What you need to know:
Fact. There has been a preference for foreign manufactured goods over locally made products.
Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) should begin procuring locally made products, President Museveni has directed.
Despite private sector cries for years to have the government procure locally made goods, there has been a preference for foreign manufactured goods over locally made products by the government MDAs.
This according to the private sector leadership in the country explains why the nascent manufacturing sector is not as vibrant as it is should be.
Speaking at the 54th Independence Celebration held in Luuka, Busoga sub-region, President Museveni who also ordered that the uniforms for men and women in the army and police be made here instead of being imported as it is currently the case, said it is time the country stopped donating jobs to other economies.
He said: “NYTIL is here so I don’t want to see uniforms from outside and I don’t understand why government is buying things from outside. This should stop.”
Meanwhile, he has outlined what he has described as 10 strategic bottlenecks Uganda and African countries in general have been grappling with in the last 55 years, saying irrespective of such challenges the country’s future as well as that of the continent is bright.
In his remarks on Sunday, the President, among other things, identified under development of infrastructure, human resource and interference with the private sector processes as challenges that Uganda is still struggling with since it got independence.
Other challenges, according to Mr Museveni, include fragmented market, exporting unprocessed raw material, underdevelopment of the services sector and poor and archaic method of practicing agriculture.
Of the aforementioned challenges, he said Uganda has partly dealt with the infrastructure issue as well as the fragmented market, saying if it was not for corruption, private sector problems, especially in manufacturing should have been history by now.
He said the rest of the challenges are being dealt with holistically as opposed to haphazardly, assuring Ugandans that through this approach (of holistically solving issues) , Uganda will be a first world country once it is achieved.
On power, President Museveni said electricity cost will be brought down, first to US cents 7 and after completion of the power projects to US cents 5.
According to PwC country report, Uganda’s industrial manufacturing sector is relatively small. The report says the sector is currently facing some challenges that have hampered its growth including; strong competition from imported products, intermittent power supply increased cost of electricity required for production and relatively high poverty levels.