State of Uganda: Government to prioritize roads and electricity.

Yoweri Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni says his government will continue to spend on road construction and electricity generation as part of the broad development agenda.

Museveni while giving the state of the nation address said his administration right from 2006 decided to focus on roads and power generations as drivers to economic growth.

On the roads sector, Museveni said there have been major gains in this expenditure with better tarmacked road in almost all the parts of the country.

He boasted he personally enjoys driving along the roads now while sleeping through the journey with minimal bumps. “ Government has boosted the budget of ministry of works from 374 billion Shillings in 2006 to three trillion three hundred and twenty eight billion Shillings currently,” he said.

Museveni however noted that he is going to establish a judicial commission of Inquiry on the Nebbi-Pakwach road where sections of it has developed potholes just hardly a decade since its completion.

On electricity transmission, Museveni said that since 2006, the country has built 1,627 kilometers of electricity transmission lines. These he said were added to 1,427 kilometers of electricity transmission that the country had before 2006.

On Science and Innovation, President Museveni said that the government is to focus its attention on funding scientific innovations in the country after dealing with Roads and electricity.

He said the government has so far spent over 27 billion shillings in the Makerere University’s Kira EV vehicle.

Museveni says over fourteen billion Shillings has so far been directed to the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) to encourage research.

On the Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development (PIBID), the President attacked Parliamentary Committees for trying to fail the project by mistreating scientists while appearing before the committee. Government has so far injected 78 billion Shillings in the project.

In 2014, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) ordered the arrest of the head of Presidential initiative on Banana Industrial Development, Rev Florence Muranga, whom they accused of mismanaging more than 40 billion Shillings meant for the initiative.

Meanwhile, donors to Uganda have lauded the progress made by Government in key sectors of the economy.

The development partners observe that investing in areas such as roads and electricity are an important stimulus to economic development. They were speaking in response to President Yoweri Museveni’s State of the Nation Address.

 

Wendy Swartz, the Political Counselor at the South African High Commission says these sectors should be prioritized if Ugandans are to benefit directly.

Ambassador Zhao Yali, the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda says investment in the two sectors is a major driver for foreign investors to consider Uganda as a destination for investment.

The Head of the European Union in Uganda, Kristian Schmidt lauded the President’s speech, but said it was devoid of the push for electoral reforms ahead of the 2016 general elections.

Parliament is currently scrutinizing the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2015. Several stakeholders, including the opposition and civil society which have been pressing for electoral reforms, have tabled their proposals before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee.