President Museveni is currently on a National Tour to promote Wealth Creation for improved income in households which he kicked off in Tooro Sub region in the second week of May, 2019.
This tour began at the same time when the Manifesto week is ongoing and I personally believe that this isn’t a coincidence, the 2016 NRM Manifesto theme clearly states: Taking Uganda to Modernity through Job Creation and Inclusive Development.
From Tooro, President Museveni proceeded to Bunyoro sub region and then West Nile sub region where he currently is. In all three sub regions toured so far, the president has encouraged people to exploit the already existing infrastructure such as roads and factories to create jobs and wealth for their households.
As all may know, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government believes in prioritisation since all things cannot be done at the same time, it is now time to shift focus to household poverty eradication, especially with all the infrastructure in place.
With over 5,350KM of paved roads across the country, constructed bridges such as the Source of the Nile Bridge, revamped Uganda Airlines, expansion of Entebbe Airport under way, construction of other airports such as Hoima International Airport in progress, a total electricity generation capacity of 1,738MW and much more infrastructural investments ongoing in the country, there is no excuse for as to why Ugandans must remain poor. It is indeed without a doubt time to take advantage of the existent infrastructure to create jobs and wealth.
The president has and will continue to engage leadership of different sub regions on what to do to create wealth for the people and among the proposals in the pipeline in Cabinet is to fund project centered SACCOs and encourage modern and commercial agriculture activities. SACCOs support grass-root initiatives especially in rural areas, the approved sectors for these funds include Bodabodas groups, Women entrepreneurs, Carpentry, Saloons, Taxi operators, Restaurants, Welders, Market vendors, Youth leaders, people with disability, Produce dealers, Mechanics and Tailors.
Since SACCOs are owned, governed and managed by members who have the same common bond, and are usually from the same set-up, they are usually formed to fill the area’s gaps of need and are hence one of the best ways to fight grass-root poverty.
Already, experiments on performance of SACCOs has been done in Kasandha and it’s been realised that if wanaichi are encouraged to join SACCOs that promote their interests, it would be easier for government to channel money in those respective SACCOs for easy access for them to boost their projects, create jobs and accumulate wealth.
Through these visits, the president has as usual sensitised people against land fragmentation and encouraged the four-acre model of practicing modern and commercial agricultural activities, especially for people with small pieces of land. The four-acre model encourages mixed farming, proper distribution of the available land and hence high income returns. Under this model, one acre is used for cash crops, the second is used for fruit production, the third for dairy production and the last is used to grow food crops.
On top of the above, people can also engage in backyard enterprises such as apiculture, mushroom-growing, and free-range chicken rearing. Ugandans must shift from subsistence to commercial farming as the latter earns farmers income which they can use to alleviate themselves out of poverty.
While in Bunyoro, President Museveni discouraged people especially the youth against being corrupted by prospects in oil to abandon engagements in job and wealth activities. He instead encouraged them to take advantage of the prospected oil to fill the existing gaps.
Just as in the bible, in the book of 2 Thessalonians 3:10; “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” This verse alone justifies the president’s speech against spectators in this effort to eradicate poverty, emphasising the need for everyone to get working and for people to support each other against poverty.
I commend president Museveni for this timely wealth creation tour, with the country’s well developed infrastructure and gap in agricultural practices, Ugandans need to get going especially in practices of modern and commercial farming for both the local and vast international market.
The writer is a Communications Assistant at Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC), Ministry of ICT & National Guidance.