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National Recovery Plan (NRP)

NRP won a ‘Gold’ medal at UDU Boston conference

Under the overall theme of “What is Acceptable in a Free and Democratic Society”, the first conference of United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) took place at Boston College (USA) on October 8, 2011 – on the eve of Uganda’s independence anniversary. The National Recovery Plan (NRP) was presented as an alternative to the failed policies of NRM, noting that since the official termination of the failed structural adjustment program (SAP) the government is at a loss about what to do next. The National Development Plan adopted in 2009 to replace the abandoned structural adjustment program has not taken off yet.

Without exception all commentators in formal and informal conversations praised the NRP for its high quality and relevance to Uganda’s current situation. The question was “What are the next steps”.

In a “Question and Answer” session ably presided over by Prof. Aloysius Lugira, Eric Kashambuzi, principal author of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) advised that the immediate next steps will focus on the elaboration of recommendations in the Plan by developing policy briefs that will be used to market the plan at home and abroad. Kashambuzi also noted that NRM development priorities will be rearranged with a focus on agriculture and rural development, manufacturing enterprises beginning with processing of agricultural produce to add value, create jobs, reduce waste and prolong the life of products. Micro, small and medium enterprises that create jobs and distribute wealth more equitably will be promoted. Infrastructure in the form of roads, railways and affordable energy will receive priority attention. The issues of corruption and sectarianism which have become a major constraint to Uganda’s development will be addressed on a priority basis in the post-NRM government. Above all Uganda’s development will not only be participatory and sustainable but will also tap into local knowledge and regional endowments.

Regarding regional cooperation, Kashambuzi observed that Uganda will ensure that it records net benefits such as in the field of trade and some areas such as land ownership will be treated separately. It will also take short term measures to protect ‘infant’ domestic manufacturing enterprises in the event of unfair competition within the framework of World Trade Organization (WTO). Lessons from the failed East African Community (1967-1977) will also be taken into account.

With completion of UDU constitution and bylaws that dominated the first three months of UDU’s existence, UDU committee needs to be restructured to focus attention on the NRP. More professional staff on long and short term basis will be needed such as development economists, manufacturing and agriculture and rural development experts, urban planners to address the worsening slum conditions and environmentalists to reverse the deteriorating ecological conditions. Gender and youth sectors will also receive more attention than at present in terms of empowering them to gain full participation in Uganda’s economic, social and political sectors.

Social sectors such as education, healthcare with emphasis on public health (preventing disease and promoting health) and food and nutrition security as well as housing will also receive more attention than hitherto.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Community-based organizations (CSOs) will participate more actively than before in designing and implementing development strategies and programs drawn up in light of local endowments and priorities. The role of the state will also need to be refocused within the overall framework of public and private partnership. Not least development partners will be called upon to lend a helping hand in reorienting Uganda’s economy onto a path of sustained, equitable and sustainable development.

Eric Kashambuzi

Secretary-General,UDU

 

National Recovery Plan (NRP)

Executive Summary

The NRP is based on a vision of free, united and prosperous Uganda and a mission of rule of law, equality and justice for all Ugandans.

Despite its natural resource abundance, resilient people and strategic geographical location at the heart of Africa, Uganda has remained a poor country with over 50 percent of its population of some 33 million living in absolute poverty because of inappropriate policies, political instability, wars and, above all, rampant corruption, sectarianism and mismanagement of public funds. Uganda has been declared a failed state under military dictatorship disguised as democracy. The country is in deep political, economic, social, spiritual and environmental crisis. Corruption has spread and deepened becoming endemic and a principal constraint in Uganda’s development process. NRM has lost the will and capacity to address these challenges. It has resorted to electoral malpractices to stay in power and use of force to frustrate Ugandans demanding change. Consequently, Ugandans and increasingly development partners are losing confidence in the NRM government.

