President Museveni's state of the nation address has been received with mixed reactions from the public. However, there is consistency and substance in his speech on Uganda's economy.
Unfortunately, some people who do not critically analyze issues confuse Museveni's consistency with monotony of issues!
Any honest leader should be consistent in speech, policy and action. Populist political leaders have failed to lead this country because they inconsistent and not creative thinkers.
Such leaders depend on lies to win people's support and are not ashamed to promise construction of bridges even where there are no rivers. Museveni stands out as a doctor's bitter economic pill that works as opposed to the opposition's sugar-coated illusive solutions about the economy.
The substance in Museveni's state of the nation address is vividly confirmed by what he considers to be Uganda's strategic areas.
These include defence and security, law and order, power generation, building roads and railway, piped water for big towns, education and health, tourism and scientific innovation. This is the essence of the President's speech.
Lack of security for life and property, lack of law and order, and failure by any government to defend its people and national interests creates an environment of political uncertainty and fear which discourages local and foreign investments in the economy.
Even those opportunistic politicians who pretend to be more democratic than George Washington cannot practice democracy or enjoy other rights in an insecure, hostile and chaotic situation. Therefore, President Museveni is being honest to Ugandans on this strategic issue.
Secondly, electric power generation is globally considered a central engine for any sustainable economic transformation. The President is rightly convinced that we cannot industrialise without electricity in place.
His reasoning is that we should endure this temporal economic pain as the government fixes this curable economic bottleneck before it becomes chronic. With a steady electricity supply, the manufacturing sector will be widened countrywide.
As a result, establishment of sustainable linkages between the raw materials producing sectors and the industrial sector will be possible to address the challenge of value addition.
Ugandans should support this brilliant idea that will generate a big push necessary for Uganda's economic take off.
Education and health have been pointed out as another strategic area by the President. In public eyes these two sectors need special attention.
Education, for instance, is one major sector that caters for human resource development in the country. Both the government and economic systems are run by people whose competencies determine their success.
Similarly, the President understands that a healthy population determines the productivity of the economy, hence the necessity for quality healthcare services.
Tourism is one of Uganda's foreign exchange earners, and as a fact, the President has played a pivotal role in promoting it abroad. Without prejudice, Uganda is the world's best tourist destination.
The country is uniquely gifted by nature with spectacular tourist attractions not found anywhere else in the world. It is from this context that the President did not spare opportunistic politicians and media houses for negatively portraying Uganda's image abroad.
We should maintain a favourable environment that promotes our country's tourism industry.
Finally, the President knows that our country will lag behind unless we embrace scientific innovation. Uganda must stick out of the green continent and compare notes with advanced economies through scientific innovation, research and advancement.
Makerere University has so far made an electric car and a bomb-detecting robot, among other scientific innovations. Our partners in scientific innovation should consider Uganda as an opportune area to invest in.
Therefore, President Museveni's address to the nation has been meaningful indeed.
The writer is a researcher and political analyst