Divided Opinion as Govt Engages Public on ‘Ambitious’ Middle Income Target

As government reaffirms its commitment to pushing Uganda’s economy into a lower middle income status by 2020, diagnosis public opinion remains divided with many opining that the target is unrealistic. Some argue that with the deeply entrenched corruption in the public sector, website like this ineffective service delivery service and a plummeting population less can be achieved.

However the National Planning Authority (NPA) the body whose role in achieving this status is central maintains that the ambition is achievable. NPA officials however note that a policy shift is required in addition to strengthening the weak government institutions.

A lower middle income status implies that Uganda will have a Per Capita income of USD 1, 039. Simply put, every Ugandan will be able to earn Ugsh 290,000 monthly and Ugsh 3.5 million annually.

On Thursday, NPA held a public discussion on what a Middle Income status means for Uganda which attracted a range of participants; students, government officials, development partners and those from the private sector.

At the discussion, Dr. Joseph Muvawala the NPA revealed that like China, Vietnam and Ethiopia, there’s need for Uganda to undertake cautious liberalization, diverse exports and increase its agricultural productivity.

“We are majorly an agricultural economy. Government must identify specific regions that produce a niche product or service and concentrate on them. This can then be supplemented by value addition and farmers cooperatives,” Muvawala said in a keynote.

“You can’t talk about agriculture and not address one of its impediments – the land tenure system. Women and youths make up the biggest constituency in farming but yet they have no land ownership. The land question needs to be reviewed.”

National Planning Authority Executive Director Dr. Joseph Muvawala delivering a keynote.
National Planning Authority Executive Director Dr. Joseph Muvawala delivering a keynote.

In his speech, the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda emphasized that achieving the Middle Income status will take more than mere talking. His message was delivered by his Deputy, Gen. Moses Ali.


“Government is devoted to dealing with two major impediments; corruption by public servants and delayed decision making. Ministers will be required to periodically report their progress and there will be sanctions for nonperforming officials,” read the PM’s statement.

Participants raised concern over the size of government which they said is too big and undermines fiscal policy as well as  Parliament that has ‘skewed’ priorities. Others proposed for skills development in institutions of higher learning to improve human resource capacity.

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