Govt Advised to Identify Viable Sectors for Industrialization

UN Good Will Ambassador, Hellen Hai

Government has been challenged to move towards industrialization if it is to realize its vision to transform its economy as well as middle income status.

UN Good Will Ambassador Hellen Hai on Monday stressed that government needs to identify and invest heavily in sectors where Uganda has a comparative advantage.

Making reference to the fastest growing economies within Eastern Africa like Ethiopia and Rwanda, story Hellen said the similarity of these countries was their deliberate effort to grow their manufacturing industry.

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“There’s a big window of opportunity in the global market but Africa is still contributing only 2% of the global GDP. Industrialization doesn’t merely imply production but rather producing for the global market, advice ” Hellen noted during an Economic Summit at Serena Hotel which was attended by economists, Ministers, government officials among others.

“But it is important to win the confidence of the global buyer by ensuring quality products.”

She however added that the move to industrialize must be supplemented by adequate investment in education so as to address skilling.

In her argument, she believes that unlike in developing economies, Africa possesses a huge labor resource that hasn’t been adequately exploited by the manufacturing industries.

Several participants including the Secretary to the Treasury in Ministry of Finance, Keith Muhakanizi blamed the slow progress in Uganda’s economy to laxity by the political leadership to implement best practices.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda who attended the forum opined that Uganda’s comparative advantage lies in agriculture which he however noted has been frustrated small scale production and poor quality.

“We need to focus on producing substantial quantities that can meaningfully feed into the industries we shall build. Our other hindrance has been dealing with issues in an adhorc manner rather than systematically,” Rugunda said.

He formally invited Hellen Hai to Uganda to help in identifying priority industries in which government can invest.

While the common narrative has been that agriculture has the potential to drive the economy, former Minister Victoria Sekitoleko blames government for stalling enabling laws such as the Coffee Bill, the Food Bill as well as the Biodiversity and Biosafety Bill.


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