Stop Working for merely food, President Museveni appeals to Ugandans to ignore their old subsistence ways of life
President Yoweri Museveni has appealed to all Ugandans still living the subsistence ways of life to work towards joining the money economy.
“We can’t talk of attracting investment and industrialisation when the majority of Ugandans are still living in the pre-capitalist economy and merely work for food,” the President said.
According to President Museveni, people and organisations working towards promoting trade and investment should put more efforts in uplifting the 68% of Ugandans who are still lagging in subsistence farming.
Museveni rather advised that this big fraction of the population should embark on commercial farming and also be part of the modern capitalist economy.
Also, if they join the money market they will be consumers who will not only boost the market but also equally be producers who will produce the much needed raw materials to sustain the industries.
“Getting the 68% of Ugandans into the money economy is crucial for us as a country but more so as leaders because leading people who have no money in a modern era, is criminal and a great betrayal to our people,” the President said while attending the two-day West Nile Investment Symposium 2019.
With the theme ‘Transformation of Africa’s Upper Nile Valley through Pan African Peace Building and Holistic Development, the symposium was held at Muni University in Arua City, West Nile Sub-Region.
This symposium was organised by the Department of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) in partnership with the Uganda Investment Authority and Muni University, among others.
Furthermore, Museveni who pinpointed that high taxes hinder investment stressed that in a bid to attract investment, the goods produced in the country should be cheap and of great or high quality.
Appropriately that the country must also address the cost of transport, electricity and the interest rates on money before noting that most taxes in Uganda are on consumption and luxuries and not on production.
“Even if you attract investors, if the country’s purchasing power is low, the factories will collapse because of lack of market,” said Museveni.
“The United States of America has a purchasing power of 19 trillion US dollars with a population of 316 million people while the whole of Africa with 1.2 billion people has a purchasing power of 2.5 trillion dollars because the majority of Africans live a subsistence way of life and are never involved in the cash economy,” Museveni added.
Meanwhile, Museveni warned that failure to do that would tantamount to all the country’s efforts towards promotion of trade, investment and industrialisation, not yielding meaningful results.
Museveni concluded by warning locals against shaking hands with one another to avoid spreading diseases giving an example of Democratic Republic of Congo where Ebola virus is on the rise.
By John Dalton Kigozi