President Yoweri Museveni has come out with reassurance that the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party 2016 election manifesto promise is being achieved.
While campaigning in the last election, Museveni said that Uganda would attain a middle income status by 2020.
Economics projections however eventually ruled out this development and Ministry of Finance and Bank of Uganda later confirmed that the target was unattainable by 2020.
However, while virtually addressing NRM delegates conference from State House Entebbe on Tuesday, Museveni said the country is approaching middle income status.
“We are approaching our target middle income status. The per capita GDP is now 908 dollars,” said Museveni.
To reach the middle income status, a country must have the GDP per capital of above 1000 dollars.
Since 1986, Museveni said Uganda has not only achieved minimum economic recovery but also expanded 23 times in size from 1.5 billion dollars to 37.3 billion dollars.
“Your economy has not only recovered from the catastrophe of 20 years between 1966 and 1986 but has actually expanded to 23 times.”
Using purchasing power parity (PPP) method, he said the economy of Uganda is now 106 billion dollars.
Had it not been the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that crippled world economies due to lockdown restrictions imposed by governments to curb it’s widespread, Museveni said Uganda would be nearer to middle income status.
Before COVID-19, Uganda’s economy was predicted to grow by more than 6%.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions that locked the economy, the President said the economy is now growing by 3.1%.
“We lost the last 4 months from March, April, May and June. That is how the economy ended up growing at 3.1%,” he said.
Because of the 23 times growth of the economy, Museveni said the problem of acute shortages of salt, sugar, soap and other needs which were in scarcity in 1986 has now been replaced with surpluses especially food products such as sugar and sugarcanes, bananas, maize and maize products among others.
The over production of food stuffs and other products have negatively affected farmers due to lack of market and significant drop in prices.
Museveni described the challenge of low prices and lack of market due to surpluses as a “good challenge.”
“In 1986, the problem was shortages. The problem now is surpluses and market for these products. People are crying maize is in plenty, milk is in plenty, yes that is good. It is a challenge but it is a good one. It is much a better one than the one of 1986 of shortages. In reality, this is not a problem but an opportunity,” said Museveni.