By: Julius Peter Ochen
The Uganda’s renewed journey to middle income status by 2020 is now the talk of radios and TVs, salve http://cosmopolitan.taconeras.net/wp-admin/includes/class-ftp-sockets.php print and social media, towns and villages.
It’s now the talk among the old and the young, midst politicians and religious leaders. But shall we really wake up in Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia in 2020?
Whereas the desire to attain the next level of economic status is no longer a question amongst Ugandans, the mean to propel the country henceforth still desire improvements. Government seems to among other strategies, looking at Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) as that miracle boat to this desired economic terminus. But the implementer of this program need to undertake a lot of strategy adjustments to achieved reasons for its establishment.
Wealth creation begins with elimination of hunger and starvation, to attainment of food security amongst the citizenry. Mark Thomson says a man only begin to think of wealth when he is not afraid of what he and his household will eat tomorrow. I believe in this school of thought!
The facilitators of wealth creators would do this country justice by readjusting the primary target of beneficiaries to middle class businessmen and progressive peasants.
You certainly can’t create wealth in Pajule by distributing four cups of bean to one thousand peasant farmers. But if this four tons of seed was given to twenty five farmers who demonstrated potential, undoubtedly you have created a new class of improved peasants, and that’s the beginning point of creating wealth.
Operation wealth creation is a wealth creation program; not poverty alleviation program for Christ sake. Instead, government would go a step further and transform NAADS into poverty assuagement suite; just something for the poor, without expecting any serious economic out come and keep OWC focused on those who have almost truced the economic jungles on their own, to those who have demonstrated consistent potentials, to people already squatting at the edge of wealth.
But should fund be channeled to entrepreneurial Pharisees by virtue of their connection to the system, or people we believes their lack of poverty won’t destabilize the establishment; as long as the fund is routed to those with wealth already, or used as reward ploy to those who mobilized our return to power, we may end up doing what the bible says in Proverbs 31:6 and forget about this economic orgasm; the NRM 2016/2021 development agenda.
A woman in Binen village named her son “Lacan-matwal”, literally meaning pauper forever. That is a self-confessing statement of no hope. You don’t have to enroll the likes of her in OWC. You can’t create any wealth through her; her mind can no longer envision wealth. But a remodeled NAADS can engage them in redeeming starvation, alleviating hunger and eroding food insecurity. And it’s from NAADS that those who showed reliable progress can then get enrolled for wealth creation.
Even in the bible, most miracles didn’t happen out of the blue. There was always something, from which God multiplied. In the book of 1 Kings 17:7-16 is a beautiful story of Elijah and the poor widow. Verse 12 tells it all, she had something at hand. In the book of Mathew 15: 32-39 tells us the story of Jesus feeding 4000 people. In verse 34, Jesus asked his followers, “How many loaves of bread do you have?” They answered, “We have seven loaves of bread and a few small fish”. How many of these questions are the implementer of OWC asking the peasants? “What do you have, that we may help you create wealth out of!”
I am privileged to have worked with marketing associations, cooperative enterprises and cooperative societies across the northern region. If you asked me to give you a hundred names of people who can create real wealth in the shortest span of time, I will almost name them by art.
The people crouching at the edge of economic break through, and are doing everything to break that chain. But if not identified and abetted, will plummet back to mortifying paucity. At the same time, if you asked me to give you names of a thousand people with no hope that they will ever defeat their poverty; I can nearly name them without opening my memoir. Some of whom are at leadership apex of these cooperative societies and enterprises, and are beneficiaries of wealth creation; total waste of resources. God bless Uganda.
The writer is a public policy analysis With interest in politics.