19 December 2012

Uganda: Natural Resources Tapped to Spur Development

Uganda has to invest in industries that aim to add value to its discovered mineral and natural resource wealth such as oil and gas if the country is to attain middle income status by 2040, National Planning Authority (NPA) has said.

This was during a press discourse organized by the Uganda Journalists' Association (UJA) and held at the National Planning Authority (NPA) offices in Kampala about the country's draft Vision2040.

In August this year, the NPA began the formulation of a strategy dubbed Vision 2040, which aims to accelerate the Uganda's development to become an upper middle income country by 2040 as an export-led economy.

The draft Vision2040 says that Uganda is on course to attain middle income status by 2017, with the developments in the oil and gas sector.

Dr. Patrick Birungi, the NPA Head Economics and Strategic Planning cited infrastructure development such as a refinery, pipeline and railway network.

He also said Uganda has proven mineral deposits such as limestone in Karamoja, phosphates in Tororo and iron deposits in Kabale and the country needs to develop an industrial chain based on the mineral wealth.

"We must harness the enormous opportunities the country has like oil and gas," Birungi said. He added that these are exhaustible resources which the country must use to sustain the economy.

"We can really develop this country into the first world if we could explore our minerals," Dr. Birungi said.

Birungi also revealed Uganda has a potential to earn over sh12bn of foreign exchange if the tourism industry is fully tapped into, with proper management systems put in place.

Dr. Kisamba Mugerwa, the NPA chairperson noted that despite corruption tendencies in government, it will not deter the planning authority from executing the national development goal.

Kisamba said in order to encourage national participation in the formulation of the Vision 2040, nationwide consultations have been carried out to get public views about the draft Vision 2040.

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