On October 9, all roads will lead to Kololo Ceremonial Grounds as Uganda marks her 59th Independence Day anniversary.
According to Peter Ogwang, the Minister of State for Economic Monitoring in the Office of the President, the event will be attended by 600 guests in order to ensure that Covid-19 SOPs are observed.
President Yoweri Museveni will officiate the function which will start at 9am under the theme "Celebrating our 59th Independence Day as we secure our future through national mindset changes'.
Since attaining impendence from colonialism in 1962, Uganda has adopted a number of measures to facilitate socio-economic transformation by fending off civil wars, state abuse of power and human rights, sectarianism, bigotry, among other things that had been obstacles to growth.
The presidency ministry outlined some of the remarkable achievements since the NRM government under President Yoweri Museveni assumed power in 1986, starting with restoring “the small enclave modern economy of 1971 that had been destroyed by Idi Amin in the 1970s”, expanding it from US$1.3 billion in 1986 to now $40 billion.
The NRM government has increased the number of primary schools to accommodate over 10.78 million pupils. Secondary schools going kids have also increased to over 2 million. The country also counts 53 universities in Uganda, 9 of them are public and 44 are private.
Agriculture remains the main thrust of Uganda's economic growth, employing about 64% of Ugandans (and about 72% of all youths, highlighting its importance to household income growth.) The value of agriculture exports has increased over time to USD1.5 billion, representing a growth of the last four financial years.
Uganda now exports 8.5 million bags of coffee annually and the global demand is still growing. Milk production capacity stands at 2.6 billion liters of milk.
The East African nation has also embraced ICT and the sector currently employs 500,000 (direct and indirect jobs). within the ICT sector The government rolled out free Wi-Fi internet, which records over 2 million users per month. 37 MDAs are using the Unified Messaging and Collaboration System (UMCS).
Over 106 e-services can be accessed through the e-services portal, Ecitizen.go.ug, and over 10 post offices and public libraries converted into ICT access centers for e-Government Services. The telecom sector has registered over 27.78 million mobile phone subscribers, 21.4 million Internet users, 26.4 million mobile money subscribers, with an active user base of more than 15.6 million.
The government also constructed a National ICT Innovation Hub to accommodate 500 innovators in Nakawa, innovation grants have been given to 112 innovators and to 6 private sector innovation hubs under the National ICT Initiatives Support Programme (NIISP).
In the health sector, referral hospitals have increased to 181, rural health centre IVs are 222, health centre IIIs are 1,510, health centre IIs are 3,364 and 1,578 private clinics. Infant mortality has fallen to 46 per 1000 new born. Life expectancy currently is at 63-71 years. Today, about 50 percent of Ugandans in rural areas and 70 percent in urban areas have access to safe water.
Uganda is currently constructing its second international airport, Kabaale International Airport, to add it to Entebbe International Airport.
The road network has also been boosted. Before independence, when Uganda was still under the British Colonial rule, a total of 692km of roads were upgraded to bituminous standards with the last roads to be constructed just before independence (completed in 1961) being the Tororo – Mbale -Soroti, Iganga - Kaliro and Jinja-Kamuli Roads.
For the post-independence period between 1962 and 1986, a total of 1,175km of new roads were constructed averaging 49km of roads constructed per year. Since 1986, however, a total of 4,793km of new paved/tarmac roads have been constructed and a total of 1,924km of existing dilapidated paved roads reconstructed (this is because paved roads last on average for 15 years).
In total, the current Government has tarmacked 8, 588km of roads which translates to an average of 252km of paved roads per year. In the energy sector, the total installed generation capacity has grown from 60 MW in 1986, to 1,268.9MW as of June 2021.
Uganda’s Power Generation is diversified across five (5) different sources including; Hydro, Solar Energy, Thermal, Cogeneration and Biomass. The Generation segment of the Electricity Supply Industry has a combination of the Government of Uganda-owned power plants, Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).
This sub-Sector has grown from three (3) Generation Plants in 2001 to over 44 Plants and is still growing. The increase in capacity over the past two years followed the commissioning of 183 MW Isimba hydropower project on 21 March 2019, Achwa II (42 MW) hydropower plant 30th September 2019, Ndugutu hydropower plant 1st October 2019, Siti II (16.5 MW), Kyambura(7.6MW) and Sindila hydropower plant in April 2019 and commissioning of Nyamagasani II small HPP in February 2021 with most of the small Hydropower plants supported by the Development Partners through the GETFIT program.
The total installed generation capacity is expected to increase to over 1900MW by mid - 2022, following the commissioning of 600MW Karuma hydropower plant and other small hydro plants under construction, (Nyamagasani 1, Achwa 1, Kakaka, and Kikagati).
Uganda's foreign policy is also commendable and the East African country continues to share experiences and trade with other countries across the region and the rest of the world. Uganda is peaceful and stable and her defense force, the UPDF, is in Somalia under the AMISOM to pacify this once war-torn republic.
Because of attained stability, the country is currently hosting 1.5 million refugees from Africa and parts of Asia.