of tourism
President Museveni has urged Ugandans to concentrate on developing other sectors rather than waiting to revamp tourism and others that have been hit hard by the coronavirus.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, many sectors including transportation and tourism have been left on a pause not only in Uganda but globally.
Over the years, tourism has been one of Uganda’s biggest foreign exchange yielders contributing 7.7 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and $1.6b (about Shs6 trillion) to the country’s export earnings.
However, following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus that has claimed lives globally, the government imposed several restrictions to try and mitigate the spread of the virus.
Among others, the government announced a lockdown, closure of the nation’s airport and all its borders to foreign travellers. This has since left many in the tourism sector registering back-to-back losses with even growing fears of a looming economic crisis.
However, while addressing the nation on Tuesday, President Museveni said that the radical measures imposed by the government to prevent virus spread were not emotional but rather planned and calculated.
Museveni said that the measures were aimed at ensuring a large percentage of Ugandans stay healthy and free from the virus and not to hurt anyone as many locals think.
In response to the question of how tourism will be revamped because it is one of the vulnerable sectors during this time, President Museveni said that when everything stabilizes then the sector will rise again.
“The radical measures were to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and not stopping the pillars of the country’s survival meaning farming had to continue because it is not easily susceptible to the spread of the virus, factories as well,” Museveni said.
For the meantime, Museveni explained that this is a chance for other sectors including agriculture and the manufacturing industries to develop even more.
He said the country’s economy will continue to grow even in the absence of tourism.
“Our economy will not fall in the absence of tourism. In 1994, our economy grew – by 11% and yet tourism was not the biggest contributor of the GDP,” Museveni said.
“Even though we are not having tourists coming into the country, agriculture has not been affected by the virus, we should produce even more coffee because I had its consumption has increased during this period when people are staying at home.”
Meanwhile, he added that the government has started supporting companies which are now manufacturing items ranging from personal protective equipment, medicines, diagnostics, vaccines to sanitizers.