Full Budget speech: Uganda spends Shs 3tn on infrastructure  


Minsiter Kasaija poses for a photo before the Budget reading


The Republic Of Uganda Budget Speech Financial Year 2015/16 has been delivered to the nation at Serena Conference Centre by State minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija under the theme: “Maintaining Infrastructure Investment and Promoting Excellence in Public Service Delivery”.

Delivered at the meeting of the fifth session of the 9th parliament of Uganda on
Thursday, 11th June, 2015, this is the speech made by minister Kasaija.
Madam Speaker, in accordance with Article 155(1) of our Constitution and the recently enacted Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2015, I have the honour to present the budget for the Financial Year 2015/16, in exercise of the power delegated to me by H.E the President of Republic of Uganda. I take this opportunity to thank His Excellency the President for entrusting me with this noble duty.

I also acknowledge my predecessor Madam Maria Kiwanuka for her stewardship and guidance during her tenure, and who laid the foundation for this budget. I also want to thank my staff at the Ministry for an exemplary effort in the preparation of this budget.

Madam Speaker, the Public Finance Management Act 2015, inter alia, requires that the budget is approved by Parliament prior to the beginning of the financial year. The Act aims to, among others, ensure accountability, enhance reporting for public resources, and increases fiscal discipline. It also prescribes how Oil Revenues will be managed and invested. The Act provides for Parliament to approve a Charter of Fiscal Responsibility (CFR) that details a post-election Government’s fiscal policy objective, including the sufficiency of revenue, and the maintenance of prudent levels of public debt.

Madam Speaker, the Financial Year 2015/16 Budget was consequently approved by Parliament on May 30th 2015 in accordance with Section 14 of the Public Finance Management Act 2015. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Parliament, under your able guidance and support, for passing the budget on time, despite the pressure of other business before the august House.

Madam Speaker, the budget seeks to attain a better future for Uganda and is anchored on the Second National Development Plan (NDPII), launched earlier today. Allocations have been made to fund strategic choices that will drive the socio-economic transformation of the country into a middle income country. As His Excellency the President implored us in the State of the Nation Address last week, the budget makes strategic choices that will support business and create jobs.

It also seeks to improve the skills of graduates from our educational system, so that they are prepared to take on employment opportunities, and also create new businesses. Furthermore, it seeks to rebuild the health system to improve service delivery and ultimately deal with the disease burden.

Madam Speaker, Uganda continues to register positive economic growth, driven largely by an increase in private sector activity in agriculture, industry and services. Growth has also been a result of an increase in public infrastructure investment especially in energy and roads. Social services have also expanded significantly, particularly in education and health, in pursuit of Government’s policy of universal access.

Despite significant success achieved in the past, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. The structure of our economy still consists of sizable informal sector that accounts for 49 percent of the economic output. The agriculture and industrial sectors, being the main productive base of the economy require major effort to spur continued growth and competitiveness.

Furthermore, our external sector suffers from an imbalance between growing imports compared to the poor performance of exports. Exports have been constrained largely due to political instability faced by some of our trading partners in the region, and an economic slowdown in Europe.

Madam Speaker, the competitiveness of our private sector remains constrained by infrastructure gaps due to unreliable electricity and an inadequate rail and road networks. These gaps ultimately increase the cost of doing business.

Madam Speaker, unemployment, especially of the youth graduating from educational institutions, is an increasing challenge that must be tackled urgently. As I have mentioned earlier, skills building is one ways to make the youth suitable for the labour market, and also enable them establish Small and Medium Enterprises.

We also need to build an industrial sector base that adds value to newly discovered greatest potential, namely minerals. It is also of urgency that we build a solid industrial sector based principally on adding value where Uganda enjoys a strong comparative advantage, namely agricultural products. In this regard, the provision of affordable and reliable electricity is critical, in addition to dealing with other constraints to doing business.

Madam Speaker, in light of the foregoing , the budget strategy for next financial year has, therefore, been formulated to address the challenges I have just highlighted, while taking into account the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and future prospects. As such, the thrust of next year’s Budget is continued closure of infrastructure gaps, as well as addressing socio-economic transformation. The theme for the budget for next year is hence “Maintaining Infrastructure Investment and Promoting Excellence in Public Service Delivery”.

Madam Speaker, in my statement today I will do the following:-
provide the economic performance and outlook going forward;
account for the use of resources provided in the budget for the financial year now ending;
provide the rationale for revenue measures and resource allocations in the next budget ; and
State policy actions underpinning both the revenue measures and expenditure allocations for the new budget.

