2040 Vision: Innovative financing for development model can help achieve it


The World Bank is following a new approach to engagement with countries which aims to make the country-driven model more systematic, evidence-based, selective and focused on the goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. At the same time, a United Nations panel of nine experts says that traditional ways of raising money for humanitarian relief are failing.  Experts suggest the problems could be addressed by looking at new sources of finance, such as taxing entertainment purchases or seeking Arab donors.

Kristallina Georgieva, the European Commission vice president, and co-chair of the panel said that among the ideas to increase funds were introducing micro payments on large volume transactions such as airline tickets.

Georgieva also mentioned that the panel had been in touch with world soccer governing body FIFA about developing a mutual understanding given soccer’s popularity around the globe. The people of many African countries are soccer-mad and a micro-contribution on soccer tickets as an innovative financing mechanism could pull in significant amounts of revenue for the government. This is not the only option advocated by the UN panel as they have suggested taxing cinema tickets or taxi rides, ordered for example via the Uber Smartphone application

Uganda is one of the African countries with a record of prudent macroeconomic management and structural reform. Despite various exogenous shocks—droughts, a severe energy crisis and surges in food and oil prices—annual GDP growth averaged 7% in the 1990s accelerating to over 8% from 2001 to 2008.  The recent discovery of oil brings both development opportunities and challenges.  Global experience demonstrates that if it is not properly managed, natural resource wealth in the context of poverty and weak institutions increases the probability of corruption, patronage, instability and conflict.

In line with the World Bank’s more structured approach the Ugandan National Planning authority, in consultation with other government institutions and stakeholders, developed an ambitious Uganda Vision 2040 which was launched on 18 April 2013.  The vision is:

“A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant [society] to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years”

Uganda Vision 2040 builds on the progress that has been made in addressing the strategic bottlenecks that have constrained Uganda’s socio-economic development since independence, including: ideological disorientation, a weak private sector, underdeveloped human resources, inadequate infrastructure, a small domestic market, the lack of industrialisation, an underdeveloped services sector, the under-development of agriculture, and poor democracy, among others. It is a long-term plan aimed at transforming the country from being a predominantly peasant and low income country with a per capita income of $506 to a competitive upper middle class income country with a per capita income of $9,500 by 2040.

The focus of Uganda Vision 2040 is to strengthen the fundamentals of the economy to harness the great potential in Uganda. The many opportunities include: oil and gas, tourism, minerals, ICT business, an abundant labour force, the country’s geographical location, and trade, water resources, industrialisation, and agriculture.

On the other hand, the fundamentals include an appropriate infrastructure for energy, transport, water, oil and gas. The implementation of Vision 2040 will depend on the actions and measures undertaken by government, the private sector, civil society and individuals through short and medium-term National Development Plans.

With all these needs to support, before it can achieve Vision 2040, it is clear that Uganda could benefit from a partnership with a global revenue-assurance and ICT expert like Global Voice Group (GVG).  GVG works exclusively with governments to examine the various private sector industries, some of which are: telecommunications, financial services, travel and tourism, mining and minerals, energy and other economic activities, to identify new revenue streams for the government. There are powerful revenue-raising opportunities available to the Ugandan government through GVG’s Innovative Financing for Development[1] model.  This could also incorporate some of the suggestions made by the UN panel described above.

GVG’s data collection and processing systems incorporating fraud management systems could give the government full control over the data and the revenues generated through its specialised expertise.

If the Ugandan government can ensure proper governance of the telecommunications and other sectors by installing efficient and cutting-edge ICT technology systems, it will be in a position to capitalise on the revenues generated through IFD mechanisms and channel them into initiatives and projects to support Vision 2040. The government should focus on its priorities and on proven financing mechanisms that work to deliver the infrastructural reform and socio-economic improvements implied by Vision 2040 and needed to ensure a better life for all in Uganda.

[1] All the financial funding methods which originate from sources other than Official Development Assistance (ODA)

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