Opposition groups are emerging at home and abroad to effect regime change by peaceful means in the first instance, set up a transitional government of all groups, organize free and fair elections, form a new government to arrest and reverse the current development trajectory. As part of this process United Democratic Ugandans (UDU), an umbrella organizations of political parties and organizations at home and abroad concerned about the failed policies of NRM government has prepared a National Recovery Plan (NRP) around the issues of economic growth, equity and sustainable development; Legal system, democracy and governance; Capital human formation; and International relations and regional cooperation. The implementation of the Plan will benefit from public and private strategic partnership

Economic growth, equity and sustainable development

The principle focus of NRP is to put the people of Uganda at the centre of development through an integrated multi-sector approach to address unemployment and under employment, poverty and the offshoots of hunger, disease, ignorance and ecological erosion.

Because the majority of Ugandans live and earn their livelihood in the countryside the Plan will focus on agriculture and rural development through building or strengthening institutions and infrastructure and structural reform. Small holder farmers, micro, small and medium enterprises will form the core of rural modernization and transformation.

I. Agriculture and Rural Development

1. Policies will be designed in consultation with all stakeholders to ensure security in land tenure and use at communal, family or individual level.

2. The primary role of small holder farmers will be boosted through adequate budget allocation, credit, affordable energy and roads, extension and training, marketing and information facilities.

3. Small holder farmer managed and environmentally and socially friendly irrigation schemes shall be encouraged to reduce the deficits of rain-fed agriculture.

4. Access to improved farm implements, selected high yielding seeds, appropriate fertilizer and pesticide use and labor-intensive technology will be facilitated.

5. Agro-processing and storage facilities will be promoted to increase value added and prolong life of produce. Infant industries will be protected in line with (WTO) rules.

6. Demand driven research institutions and programs shall be established or strengthened and linked to farmers through extension services.

7. Specific programs for fisher-folk, herders, foresters, artisans and small scale traders shall be developed.

8. Equitable relationship between demands of private sector entrepreneurs and peasants will be established and monitored closely.

9. Ugandans in rural areas shall be organized in cooperatives or other suitable groups to benefit from economies of scale.

10. A balance shall be established in the development of urban and rural sectors to minimize the adverse impact of rapid rural-urban migration.

11. Gender aspects shall receive adequate attention.

12. A balance shall be struck between production for domestic consumption and for cash based on the principle of selling surplus over and above household needs.

13. Development partners shall be encouraged to recast their aid priorities in favor of agriculture and rural development.

14. Appropriate education, training and re-training programs shall be supported in response to changing labor requirements.

15. Policies shall be designed to improve rural terms of trade to make agriculture and rural development attractive to investors.

16. Food reserves at household, regional and national levels shall be established to avoid temporary shortages.

II. Addressing the Challenge of Unemployment and Under-employment

The launching of structural adjustment program in 1987 was accompanied by major policy shifts to the detriment of employment in order to control inflation and balance the budget. Private sector was to be the engine of growth and job creation. However, the impact of the sector on economic growth and job creation has fallen far short of expectations. The following corrective actions shall be undertaken.

1. Rural employment shall be given a priority because of the high level of unemployment and under-employment there through programs that will include public works in the short–term such as construction or repair of roads, schools, clinics and reforestation to create badly needed jobs and incomes.

2. Private sector enterprises shall be encouraged through government incentives including smart subsidies to hire unemployed workers and reduce immigrant labor.

3. Government and private sector shall work together to formulate employment policies, identify investment opportunities and training requirements.

4. Education and training curricula shall be balanced between academic and skills development in line with labor market requirements.

5. Students shall be advised as early as possible about job limitations in the public sector to lower their expectations and to encourage them to go into the private sector or self-employment upon graduation. The government shall assist in providing training options. Assistance shall also be provided in preparing and funding project proposals in micro and small enterprises.

6. Lifelong learning and skills upgrading programs shall be launched and adequately funded so that retrenched staff can be retrained in accordance with labor market requirements.

7. Policies and strategies shall be designed for disadvantaged groups such as youth, disabled, women and the poor.

8. An institutional mechanism shall be established such as a skills development fund for unemployed youth to help them get into vocational training. Short-term on-the-job training that facilitates workers entry into full employment shall be established.

9. Representatives of government, employers and workers shall be facilitated to get together periodically to discuss and agree on common positions regarding remunerative employment and decent work environment.

