Covid-19 will not affect agriculture, ICT sectors, says Museveni

Thursday June 04 2020
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President Museveni. FILE| PPU| PHOTO

President Museveni has said Uganda’s agriculture and ICT sectors will not be affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic ravaging both people’s lives and the real economy.
In his State of the Nation address at State House Entebbe this afternoon, Mr Museveni said: “ Apart from feeding us, these agricultural products end up by earning for us $2.005 billion (49 per cent of total merchandise exports) if we take the year 2019.”
Adding: “Even in this lockdown, since March, the following agricultural products have earned for us as follows: coffee in March $45.87 billion, April $36.928million. Tea earning in March $5.15million, April$6.145million. Fish in March it earned $14.98million, April $6.831million. Maize earning in March$10.23million, April $6.256million.”
Based on the statistics he presented, he confirmed that Uganda’s agriculture remains important to Uganda’s economy.

“Our agriculture is, therefore, not only feeding us almost 100 per cent, but also earning dollars for us of the magnitude of US$ 2.005billion,” he said.
Uganda government has a policy of private sector-led growth strategy following the privatization and the liberalization the policy that was implemented in 1993, which led to the attraction of private investors in the country.
In this regard, Mr Museveni said: “Our correct policy on the private sector, the corruption and obstruction of many of our public servants notwithstanding, has also attracted a total of 5,200 factories. These are producing: cement, steel bars, soap, mattresses, Mabaati, sugar, cooking oil, rubber tyres, textiles, beverages, beers, etc., that bring in a total of US$2.09billion. This sector is ready for even a qualitative change by starting manufacturing buses, mini-buses, pick-ups, small cars, bicycles.”
Turning to the ICT sector, Mr Museveni said the ICT sector is a growing one, employing 1,282,818 persons with 380,896 companies engaged in information technology, telecommunications, broadcasting, postal and courier and audio-visual.
“Therefore, these are the sectors of the economy that will not easily collapse because of the corona-virus,” he said.
Mr Museveni further stressed that in spite of the obstructions by the neo-colonial actors and foreign backers, Uganda is able to stand up today and weather this storm because of the correct actions we took.
“The vulnerable portions of the economy have collapsed. However, the real economy is standing up and expanding, especially in agriculture and industry,” he said.