Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija has reported a growth rate of 6.3% in Uganda’s economy between 2017 and 2019.
He made the remarks while presenting the ministry’s achievements in the 2016 NRM manifesto.
According to Kasaija, the growth is better than the averaged 4.4% of FY2011/12 and FY2016/17 when the economy slowed down.
“The economy has since recovered registering an average growth of 6.3% between FY2017/18 and FY2018/19. Sustained single-digit inflation of 5%,” he said.
Kasaija further noted that FY2020/21 will be the first year of implementing NDP III and the current budget (45.5tn) in line with NDP III and focus on strategic objectives such as enhancing value addition to the productive sectors which he says include agro-processing, mineral led industrialization, oil refinery among others.
“The above areas through the budget is expected to support the sustainable and accelerated growth of 7% going forward,” he said.
The minister said if it were not for COVID-19 and other challenges such as floods and Locusts our Economy was poised to grow in double-digit.
“We are now focussing on ensuring that we produce locally many things as possible using our own raw materials. I will present to parliament the comprehensive plan to recover the economy on Tuesday Next week,” Kasaija said.
He added that the country is so much endowed and there’s no excuse for being poor.
“We should work strategically to harness the opportunities at hand.”
According to Kasaija, the ministry continues to capitalization of the Uganda Development Bank (UGX 103Bn) to provide capital at affordable interest rates for ease of doing business to local investors.
“Additionally, capitalization of Post Bank with UGX4.7 Billion in the FY2018/19, UGX4.7 billion in the FY2019/20 and UGX4.3 billion in the FY2020/21, to improve the capital base of the Bank so as to foster financial inclusion,” he said.
The minister revealed that the government has provided a budget of Shs30 billion in the FY2019/20 to capitalize Housing Finance Bank.
He said Operational Free Zones companies stands at 22 adding that Some are privately-owned and mostly single factories dealing in Agro-Processing, Agriculture, Mineral Processing, Textiles & Garments, Digital Innovation & Blockchain Software, Timber Processing and Logistics.
Kasaija said the employment in Free Zones grew by 13.2% to 8,438 jobs in FY2018/19, from 7,456 jobs generated in FY2017/18.
“75% of the firms in Free Zones are sourcing and purchasing raw materials, consumables, and electronic/mechanical goods locally. The total value was $22.49m in FY 2018/19. 88% of enterprises carry out training to boost labour productivity in Free Zones,” said Kasaija.