III. Reversing Uganda’s De-industrialization

Colonial administration embarked on manufacturing industries in the 1950s to relieve agriculture of excess labor, promote economic growth and transform Uganda’s economic structure. The momentum slowed down following independence due to a number of factors including political instability and policy decisions in the 1970s and neo-liberal economic policies since the 1980s that encouraged comparative advantage in producing commodities for export and trade liberalization that increased imports that undermined domestic industries. On balance Uganda has experienced de-industrialization and lost many of forward and backward linkages particularly in the textile sector because of cheap used imported clothes. Under the plan the government shall design measures to facilitate growth of manufacturing enterprises to create jobs, enhance economic growth and transform Uganda’s economic structure through the following actions.

1. Devise a manufacturing policy and strategy beginning with processing of agricultural, forest and oil resources to accelerate economic growth and create the badly needed jobs.

2. Assess existing industries, status of competition, legislation, technology used and ownership in order to design an appropriate industrial policy.

3. Consider measures to protect infant industries in case of unfair competition.

IV. The Imperative of Managing Urban Growth

Although Uganda’s urban population is still small at 13 percent or less depending upon how an urban area is defined, urbanization is growing faster than the national population growth of 3 percent per annum. Urbanization is also concentrated in the nation’s capital city of Kampala with all the attendant disadvantages.

While in the long run urbanization is unavoidable, its rate of growth and structure can be managed to produce the desired results. Urbanization per se does not modernize national economies and societies especially when urban job supply is below demand. In this regard the Plan has proposed the following actions:

1. Improve living conditions in the countryside to reduce rapid rural-urban drift and regulate immigrants.

2. Encourage development of new small and medium size towns throughout the country. Besides reducing urban growth of existing main towns, this arrangement has the potential of equitable and regional distribution of economic growth benefits and narrowing income gap particularly between North and South Uganda.

3. Plan urbanization particularly in existing towns to avoid the current haphazard construction.

V. Reversing Unsustainable Development

The colonial administration protected some areas like wetlands/swamps, forests, hill tops and steep slopes and game areas from development activities.

Massive ecological destruction began seriously during Amin’s administration in the 1970s to speed up economic growth. Clearance of vegetation which has continued since then has resulted in serious de-vegetation and adversely affected hydrological and thermal regimes hence rising temperatures, frequent droughts and floods.

NRM government’s emphasis of export diversification of agricultural produce including timber, cut flowers and fisheries has resulted in accelerated ecological deterioration and emergence of desert conditions in many parts of the country. Under the NRP the government shall undertake the following actions:

1. Promote a shift from agricultural extensive to intensive method of production to increase productivity per unit of land through using selected high yielding seeds and a mixture of organic and inorganic fertilizers friendly to the environment.

2. Initiate a program to restore wetlands and forest reserves. Deforested portions of Mabira shall be reforested instead of using them to grow sugar cane.

3. Discourage nomadic herding and overstocking and encourage zero grazing.

4. Manage fisheries exploitation to ensure reproduction.

5. Eliminate food losses currently in excess of 50 percent of post-harvest which helps reduce land clearance to increase production.

6. Drilling oil shall be done without damaging the environment. Environmental protection measures shall be implemented from the start and vigorously monitored by local communities, national and international experts.

Democracy, Good Governance and Rule of Law

Democracy is derived from a Greek word for ‘people’s government’ which is formed through a political system that facilitates different political parties and individuals to compete for power in free and fair elections. In a democratic society human rights and freedoms are upheld and the integrity and dignity of the individual respected. Constitutional or other forms of democratic principles and laws are respected. A modern democratic political system is based on freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. These freedoms must be protected as an integral part in the democratic process, good governance and rule of law.

A democratically elected government does not necessarily mean that those in power constitute a good government in terms of making decisions that reflect the wishes of the public. Demands for democracy must be combined with those of social justice and a better standard of living for all. There are cases of authoritarian regimes that disguise as democratic because they hold periodic elections. In other cases like Uganda military and dictatorial rule has played a decisive role despite periodic elections since 1996.

