Uganda: State of the Nation Address 2016

In fulfillment of the constitutional requirement under Article101 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni delivers the State of the Nation Address, 2016. The president will mainly give accountability on particular government commitments and to appraise the country of the plans and strategies for the next twelve months.

Democracy is one area where we do not need aid

President Museveni has said those calling for political reforms, do not appreciate how far ahead the country is democratically. "No country in the world today has a better democracy than Uganda. Uganda enjoys the most political reforms with equal representation of all groups; women, disabled, the army," he said in his State of the Nation address.

"Democracy is one area where we do not need aid."

Fight on corruption on

Museveni promised that in this term, "the corrupt are going to see how a Muyekera (resistance fighter) looks like"

"I have quite a bit of information about leaders who ask for bribes from foreigners and locals who invest here. Corruption should and will be stamped out among political leaders and public servants. We are going to stamp out corruption as we stamped out indiscipline in the army," he said.

Too many imports hurting the country

Museveni said efforts should be made for the country to export and import less.

" I have talked to our importers to focus on exports, and these policy changes must not take more than one year to implement."

"We are donating $875 million to China in imports. There's need for population to buy local products."

By importing so much, we're giving jobs to the Indians, Japanese, Chinese, Americans and forgetting about our own."

The Government must buy locally produced goods and services as long as they are of comparable quality and cost. We must try and assemble manufactured goods (like vehicles) in Uganda which will also lead to job creation.

Project approvals should be done in 48 hours

"Do not delay any project. A request for investment should not take more than two days. Why do we delay projects? Projects approvals and licencing should be done within 48hrs."

"Recently, for instance, we got offers of people who want to start an airline in Uganda. These investors apparently, will save us the $420 million per annum that we are losing every year. "

On project approvals, he said "the excuses about the environment are, also, not valid. Many of the manufacturing processes are well known. "

Let's focus on few areas in Agriculture

"32% of the homesteads are already in the money economy. We must move the remaining 68% of the homesteads into the money economy - they are not producing anything for selling.

I have given written orders to Operation Wealth Creation to stop trying to be everywhere and end up being nowhere. I have directed them to, initially, concentrate on three cash crops: coffee, fruits and tea.

I am sure, using 1 acre of seedlings per homestead, will cover about 2m homesteads in 1 financial yr out of 7.3 m homesteads. This struggle is about pulling the 68% of the subsistence farmers into the money economy & avoiding land fragmentation.

Farmers will need support for micro-irrigation using solar-powered water pumps. I have told Makerere to develop these solar-powered water pumps. We are also working with some investors on this."

Banks and money lenders warned

"Some of the Commercial Banks and money lenders, apparently use unethical methods to steal the property of Ugandans.The Government is now fully aware and will take all the legal and appropriate counter-measures. Islamic Banking which we have legalized will also bring in a new philosophy to the chagrin of these sharks."

South Sudan

Museveni said government will assist companies that supplied to the Government of South Sudan but were not paid on account of the crisis that was in that country.

Add value to minerals

"On minerals, we should add value to the minerals that fetch more money. Exploration of more minerals should continue. Labaratory analysis should be done. Capable large scale investor should come in to exploit the minerals in a coordinated manner. Value addition to our minerals will lead to more revenue and job creation."

Radical reforms to fishing sector

"Parasites have damaged the fish farming sector by over fishing and illegal fishing practices. All fishermen on lakes must be registered in future. Land-based Radars will be purchased to watch the boats on the lakes. Ships will be purchased to ease people transport. No boat will be allowed in fish breeding areas. People engaged in illegal fishing must be jailed for at least five years. There will be a fund to allow fishermen to buy proper fishing gear."

I am a happy Jajja

I stand before you now as a proud jajja/grandfather engaged for over 50yrs in the struggle for the transformation of our people. Uganda is ready for take-off, the challenges notwithstanding.

Oil and East Africa

I can't, however, conclude my address without touching on these 2 points: Petroleum and the East African integration.

The political and economic integration of East AFrica is for our strategic survival. We need numbers for economic transformation, to pull in investment for the benefit of our people.

The 6.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves will help us to fund the roads, the railway, electricity, irrigation. With our oil money, all the economically viable products of our scientists will be funded.


Source: The Independent


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