Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has called for innovation and technological advancement to address the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kadaga told global leaders during a virtual international conference on leadership that despite economic impediments, COVID-19 has also presented immense opportunities to be tapped by nations, investors and the business community.
“Within Uganda, we have had a lot of innovations. I think Uganda will no longer import sanitizers because a lot of investment has been made within the local industries to enable us have our own sanitizers,” said Kadaga.
The speaker pointed out that Ugandans in the small and big scale industries are now reaping from manufacturing face masks and it has also created job opportunities for embroiders, doing customized masks, sellers, marketers and market for local materials.
Although there were layoffs and a drop down in household incomes resulting from the lock down, Kadaga said, she was happy people have become more innovative and that many have taken on new careers.
On the side of government, Kadaga said the pandemic was an eye opener as government realized the public health system was overwhelmed by the cases.
“We were caught off guard, we did not have sufficient quarantine and self-isolation facilities countrywide, I think we need to plan well to handle any future pandemics,” said Kadaga.
Socially, Kadaga said social distancing has made people to adopt scientific weddings of limited numbers of people, which was a rare occurrence before the pandemic. She noted that this will usher in a low cost culture of conducting a wedding, which in the past had become a costly venture.
Kadaga appealed to Parliamentarians globally to urgently consider legislations that will support communities to cope up with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This lock down taught us that it is possible to do things ourselves. There are things we used to get from China which we now make ourselves. I think now we need to address our research to ensure that we add value to the resources within the African continent,” said Kadaga.