Good governance must incorporate principles of transparency, popular participation and accountability: in short government by discussion. A well-functioning and strategically supportive government with a set of regulations is essential for equitable economic growth across classes, gender and regions. NRM record has been marked by fraudulent elections since 1996, violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The breakdown in the rule of law and separation of powers (legislative, executive and judiciary branches of government) has led to unprecedented corruption and sectarianism, rigging elections and abuse of power and public office from the top down to lower levels in the civil service. During the Plan period the following actions shall be undertaken:

1. A level playing field for free and fair elections underpinned by an independent electoral commission shall be established.

2. Elections at all levels shall be open to Uganda citizens only. Candidates’ background and history shall be established.

3. Campaign funds shall be standardized for different levels of candidates.

4. International observers shall participate actively in all stages of the electoral process from voter registration to final announcement of results.

5. The military shall play no role in law and order matters during the electoral process which shall be left to the police force.

6. There shall be a constitutional and other reviews regarding restoration of presidential term limits; establishment of truth commission; proportional representation and civic education.

Regarding corruption, sectarianism and mismanagement of public funds:

1. The public shall be made aware that government revenue belongs to the people to be spent on programs that improve their quality of life.

2. The government shall be transparent in allocating and spending public funds and shall be accountable to the people.

3. The opposition and donor community that contributes a significant portion of the budget shall take keener interest in allocation and spending of public funds.

4. Corrupt officials shall not only be punished to the limit of the law but also surrender with interest what they had stolen. This action shall discourage would-be corrupt officials.

5. Mismanagement of public funds shall be dealt with through various methods including reducing the size of administration such as cabinet and districts. Appointments shall be based on competence while taking into account regional characteristics and gender. Competence and experience shall displace loyalty and favoritism based on tribe, region and religion.

6. Through civic education Ugandans will assume primary responsibility for checking corruption, sectarianism and mismanagement.

Human capital formation:

The strength or weakness of a nation is ultimately bound up with education quality and relevance, health and nutrition status of its people. Economic growth that is not people-friendly cannot be sustained. A government that exploits human and natural resources and encourages inequalities shall in the long run create countervailing forces.

NRM promises have largely remained unfulfilled in terms of reducing absolute poverty and the associated disease, ignorance and hunger. Measuring processes or means as achievements by NRM government has undermined efforts to focus assessment on the end result of improving overall standard of living of Ugandans. While efforts to build schools and clinics and diversify export commodities etc are commendable and essential, they constitute a sufficient condition only when they lead to ending hunger, disease and ignorance and ultimately poverty.

To arrest and reverse deficits created by NRM government the following actions will be undertaken under the plan.

1. Design, implement and monitor an economic model that permits full participation of Ugandans and benefit equitably from economic growth.

2. Design, implement and monitor an education and training policy and program that give Ugandans the tools to enter and compete in a knowledge-based domestic, regional and global labor market.

3. Design, implement and monitor a preventive and curative healthcare policy and program that benefit all Ugandans. The health system under NRM has suffered major deficits including loss of qualified and experienced personnel that shall be attracted back.

4. Design, implement and monitor a food and nutrition security policy and program that benefit every individual equitably especially pregnant women, lactating mothers, children, the elderly and those living with HIV & AIDS. Food and nutrition security is a foundation of nation building and shall be taken seriously.

5. Design, implement and monitor policy and programs to empower girls and women through proper education and employment so that they take decisions affecting their lives including reproductive rights.

6. Design, implement and monitor policy and programs for the dispossessed, elderly and disabled so that they can participate productively in economic and social activities.

International Relations and Regional Cooperation

Uganda became an independent nation in 1962 at the height of Cold War confrontation between the forces of capitalism and communism. Uganda governments have adopted a foreign policy of non-alignment. However, within this overall framework of continuity there have been swings towards socialism and capitalism.

Since the end of the Cold War new forces have emerged that are influencing foreign policy formulation in various ways and Uganda isn’t an exception. The post-NRM government shall craft a foreign policy that promotes and protects national interests in international and regional relations and engage in other ideas of general application such as human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people. However, within this dynamic framework, Uganda’s relation with traditional allies will remain strong and mutually beneficial. At the regional level especially East Africa Uganda will pursue an integration policy that will focus on developing and implementing manageable programs and projects with emphasis on institutions and infrastructures that shall enable testing larger economic integration policies and play down creation of supranational bodies like political federation as a prerequisite for economic integration. Uganda shall ensure friendly neighborly relations and net benefits from regional cooperation. Under the Plan the government shall undertake the following actions:

1. Uganda shall pursue a policy of good neighborly relations based on preventing conflicts or resolving them through negotiations rather than confrontation.

