By Max Patrick Ocaido
KAMPALA. The prevailing peace and security has been listed as the number one factor influencing the current growth in Uganda’s economy.
According to the Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija, while presenting the National Budget for FY 2018/19, the growth in economy is as a result of the robust peace and security that Uganda continues to enjoy despite a few elements who want to disrupt the peace, thus disrupting investment.
Kasaija said that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government has since 1986 laid a firm foundation for Uganda’s socioeconomic development.
“Uganda is now at peace and without any civil conflict, which provides a suitable environment for investment. Security of persons and property reigns, although some criminal minded individuals want to disrupt this peace,” Kasaija said.
The annual budget for FY 2018/19 that stands at Shs32.7trillion is 11.6% above the approved budget for FY 2017/18, which amounted to Shs29trn.
As a result, Kasaija noted that the quality of lives and standard of living have tremendously improved and incomes have increased with average per capita incomes nearly doubling in the last 8years, from Shs1.35m in FY2009/10 to Shs2.68 in FY2017/18, in spite of a rising population.
Kasaija added that Uganda’s economy is expected to grow at 6% in FY 2018/19 and further grow by 7% in the following financial year. He also noted that the stock of outstanding private sector credit has increased from Shs11.9trillion in March 2017 to Shs12.8trillion in March 2018, recording an annual growth of 7.8% which is higher than 6.1% a year earlier.
Despite these tremendous achievements, Kasaija noted that Uganda still faces challenges that among others include high rate of households in subsistence farming (68%), high costs of electricity, inadequate skilled labour and low entrepreneurial knowledge among others.