Financial Year 2014/15 Economic Performance and Economic Outlook
Economic Performance
Real Sector Performance
Economic Growth
Madam Speaker, Uganda’s economy has become more diversified, leading to new activities which were previously not captured in the national accounts. This diversification takes place continuously in economies that are growing, like Uganda’s. Because of this, the size and structure of our economy has to be periodically re-assessed, which economists call re-basing. The recent re-assessment has shown that our economy is 17 percent larger than previously estimated, and it is now valued at Shs. 75.183 Trillion, which is approximately US Dollars 25 billion.

Madam Speaker, our economy is projected to grow by 5.3 percent in real terms this financial year, reflecting almost full recovery from the slowdown that happened in financial year 2012/13. Growth in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors combined is projected at 2.3 percent; while the industrial sector is projected to grow at 5.5 percent, and services at 5.7 percent.

Madam Speaker, in the agricultural sector, cash crops rebounded strongly from an average negative growth of 1.5 percent per year for the last five years to a positive growth of 6.6 percent in this year. Growth in manufacturing has picked pace after a contraction in financial year 2012/13, and is now estimated at 4.1 percent. Construction has continued to be a major driver of growth in the industrial sector and is estimated to expand by 6.6 percent, principally on account of infrastructure investment. Information and Telecommunications has contributed significantly to Services sector growth, which has continued to register high growth rates estimated at 10.2 percent. This performance is driven by improved services, product innovation and other value added services such as mobile money and other modes of payments.

Inflation and Domestic Prices
Madam Speaker, it is the primary objective of the Government to maintain prices of consumer goods and services stable in order to keep the value of savings and maintain the economic welfare of the people we serve. When prices are increasing all the time, the standards of living decline and the value of savings is eroded.

Madam Speaker, I am happy to report that the rate at which prices are increasing has considerably slowed to an estimated average rate of 2.7 percent this year. The main factors for this are (i) the abundant food supply in the country, thanks to the increased efforts of our farmers and conducive weather, and (ii) falling global oil prices which fell by about 47 percent over the last 12 months ending March 2015, resulting in a slight decline in pump prices domestically. For instance, despite the weakening of the Uganda shilling, pump prices have fallen to an average of Shs, 3,400 per litre from about 3,850 for petrol, and to an average of Shs. 2,850 from Shs. 3,250 for diesel.

Monetary and External Sector Developments
Interest Rates
Madam Speaker, interest rates for borrowers remain high largely due to two factors: (i) the limited supply of long term capital in the economy due to absence of a savings mechanism to mobilize long term capital, and (ii) the risk profile of borrowers which remains high, as demonstrated by high default rates and non-performing loans in the past.

To address these constraints, Government is implementing, among others, the National Identification Project whose integration with financial systems will aid the verification of the creditworthiness of borrowers. Government is also undertaking reforms in the financial sector, including pensions, to create efficient mechanisms to mobilize long term capital. In addition, Government will increase the capitalization of the Uganda Development Bank from the current Shs. 100 billion up to Shs 500 billion over the medium term.

Balance of Payments
Madam Speaker, as I earlier mentioned, our overall balance of payments has been negatively affected by the poor performance of exports to the region and a surge in import demand, as well as net outflow of short term capital in equity and government securities. Total export revenue for the period April 2014 to March 2015 are estimated at US$ 2,701.6 million, compared to imports of US$ 5,048.9 million over the same period. The surge in import demand has been inevitable, given an increase in infrastructure investments in oil, the road network and Karuma and Isimba Hydropower projects.


Museveni and First Lady appear for the Budget reading

Consequently, the current account deficit for this year is projected to widen to 8.5 percent of GDP compared to 7.2 percent in the financial year 2013/14. During the 12-month period ending March 2015, preliminary estimates indicate that the overall balance of payments position was a deficit of US$475 million, compared to the surplus of US$ 287.4 million that was recorded in the previous 12-month period ending March 2014. The current account deficit has been partially financed by transfers in the form of external grants to Government amounting to US$ 299 million, workers’ remittances amounting to US$ 915 million, and foreign direct investments inflows of US$ 1,200 million. However, this was not enough to close the deficit, resulting into a reduction in external reserves amounting to US$ 266.5 million. Despite the reduction, our reserves remain healthy at $2,972.4 million, equivalent to 4.0 months of future imports of goods and services.