2. Uganda shall consult with citizens in a transparent manner in order to be fully mandated to effectively participate in East African economic integration and political federation processes weighing carefully the merits and demerits in the short, medium and long term. The building of regional institutions and infrastructure shall receive strong support, taking into consideration experiences of integration and federation from other regions and the first East African community (1967-77).

3. At the African Union level, Uganda shall press for peace and security, democracy (free and fair elections underpinned by independent electoral commission and term limits), integration of African countries especially through infrastructure (transport, communications and energy) and institutions.

4. Uganda shall participate actively in the work of the Commonwealth especially in social, economic and technology areas.

5. Uganda shall participate actively in South-South cooperation activities to inter alia establish common priorities for all member states and share technical and negotiating knowledge and expertise and benefit from investment and trade. Uganda shall continue to participate in Non-Aligned Movement and Group of 77 activities. Uganda shall also work closely with emerging countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to ensure her national interests are promoted and protected.

6. Uganda shall participate more actively in the organs of the United Nations especially the General Assembly where it has equal rights by virtue of one nation and one vote.

7. Uganda shall strengthen relations with traditional allies in pursuit of common goals within the overall framework of non-alignment.

UDU contribution to the London conference, November 12, 2011

Chairperson
Fellow Ugandans
Friends and well-wishers
Ladies and gentlemen

Let me begin by thanking Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) for organizing this important conference and for inviting and giving United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) an opportunity to present its views. The timing could not have been better and the choice of topic more appropriate.

Uganda is indeed at cross-roads. We therefore need to think together very carefully, rationally, pragmatically and patriotically within a long term context before choosing which turn to take. If we take a wrong turn we shall go down a steep cliff and pay dearly during present and future generations.

Uganda has been described as a failed state under a military dictatorship. The NRM leadership has scored poorly in all areas of human activity – be it political, democratic, economic, social, institutional, infrastructural, cultural, managerial or ecological.

Wherever you turn, you see or sense signs of failure. For example, privatization of public enterprises was undertaken to raise government revenue for productive investment and improve efficiency and effectiveness so that privatized enterprises compete favorably in global markets, create jobs and drive the economy. Privatization of electricity was to improve the service to the public. The disappointing privatization outcomes are there for all to see.

In areas such as HIV infection, economic growth and inflation control where success had been recorded, Uganda is moving backwards.

Do we have enough evidence to justify NRM total failure?

Here are some examples to set the stage for the introduction of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) as an alternative development model.

Contrary to expectations, economic growth has failed to reach the minimum of 8 to 10 percent per annum required to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The benefits of economic growth have not trickled down to all classes and regions of Uganda. Instead 20 percent in the highest income bracket have become richer whereas 20 percent in the lowest income category have become poorer since NRM came to power in 1986.

At the height of economic growth in the mid-1990s when a growth rate of 10 percent was realized, two-thirds of Ugandans remained trapped in absolute poverty, signaling skewed income distribution in favor of those already rich.

Today in 2011 over 50 percent of Ugandans live on less than $1.25 a day. Accordingly Uganda’s overall standard of living is nowhere near the level attained in the 1960s as recorded by the World Bank, among others.

The undeniable reality is that Uganda has experienced a north/south and rural/urban economic divide and jobless economic growth because of faulty policies – that disproportionately favored the nation’s capital of Kampala where some 70 percent of Uganda’s Gross National Income (GNI) is generated – and/or poor implementation of programs as in the modernization of agriculture.

Overall, the service sector has been disproportionately favored over agriculture and rural development as well as the manufacturing sector which mostly assembles imported parts without creating badly needed value addition, jobs and forward and backward linkages in Uganda’s economy.

In the vital area of human capital formation NRM has failed the test through food and nutrition insecurity and the near collapse of the healthcare system witness the re-emergence of diseases and lowest life expectancy in East Africa.

Education has suffered from high dropout rates and poor quality as well as pursuit of academic qualifications at the expense of skills appropriate in the 21st century knowledge-based labor market.

