KAMPALA-Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has said having a good legal regime to ensure proper natural resource management is not enough to save Uganda from suffering a ‘resource curse’.
Ms Kadaga was speaking in Kampala yesterday at the launch of the Auditor Generals conference.
The conference, with participation from more than 30 countries, seeks to promote proper governance through the “accountability cycle” that clearly cuts out the roles of Parliament and Executive.
“Economies that are overly dependent on mineral wealth have often encouraged authoritarian rather than democratic forms of governance, particularly in countries with weak regulatory frameworks,” she said.
“In essence these resources can be a path to a country’s prosperity but also pose significant risks associated with the so-called ‘resource curse,” she added.
Auditors, under the working group on audit of extractives affiliated to the international Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, chaired by the Auditor General John Muwanga, are meeting until Wednesday to share experiences and knowledge on natural resources.
In addition to abetting corruption, conflicts and poverty, Ms Kadaga also warned on the ‘resource curse’ in terms of armed conflicts as is the case for countries like South Sudan and DR Congo.
She said Parliament would continue to offer support to the office of the AG to scrutinise proper management of revenues from natural resources.
Speaking at the same conference, Mr Andrew Bauer, an economic analyst at the Natural Resource Governance Institute in New York, cautioned Uganda against the “political” decision by government to borrow heavily in leveraging on resource revenues.