By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus - President Yoweri Museveni yesterday June 4 said he was very hopeful about Uganda's economy despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the global economy.
He said this while delivering the 25th annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) via video link.
He explained that most Ugandans are involved in agriculture, which will not be affected by the pandemic.
“Apart from feeding us, these agricultural products end up by earning for us $2.005 billion (49 per cent of total merchandise exports) if we take the year 2019,” he said.
“Even in this lockdown, since March, the following agricultural products have earned for us as follows: coffee in March $45.87 million, April $36.928million, tea earnings in March $5.15million, April $6.145million. Fish in March earned $14.98million, April $6.831million. Maize earnings in March $10.23million, April $6.256million,” president Museveni revealed.
According to him, agriculture feeds Uganda almost 100% but also "earned dollars for us to the magnitude of $2.005billion.”
He also talked about the manufacturing sector and how it has grown in leaps and bounds, giving an example of sanitizer manufacturing.
"By March 2020, we had only two factories, known as Saraya East Africa Limited and the Luweero Industries making sanitizers. We now have 107 factories," the president said.
Apparently, Uganda has over 5,200 factories dealing in a variety of things.
"These are producing: cement, steel bars, soap, mattresses, mabaati, sugar, cooking oil, rubber tyres, textiles, beverages, beers, etc, that bring in a total of US$2.09billion," he said.
Museveni also talked about the ICT sector as one to watch as it is a growing one. The ICT sector currently employs over 1.2million people with 380,896 companies engaged in information technology, telecommunications.
“The vulnerable portions of the economy have collapsed. However, the real economy is standing up and expanding, especially in agriculture and industry,” he said.
The president acknowledged that part of the economy is badly off, but the country will soldier on.