Performance has also been unsatisfactory in the housing sector. Over 60 percent of urban population reside in slums with appalling sanitary conditions.

Environmental degradation is manifested in frequent and severe floods and droughts, shrinking water bodies, drying rivers and spring wells and falling water tables, air and water pollution and declining agricultural productivity because of rapid loss of soil fertility.

Frequent floods in Kampala represent poor urban planning including building in spaces previously reserved as water channels and clearing vegetation on hill slopes to provide space for the construction industry.

Draining wetlands and clearing other vegetative cover like the miombo woodland for ranches has led to local climate change as in Kabale that attracted mosquitoes and the spread of deadly malaria in populations that did not have immunity.

By and large, the deteriorating ecological conditions are man-made and cannot be blamed entirely on the “Acts of God”.

The area of governance has been hit badly by rampant corruption, sectarianism and mismanagement, poor transparency, low popular participation and insufficient accountability.

Military buildup for so-called national security has been disproportionately favored over human security in terms of freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom to live in dignity and happiness.

NRM’s decision to divide the country into very many districts in the name of decentralization has been unfortunate. Apart from being divisive, the tiny districts are economically unviable relying on insufficient central government handouts with stiff conditions.

The East African cooperation has not delivered much. Since independence in 1962 Uganda has constantly registered trade deficits and suffered unfair industrial and skills competition. Free mobility of humans and animals has already disadvantaged Uganda in many ways including land ownership and will continue to do so if mobility remains unchecked. For the sake of comparison it would be interesting to know how many Ugandans have crossed the border with their herds to settle in other East African Community countries. Regional cooperation is supposed to confer equitable net benefits to all inhabitants.

In the present circumstances, the East African political federation is unlikely to make matters better for Uganda. A common passport is meaningless for poor people who cannot use it because they cannot afford a bus ticket and hotel accommodation expenses.

Similarly, a large population without purchasing power does not constitute a sufficient condition for economies of scale to take place.

We should understand clearly what caused past failures in integration and federation. If the underlying conditions in the political and economic areas still persist they should be removed first. We should also draw lessons from experiences of other regions such as EU and NAFTA.

Meanwhile focus should be paid to integrative features like infrastructure and institutions that will facilitate integration and possibly federation or confederation with the roles of nation states clearly defined and flexible to accommodate future developments.  Civic education will be necessary so that Ugandans take informed decisions.

The inflexible implementation of structural adjustment program (SAP) of the ‘shock therapy’ version that required actions “taken now, implemented quickly and simultaneously” to take the would-be opponents by surprise, allowing them no room to organize and dissent is largely responsible for many of the failures under the NRM regime.

The presence of strong security forces and readiness to use them intimidated opposition and silenced dissent. Demonstrations were brutally suppressed and human rights and fundamental freedoms violated. In a democratic country structural adjustment with its adverse outcomes would not have survived as long as it did under the NRM government.

Not least, Uganda’s economy has been driven by excessive invisible hand of market forces and laissez-faire capitalism, with limited state participation and no regulation such as in food exports when Ugandans are starving to death. Government was and still is largely regarded as the problem and not the solution to Uganda’s daunting challenges.  

So what are the solutions?    

The National Recovery Plan (NRP) prepared and widely distributed by UDU provides an alternative model to the failed policies of NRM. NRP is available at www.udugandans.org.

The NRP was prepared after a careful analysis of what has happened in Uganda since 1987 and the results are captured in the introduction. Based on that assessment NRP has given pride of place to agricultural, industrial and technological revolutions; human capital formation; balanced growth between urban and rural areas; economic growth with equity; infrastructural and sustainable development, liberal democracy and regional economic cooperation and international relations that serve Uganda interests.

Apart from a few countries that do not have agricultural land, no country has developed without an agricultural revolution. Emerging economies like Brazil, China, India and South Korea have developed or are developing a strong agricultural base.

Similarly no country has developed without an industrial revolution. Under NRM these two sectors have been neglected in favor of capital-intensive service sector. Therefore, it is not surprising that Uganda has had jobless economic growth.

