Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Propaganda of Govt Preparing bright future for Langi, and Acholis

Govt preparing bright future for Acholi, Lango
Wednesday, 29th August, 2007 E-mail article Print article

By Amama Mbabazi

THE Minister for Security and Secretary General of the NRM, Amama Mbabazi, addressed the recent Lango Diaspora Conference in London. Below is the edited speech

Mr Chairman, I bring you and all the participants very warm greetings and felicitations from President Yoweri Museveni. He asked me to inform you that he and the leadership of the NRM government appreciate the fact that the Langi have always been nationalist in Uganda.

That is why they supported the UNC led by people like Yekosofati Engur and Abdalla Nyur. It is also a fact that the Langi have never supported terrorism. That is why they did not and do not support Kony. I want to publicly thank you for that. Mr. Museveni says the only mistake the majority of them have made, has been not to support their fellow nationalists, the NRM.

Under the leadership of the NRM, truly giant strides have been made in the economy since 1986, when the economy was a mono crop economy dependent on the export of coffee for up to 99% of its foreign exchange earnings!

The NRM embarked on the diversification, privatisation and liberalisation of the economy with emphasis on private sector-led growth as an engine of development. The consequential economic gains include:

-Reduction of inflation from 240% in 1986 to an average of 6% over 15 years.
-High GDP growth rates averaging 6.5% per annum over the last 20 years.
-The contribution of the services sector to GDP has increased from 15% in 1986 to 40.6% in 2000/1 and to 43.35 in 2004/5.

-The high growth of the industrial and services sectors have reduced the overall contribution of agriculture to GDP from over 50% in 1986 to 36.45 in 2004/5. This is a positive step towards the transformation of the economy from a predominantly agricultural to industrial and services based economy.

-Tax revenue collection has increased from sh44b in 1986 to sh1,872b in 2004/2005, and sh3,560b in 2007/8 financial year thereby increasing its share of GDP from 4.5% in 1986/7, to currently 14%. Uganda now finances 62% of her budget and has reduced foreign budget support to 32%.

-Telephone lines have increased from 26,000 in 1986 to over 2,000,000 mobile lines and almost 100,000 fixed lines. Telephone services now cover all corners of Uganda.

-The Government has licensed 148 FM radio stations, with coverage across the entire country.

-TV broadcasting has grown from 1 station in 1986, to seven stations.
-All districts have internet access.
-Absolute poverty has reduced from 56% in 1990 to 31% in 2006.

-The Government has fully liberalised the current and capital account and the selling and buying of foreign exchange. There are therefore no more “applications” for “allocation” of foreign exchange from the Bank of Uganda.

-There has been a veritable explosion of real estate construction in all the towns and districts.

-Industrial growth rate which was 0.6% in 1886, now stands at 20.4% as a share of GDP, beating the 9% target of the first two five year plans after independence.

-Availability of “essential commodities”. The scarcities of the 1970s and early 1980s are no more.

-In the first three quarters of 2006/7, non-coffee earnings brought in US $723.5m. Those of coffee in the same period stood at US $173.3 m.

-Remittances from Ugandans working abroad have increased.
In the meantime, the Government has identified a number of priority areas for various strategic interventions, and upon which the transformation of the country is predicated. These include education (UPE, USE, liberalisation of university education and emphasising science education), ICT, healthcare (policies on HIV/AIDS, immunisation and accessibility to health services), agriculture modernisation, and micro-finance outreach.

As we all know, this happy national picture is not yet completely replicated in northern Uganda. In northern Uganda, poverty levels remain high, and literacy and access to basic services levels are low. The low-intensity conflict that has characterised the region over the last 20 years is the major factor in explaining this incongruity.

That the war lasted this long is due mainly to exogenous factors (mainly the support Sudan Government gave to the terrorists) but also, to a very limited extent, to some mistakes by some government officials. The Government always takes corrective measures when identified. It is not true, therefore, that (as alleged by some people) it was government policy to deliberately keep the war going.

No effort has been spared by the Government over the last two decades, to ensure that peace is built. Land mark talks with the LRA are underway in Juba. As consensus emerges, so do the horizons of a lasting and sustainable peace continue broadening. President Museveni initiated the process of preparing a comprehensive plan for the recovery and development of northern Uganda. The Government has accordingly adopted the National Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) for Northern Uganda. The consolidation of peace and security, and laying the foundation for recovery and development, is the overall goal of the PRDP. This shall be achieved through four mutually reinforcing core strategic objectives. These are:

Consolidation of state authority
This covers cessation of armed hostilities, re-establishing the rule of law, protection of human rights and strengthening local governance and institutions;

This is through improvement in conditions and quality of life in the IDP camps while facilitating the return home and re-integration of the displaced populations;

Revitalisation of the economy
This is by paying special attention to re-activating and strengthening production, marketing, and processing services;

Peace building and reconciliation
This process must ensure the continuous prevalence of peace in the region. It involves access to information by the population, enhancing counselling services, mechanisms for intra/inter communal and national conflict resolution, etc.

The cost for the implementation of this plan is more one trillion shillings. The PRDP reinforces the ongoing implementation of various existing programmes including the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF).

Although NUSAF 1 ends on 30th March 2008, negotiations have commenced with the World Bank for a new NUSAF programme. Social Action Funds (SAFs) like NUSAF represent a paradigm shift from conventional development planning, in as far as they put communities in the forefront of planning and managing development interventions to improve their livelihoods.

The re-settlement programme is proceeding apace. In Acholi over the last year out of the 1,111,987 people who lived in the camps, 55,000 people (5%) have returned to their original homes, while 359,000 (32%) have moved to transit camps at the parish level. This is most encouraging. In Lango, over the same period, out of the 466,103 people who were in the camps, 431,000 (92%) have returned to their original villages!

Out of the sh18.6b provided to the re-settlement programme last financial year, sh8b has already been disbursed to Police training and deployment, sh3.5b to road construction, sh1.3b to the judiciary, sh200m to restoration of administrative structures at the sub county, etc, and sh5b to the purchase of seeds and agricultural implements. The Government also provides free iron sheets to those returning home.

On road construction, as a commitment to developing the Lango sub-region, work on the tarmac road connecting Lira to Soroti will soon commence.

In addition to your remittances, the diaspora can contribute by engaging in direct investment in the economy of the region. A lynchpin of the PRDP is industrialisation of the North. The Karuma hydropower dam project (work is slated to start next January) is aimed at providing the necessary infrastructure to facilitate that. Put to good use the contacts you make abroad to attract private investment in industry in the region. I thank you.

CURRENT OPINION STORIES [A Political Speech by Amama Mbabazi, censured.] Ugandan-Community in Vancouver asked Fellow Ugandans in Uganda, thr opinions leaders in the regions & Districts sub Districts to have their say after reading this speech, let know realy whats happening on the grounds. to us clear picture of the prepared speech by the minister & governmet representative. brought a message from M7. weblogs a free for brothers and sisters to give their opinions, back home, as well around the globe. from Ugandans-community in Vancouver, Western Canada. August. 29, 2007. peace,love,unity. Q. we want to know the Average of Ugandans in Uganda Actualy have Access to the Internet?

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