Uganda’s quest for 2020 middle income status still a moon-shot – NEMA
Kampala September 15 – Uganda would need a rapid multi-sectoral transformation is President Museveni’s ambition of reaching middle income status in the next four years is to be realised.
For one, the economic growth rate would need to jump from the current 4.6pc to an average of 8.2 per annum while per capita income would have move from $788 today to $1033 over the same period. Population growth would also need to be kept far below the current annual expansion rate of 3.4 percent .
“For the economy to grow, we need growth in disposable income, and an increase in productivity while still maintaining a qualitative way of managing the environment. This would work well with a reduced population otherwise the proposals may not deliver middle income status,” told Christine Akello the Deputy Executive Director at National Environment Management Authority the Access to Environmental Justice and Compliance Colloquium today.
Ms Akello was presenting a paper on the role of environment management in transforming the economy to middle income status.
“The Population of an economy is a very important factor in development and for Uganda’s case most of the population directly depend on the environment for survival. A bigger population would mean an additional number tapping into the environment which would end up depleting the country of her resources,” Akello said.
Akello proposes an intensified approach towards environmental literacy and environmental compliance and enforcement to ensure that as people continue earning from the environment, they do not deplete it of its resources.
Akello also said that if people continue encroaching on the environment for survival without replanting the trees, then it would deplete forest cover, loss of a forest cover would deplete rainfall with direct negative impacts for agricultural output and disease control which would in turn affect productivity and disposable income.
Godber Tumushabe, the Executive Director at Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies says much as environment literacy and compliance is necessary, Uganda is faced with a big crisis of lack of convergence between the political and technical teams. Even though the technical teams are there to ensure that laws are adhered to, they are rendered toothless by political interference.