During the 19th Makerere University Business School Economic Forum, held on October 25, 2017 to discuss the 2016/17 Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) findings released by Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), a spate of observations pointed to the conclusion that middle income aspiration for Uganda is unlikely.

Dr. Madina Guloba, a Research Fellow with the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) argued that the inconsistent and non-incremental investments such as dispensing of money to SACCOs will not turn around the economy.

She added that middle income which is a summation of GDP per capita for households, could be attained by addressing the persistent inequalities which have left regions such as Karamoja stagnated despite having vast NGO activities.

“Redistribute resources to address multifaceted vulnerabilities arising from climate change, poverty, school attainment and economic shocks, “she said.

Economic Forum mubs 17 oct

Joseph Muvawala, the Executive Director National Planning Authority (NPA) said basing on the look of things, the middle income status could not be attained as stipulated since Uganda continues to be characterized by inadequate implementation of policies and low appreciation of local content.

Commenting on the biting poverty in Busoga sub region where he hails from, Muvawala blamed sugarcane growing which he said deters intercropping of food crops. He also condemned the collapse of cooperatives and called for creation of markets for other crops other than sugarcane to uplift people’s livelihoods.

Member of Parliament for Hoima Municipality, Lawrence Bategeka decried the rate of dependence amongst Ugandans whose country as well heavily depends on foreign aid. This he says makes citizens a liability hence deterring middle income aspiration.

However, Prof. Waswa Balunywa, the Principal Makerere University Business School said there was an enabling environment for people to work and raise their incomes. He warned that the major challenge was mediocrity amongst certain segments of the population.
“The major setback are people who want to survive on peanuts which is a wrong signal,” he said.

Vincent Ssennono, the UBOS Principal Statistician, presented the UNHS findings for 2016/17. The findings indicate increased proportion of Ugandans living in poverty from 19.7 percent in 2012/13 to 27 percent in 2016/17. The rise means an estimated 10 million Ugandans today live in poverty.

 

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