By: ISMAIL MUSA LADU
Kampala: Dependency “syndrome” coupled with bad attitudes largely explain why a substantial segment of the population survives on less than two dollars a day, a panel of experts discussing why some citizens are excluded from major economic sectors have said.
The experts were speaking during the launch of a World Bank funded report “Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity” in Kampala yesterday.
According to the Executive Director of Enterprise Uganda, Mr Charles Ocici, until the country, particularly individual citizens rise above what he describes as the dependency syndrome, the largest segment of the society will remain excluded or part time players, impacting negatively on the economy.
He said: “We must start from the basic as we grow because the door to economic independence has no key but attitude that we can do it ourselves.”
“With proper attitude, we can make it. And we should never forget that attitude is directly linked to outcome,” he added.
He also argued that common excuses such as; I am a woman, a youth, I have no capital or it’s the wrong time to do it are some of the attitudes that drag people behind rather that move them forward.
The World Bank country manager Uganda, Mr Moustapha Ndiaye, said the government does not need to do more to ensure inclusion for all—fair participation and rewards for participating in the affairs of the country, but it needs todo things differently.
Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mary Karoro Okurut, in a separate interview told the Daily Monitor that dependence syndrome is a challenge that the government is battling with head on. She said: “As a country we have reduced on the donor support. What we want now is trade and not aid. Because that what true independence means.”
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender Labour and social Development, Mr Pious Bigirimana said government is developing social protection Frame work, an initiative that will cure social exclusion, ensuring fair and equitable involvement of the population across the economic and social divide.
The lead author of the report, titled: Inclusion Matters; the foundation for shared prosperity, Ms Maitreyi Bordia Das, defined inclusion as the process of improving the ability, opportunity, and dignity of people, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society.
She said if inclusion is embraced then there will be marked improvement in investment in education and other social and economic sectors.
But according to the Rt Rev Zac Niringiye, a human rights activist, government has failed to deal with basic things such as providing quality education that would have enhanced inclusion for all abuti it instead tolerates grand scale corruption especially at the national level.
Woman MP for Kitgum District Beatrice Anywar in her presentation said there is not much government has done in terms of conserving environment, claiming the government leads in destruction of the environment, followed by the people.