Madam Speaker, to address this problem in the medium term Government will enhance export performance, by encouraging exports diversification through, among others, adding value to agricultural products. For example we have now got investors to add value to our coffee and cotton, for a start. This should significantly increase our export earnings.

Exchange Rate and Foreign Reserves
Madam Speaker, the Uganda Shilling, has been weakening against the US Dollar as a result of mainly two major factors. First, the United States Dollar which has been gaining strength against other major international currencies in which we conduct trade. Second, as earlier mentioned, we import more than we export.  Therefore, the increase in demand for foreign exchange to meet the import bill leads to a weak Uganda shilling.

In order to reduce exchange rate volatility, the Bank of Uganda has been intervening in the foreign exchange market, although not to determine its level.  The policy of smoothening the exchange rate movements will continue, in order not to cause undue instability in the business climate.

Public Finance
Revenue Performance
Madam Speaker, total tax collections in this year are projected at Shs. 9,577 billion up from 8,031 billion in financial year 2013/14. This increase is a result of a package of tax policy measures implemented this year, improved tax administration, as well as increased economic activity.

External and Domestic Financing
Madam Speaker, donor financing this year is estimated at Shs. 1,765 billion, of which Shs. 113 billion is budget support, Shs. 559 billion in project grants, and Shs. 1,093 billion in concessional project loans. Domestic financing through issuance of Treasury Bills and Bonds has dropped to Shs. 1,386 billion from Shs. 1,775 billion in financial year 2013/14.

During this financial year, total Government expenditure is estimated at Shs 13,988 billion compared to Shs 11,456 billion in financial year 2013/14. Of this, recurrent expenditure is projected at Shs 7,550 billion and development expenditure at Shs 4,881 billion. Domestically raised revenues will fund 100 percent of the recurrent expenditures and 66 percent of development expenditure. Statutory expenditure this year is projected to increase to Shs.  1,400.7 billion from Shs. 753.9 billion the previous year.

Total expenditure on externally funded development projects is expected to record a shortfall this year, as a result of delays in the disbursement of project loans and grants. These delays arise from weaknesses in project implementation in some areas, caused by limited understanding of disbursement procedures, late procurement and land compensation, and protracted approvals at various levels.

Fiscal Deficit
Madam Speaker, domestic revenue to GDP ratio is estimated at 13 percent this year. Total expenditure is estimated at 18.6 percent of GDP which is much lower compared to about 22 percent within the EAC countries. Domestic resources will finance 76.4 percent of the budget.

The overall fiscal deficit for this year ending is estimated at 4.5 percent of GDP, increasing from 3.9 percent. This increase is due to higher infrastructure spending, particularly on roads and energy. The fiscal deficit is being financed by domestic borrowing through Government treasury bills and bonds and external borrowing. This borrowing has not been inflationary, principally because the money has financed investments in the economy, which ultimately should enhance economic activity and business competitiveness.

Public Debt
Madam Speaker, the stock of outstanding public debt is projected to reach US$ 7.6 billion by end of this financial year, compared to US$ 7.2 billion last year. 60 percent of Uganda’s debt stock is external and 40 percent is domestic. The increase in public debt reflects the increased borrowing to finance infrastructure investment.

Although our public debt has increased faster compared to past trends, it is sustainable in relation to the size of the economy. Measuring public debt in relation to the size of the economy, is a standard practice to know whether or not our debt is sustainable. Based on this measure, our debt to GDP ratio is estimated at 30.4 percent, which is far below the Public Debt Management Framework 2013 threshold and the East African Community Monetary Union convergence criteria requirement of 50 percent.

Public debt sustainability also signifies that Government can continue servicing its debt without default. Our public debt therefore remains sustainable and our economy is by no means under debt distress. This is the same conclusion reached by independent parties who undertake credit rating for Uganda, and the Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Madam Speaker, Uganda’s external debt portfolio consists largely of highly-concessional loans characterized by long maturities and very low fixed interest rates. This further explains why our public debt remains sustainable over a long period in the future. But if our access to the concessional window gets more constrained, Government shall continue to diversify its sources of debt financing. Non-concessional borrowing shall only be considered for the financing of projects that will provide an economic rate of return greater than the cost of debt. Government will also continue to negotiate the most beneficial, and cost-effective terms and conditions.

Economic Outlook
Madam Speaker, the economy is projected to grow at 5.8 percent next financial year, largely on account of the recovery in private sector consumption, as well as acceleration in both public and private investment.  Over the last 2 years, as we are all aware, there has been significant increase in Government spending in infrastructure. This trend will continue in the next few years.

