I was humbled to witness the visit of the Kabaka of Buganda to Bugerere County. I was particularly happy to listen to his inspiring message, which I summarise as follows: Relentless hard work, creativity for sustainable livelihood, deepening peace, freedoms and human rights, and holistic mindset and transformation for sustainable development.
This message was indeed critical. The Kabaka’s call for hard work and development was crucial given the low productivity and lack of sustainable wealth creation. Many people have taken to selling their native land for economic survival. Communities need to be educated to use land for production.
The Kabaka’s proposal of a communal approach for youth development, which entails financial assistance to start self-help projects through a communal seed capital loan for sustainable development, is strategic.
Rather than funding exorbitant parties to appease graduates who will likely fail to get jobs, the community should instead fundraise and loan a graduate to start an income-generation project. Community/kingdom leaders should craft mechanisms to effectively enforce this proposal.
Similarly, the Kabaka’s message of transformation should be taken up by the kingdom’s planners. Buganda needs to transform itself based on the wealth of its strengths and opportunities. The kingdom has a huge market, goodwill, highly skilled human resource, fertile soils, trade terminus, among others.
Buganda should, therefore, translate these endowments into wealth and development through:
Buganda cultural hotel/village to promote culture; Buganda commercial bank for affordable banking; Buganda tourism services; Buganda farm institute to create a centre for agro-business excellence for Baganda to develop modern farming practices and value addition approaches at household level; Buganda investment clubs to organise the counties and clans of Buganda into investment groups, each with a specific income project to start and develop; Buganda publications for the kingdom’s resource and to promote reading culture in Buganda; and Buganda public limited companies where the kingdom and its subjects subscribe shares collectively.
The time is now for Buganda to explore, understand and effectively use the wealth of resources in the kingdom.