President Yoweri Museveni Wednesday expressed optimism that Uganda's economy will grow in the range of 9- 10 per cent when the country starts commercial production.
Speaking at Kololo ceremonial grounds after swearing in for the sixth elective term, Mr Museveni said: "With the activation of the oil sector, which has been dormant ever since 2006 when we discovered the petroleum and if you add the expected average growth rate of 6 per cent per annum post Covid-19, the combination will expand the economy to an estimated $67 billion by 2026 using the exchange rate method and $193 billion using the PPP method; meaning that the economy will be growing at the rate of between 9- 10 percent in the initial years of oil production."
Reflecting on how the economy has performed over the last 35 years he has been in power, Mr Museveni said the economy has been growing at the rate of 6.2 per cent per annum. "It now stands at $40.5 billion if you use the exchange rate method and $116 billion, if you use the PPP method," he said.
Although the projection of Uganda's economy which has been made for him by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development officials sounds impressive, Mr Museveni sounded dissatisfied about the economic growth rate.
"This rate of growth, although reasonable, is not what I want. With the rise of the literacy rate from 43 per cent in 1986 to now 76.53 per cent, we can achieve much-faster rates of growth and I will see to that. We have achieved rapid rates of growth in some sectors. These isolated positive rapid rates of growth can be generalized throughout the whole economy,"
President Museveni also used his inauguration ceremony to call for African federation and regional integration.
"I would, therefore, like to use this occasion to remind the African fraternity, that economic and, where possible, political integration in Africa, is a sine qua non of the success for Africa, if we are to address the issue of the prosperity of our people and strategic security of Africa, apart from other considerations.
Adding: "I am glad we are working on the CFTA (Continental Free Trade Area) for the common market of the whole of Africa and on the confederation of East Africa as a first step to the East African Political Federation. In East Africa, we should not repeat the mistake of 1963, when some actors made us miss our objective of the Political Federation."