8 November 2017

Uganda: Japan to Support Uganda Attain Middle Income Status

Kampala — Japan has pledged to support Uganda's drive to attain the much-talked about middle income status by 2020.

This will partly be through implementation of the country's 20-year development plan, which the government of Japan has pledged to support.

The plan intends to transform locals from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country.

Cabinet approved the formulation of the plan in 2007 and was launched six years later but much is yet to be achieved.

Ideological disorientation, weak private sector, underdeveloped human resources and inadequate infrastructure are some of the bottlenecks the plan addresses for fast socio-economic development.

Other hindrances since independence are small market, lack of industrialisation, underdeveloped services sector, under-development of agriculture and shaky democracy.

"Uganda has its Vision 2040, a long plan that has to be developed. You need to have ownership and implement development goal.

Japan, as a development partner, is in position to help Uganda achieve this goal," Japanesse Ambassador to Uganda Mr Kazuaki Kameda told Daily Monitor recently.

He added: "I hope Ugandan people would behave responsibly for their development. Without such ownership, Japan and other development partners cannot help."

Oil and gas, tourism, minerals, ICT business, abundant labour force, geographical location and trade, water resources, industrialisation, and agriculture are some of the potential areas Uganda is exploiting to achieve Vision 2040.

It is envisaged that Uganda is to graduate to the middle income segment by 2017 and reach a per capita of $9,500 (Shs32m) by 2040.

While updating journalists on the forth-coming high-quality infrastructure conference to be held in Japan late this month, Mr Kameda said Ugandans have to achieve this goal through sweat.

Works and Transport minister Monica Azuba Ntege is expected to lead a delegation of more than 50 government and private sector officials to Japan.

In an earlier meeting with the Ambassador, Ms Azuba said the bilateral meeting is to boost trade between the two countries. She hailed Japan for various projects it is financing in Uganda.

According to Mr Kameda, the bilateral conference aims at facilitating partnerships between the two countries towards achieving quality infrastructure development, promote skills transfer and enhance investment opportunities in Uganda.


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