The medium term outlook for our economy is bright, with real Gross Domestic Product expected to continue its recovery path to an average of 6.5 percent in the next 5 years. This growth will be driven by increase in public investment in infrastructure, and a sustained rebound in private sector activities. Consumer prices increases are expected to remain within the 5 percent policy target.

Madam Speaker, the current account deficit is projected to widen slightly on account of import demand driven by higher non-oil private and public infrastructure related imports; and projected weak exports earnings. Uganda’s international reserves are projected to improve gradually to achieve about 4.5 months of import of goods and services cover in the medium term.

Madam Speaker, prospects for the development of Uganda’s oil sector remain positive. To date we have three active exploration licenses and one production license under a joint partnership of three international oil companies. In February this year, Government announced the first bidding licensing round for six blocks in an effort to attract new companies in the exploration phase. The bidding process is ongoing and it is expected to be concluded by December 2015. When successful, this will lead to continued strong foreign direct investment and other financial inflows, with a positive effect on the exchange rate.

Madam Speaker, in line with the budget theme, our strategy next financial year and the medium term will focus on accelerating infrastructure development to address the constraints to private sector growth and increase efficiency in service delivery. The budget deficit for the coming financial year is therefore projected to increase to 7 percent of GDP compared to 4.5 percent for this year. Over the medium term, the deficit will average about 6 percent before it drops to about 4.5 percent in financial year 2019/20, in line with the East African Community Monetary Union Protocol.

Development expenditure is budgeted to grow by 58 percent next financial year, mainly driven by major infrastructure projects including the rehabilitation of Entebbe International Airport, new roads and the Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects. This represents 11.29 percent of GDP next year compared to 7.95 percent this year. Current spending, excluding interest payments, is budgeted to increase by 10 percent. This represents 8.4 percent of GDP next year, compared to 8.5 percent of GDP this year. Public Financial Management reforms will continue to enhance the efficiency of public expenditures.

To avoid an increase in relatively expensive domestic borrowing and reduce the fiscal burden of debt payments over the medium term, a larger share of the fiscal deficit will be financed by external loans. We will continue to pursue concessional loans as the preferred means of meeting our external financing requirements. Non-concessional external borrowing will be considered only for the financing of highly productive fixed capital investments.

Budget Strategy for FY 2015/16
Madam Speaker, the budget reflects the strategic choices that Government has made, in the face of numerous deserving, but competing priorities. This results from the inadequacy of tax revenues to meet all the deserving needs that Government is presented with, even after incurring debt.

Madam Speaker, the budget therefore must prioritize and make those choices that will provide the greatest sustainable economic and social benefits to society in the short, medium and long term. Therefore, while it is deserving to spend more resources on social services such as education and health, it is also prudent to increase funds to key infrastructure investment, such as roads and electricity. Government’s continued focus on infrastructure investment will enhance regional integration, and develop Uganda’s oil sector.  This will unlock private sector activity, stimulate growth and generate much needed tax revenues to finance other deserving needs. However, even with the strategic choice to increase infrastructure spending, social sector spending will also continue. Next year, Government has allocated 11.1 percent and 6.9 percent of the total budget allocations to the education and health sectors, respectively.

Madam Speaker, next financial year’s Budget will therefore focus on the following seven strategic areas:-
Maintenance of National Security and Defense.
Facilitation of Private Sector Enterprise Development.
Effective Development and Maintenance of Infrastructure.
Commercialization of Agriculture and Improved Productivity in Primary Growth Sectors;
Enhanced Capacity for Increased Domestic Revenue Mobilization;
Increased Social Service Delivery; and
Enhanced Efficiency in Government Management.

FY 2015/16 Fiscal Framework
Madam Speaker, the total approved budget for next financial year is Shs 23,972 billion. Out of this, Shs 17,329 billion is allocated for spending by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), which includes statutory expenditures amounting to Shs 1,148 billion.  Shs 6,643 billion is debt repayments plus interest on total debt. The total debt repayment includes Shs 4,787 billion which is meant to pay maturing domestic debt; Shs. 200 billion for recapitalization of the Bank of Uganda; Shs. 1,370.5 billion and Shs 285.7 billion for domestic and external debt interest payments respectively.