Under the NRP agricultural and industrial development will be given a high priority with emphasis on small holder farmers, micro, small and medium-scale enterprises that create jobs and contribute substantially to economic growth.

Contrary to popular belief, small scale farmers when facilitated are more productive, more efficient and more environmentally and socially friendly than large scale farmers.

Agricultural and industrial revolutions will be supported by a well developed and maintained infrastructure such as roads and railways and telecommunications etc. Affordable sources of energy will be provided to empower Ugandans to transform agriculture from semi-subsistence to commercial and industrial status beginning with agro-processing while at the same time meeting adequate and balanced household food requirements and selling only surplus in domestic and external markets. Food security is a human right which must be strictly observed in Uganda.

It is widely recognized that sick, hungry, illiterate and/or jobless people as Ugandans are can’t be productive. NRP has therefore made provisions for addressing all these challenges through more resource allocation to health with a focus on primary healthcare, food and nutrition security including school lunches that improve attendance and performance especially of girls, education system that is both relevant and flexible to meet 21st century labor market requirements.

Birth control as part of human development will be promoted within the overall context of educating girls and empowering women to manage their reproductive behavior in terms of determining the number of children they want, when to have them and how to space them with voluntary access to contraception. No coercion will be applied.

Affordable shelter especially in urban areas will also receive priority attention.

NRP calls for higher economic growth to the tune of eight to ten percent per annum required as a minimum to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and beyond including reducing poverty and hunger drastically.

The high economic growth will be combined with equity in order to lift the general welfare of all Ugandans. Regional and local characteristics and endowments will be taken into account to avoid a one-size-fits-all solution. Communities will be offered opportunities to design, implement, monitor and evaluate their development programs with external assistance upon request.  

Democratic governance calls for full transparency, popular participation and accountability. And liberal democracy will be anchored not only on free and fair elections but also – and perhaps more importantly – on strict observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Liberty, justice, dignity and happiness will be the cornerstones of the new agenda in this area.

NRP recognizes that democratic governance and liberal democracy cannot be realized in the absence of dedicated, patriotic, trusted and visionary leadership that is servant of the people in whom sovereignty resides. Thus, Uganda will need leadership based on meritocracy, proven record of public or community service, respectable character, knowledge and experience of Uganda’s political economy challenges.

Apart from corruption and sectarianism, Uganda’s economic mismanagement of public affairs has been caused by many NRM cadres occupying senior positions for which they are not qualified, much less experienced. Some Ugandans have ended up heading ministries they are not qualified for! Look at the current cabinet and you will get a better sense of what is being referred to.

Lack of knowledge and experience of many Ugandans in key positions and therefore of confidence was evident during privatization and barter trade negotiations. Furthermore, Uganda does not perform well in international conferences because many representatives do not have the required knowledge, experience and negotiating skills.

Under the East African community negotiations, Uganda should press for open ended and incremental arrangements beginning with economic integration and ending up with political federation. The current fast track negotiations for a political federation are like building a house starting with the roof. Chances are that that house will never get completed or when it does won’t last long. East Africa must be built from the foundation up, taking breaks for reflection when the going gets hard.   

The NRP has called for a model of public and private partnership with each partner using its strategic comparative advantage in a mutually-reinforcing manner.   

Ugandans and development partners are urged to work together for mutual benefit, allowing communities and regions to determine the development path and be in the driver’s seat.  

Ugandans and our friends and well-wishers are urged to read and enrich the NRP and adopt it as a national alternative blueprint to the NRM policies that did not work and were finally abandoned in 2009 without a viable replacement – hence the current crisis that has brought us to the cross roads.
 
Finally, it is very important to stress that unity is a prerequisite to overcome the political economy challenges in front of us.

Accordingly, this meeting organized by FDC that has brought together political parties and organizations is a welcome step in the right direction.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Eric Kashambuzi
Secretary-General, UDU

 

National Recovery Plan (NRP)

Below, you will find a copy of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) in Adobe Acrobat format.

Attachments:
Download this file (Uganda and NRP Final Document 2012_1_x.pdf)Uganda and NRP Final Document 2012[Uganda and NRP Final Document 2012]196 Kb
 

© 2011 United Democratic Ugandans. All Rights Reserved.