The state minister for finance, Hon. Gabriel Ajedra Aridru has called for the adoption of Public Private Partnerships if Uganda is to meet its funding gap.
Speaking at the Pre-launch breakfast for the upcoming high level Inaugural PPP event scheduled to be held at Serena hotel in Kampala, Ajedra pointed out that with the country fast approaching the 50% debt margin, it is no longer tenable to borrow anymore.
“At the level where we have reached, our debt to GDP is slowly creeping towards the 50% mark. We are at 42% as we speak now, I don’t think we can add another $2 billion”, Ajedra says.
As such, he advised local government entities to think of the possibility of finding a funding partner to bridge this gap at whatever cost.
Ajedra says the finance ministry is weighed down for instance by huge demand for road construction money.
“I can tell you the normal budgeting process where all sectors ask for money for infrastructure will not take us any far. We need to rethink and refocus our attention towards PPPs”
The World Bank in its July economic update revealed that Uganda experiences USD 1.4 billion shortfall on financing infrastructure every year.
As such, Ajedra proposes for enactment of road tolls as one way of paying off these incurred construction costs.
Although the National PPP policy was approved on October 1, 2015, the minister called for its popularization amongst masses if credible achievements are to be attained.
Over twenty high level dignitaries are expected in the country for the inaugural PPP conference which is running from 16th to 18th September.
Among those lined up are; former Kenyan premier and African Union head of infrastructure Raila Omollo Odinga and Antonio Gueterrez the UN secretary general.
President Yoweri Museveni will be chief guest together with finance minister Matia Kasaija and Sam Kuteesa the foreign affairs minister.
The intention of this conference is to brainstorm on how best African nations can develop infrastructure through PPP.