Madam Speaker, domestic revenues are expected to increase to Shs. 11,333 billion up from Shs. 9,799 billion. This will be achieved through a number of changes to the structure and coverage of taxes, and efficiency improvements in tax collection and compliance. I will spell out these measures later on when I discuss the approved tax policy measures underpinning next year’s resource framework.

Domestic Financing
Madam Speaker, new domestic debt to be raised through Treasury Bills and Bonds next year is expected to amount to Shs. 1,384 billion. These funds will help to finance Government’s contribution to infrastructure investment projects.

External Financing
Madam Speaker, next year we expect to receive external financing equivalent to Shs. 5,649 billion in grants and loans, of which Shs. 1,095 billion is grants, Shs. 1,326 billion is concessional loans, and Shs. 3,228 billion is non-concessional loans. I thank our development partners for this good gesture.

Sector Performance and Interventions
Madam Speaker, I now turn to sector performance for the financial year now ending, and the planned interventions for next year. I will summarize sector performance and the forthcoming interventions by thematic areas.
Defence and National Security
Madam Speaker, peace and national security is an important pre-requisite which we must not take for granted. As we all know, it forms the fundamental basis for all we seek to achieve. Government has actively enhanced the capacity of Uganda’s armed forces in order to safeguard peace and security of Ugandans and their property. Consequently, the capacity of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and other security agencies has been strengthened through the following interventions:
Recruitment and Training of personnel;
Acquisition of advanced and modern equipment;
Undertaking peacekeeping, defence diplomacy and conflict resolution; and
Improving staff welfare through provision of accommodation, medical facilities, and access to credit.

Madam Speaker, the Uganda security forces have with distinction secured the country against terrorist attacks, and also executed peace keeping missions in some of our neighbouring countries. Ugandans wholeheartedly acknowledge the invaluable contribution of our Men and Women in defence and security services for the peace we are enjoying in Uganda.

Madam Speaker, an allocation of Shs 1,632.89 billion has been approved for the Security Sector in the budget for the next year. These resources will be utilized to further professionalize the armed forces and other security organs. Specific emphasis will be placed on the acquisition of modern weaponry, strengthening intelligence capability, training and welfare.

Commercializing Production and Value Addition
Madam Speaker, Government recognizes the pivotal role of the Agricultural Sector in economic growth and development. The sector employs 66 percent of Uganda’s labour force. The role of agriculture in the livelihood of most Ugandans, cannot be over-emphasized. The goal of the NRM government is to expedite the transformation of this sector from subsistence farming to viable commercial enterprises.

Madam Speaker, the agricultural sector has performed strongly this year, as I reported earlier.  Consequently production of various commodities has increased. For instance, fish production increased by 10.1 percent from about 420,000 Metric Tonnes to about 460,000  Metric Tonnes.

The ongoing major Government interventions include;
providing seed, planting, breeding and stocking materials to famers;
reforming agricultural extension and advisory services;
funding agricultural research and animal genetic improvement
support to commodity value chains;
Construction of 179 valley tanks with capacity of over 500,000 cubic meters across the country
Enforcing agriculture standards and regulations including the fisheries regulations;
Controlling of pests, vector and disease, especially Foot and Mouth Disease.

Madam Speaker, since 2012, Government has implemented the Commodity Based Approach (CBA) under which support is channeled to the 12 prioritized commodities, namely: maize, beans, rice, bananas, cassava, cattle, meat, fish, coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables. Specific interventions under each commodity chain has included the provision of improved planting and breeding materials, and supporting agricultural research and development.

Madam Speaker, for next year I have allocated Shs. 479.96 billion to the agriculture sector. The strategic interventions to be implemented under the Commodity Based Approach,  include the following:-
Provision of agricultural inputs to farmers;
Promotion of value addition for strategic commodities;
Funding research to increase productivity and disease resistance varieties;
Controlling of pests and diseases, with special emphasis on Banana and Coffee Bacterial Wilt and Foot and Mouth Disease;
Construction of valley tanks and dams for livestock and crop irrigation; and
Providing affordable long term financing under the Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF) for production and agro-processing.

Value Addition and Industrial Development
Madam Speaker, this year, the Uganda Industrial Research Institute has made significant innovations for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) for adding value to agricultural products and build the economy’s industrial base. These innovations include the following:-
Development of solar dryer prototypes including a wooden solar dryer of 100kg capacity to dry briquettes within 2 days;
Production of several antibiotics including Bacitracin, Nisin, Subtilin, Aspergilic acid, and Surfactin, all of which have useful pharmaceutical applications;
Fabrication of value addition technologies including an energy efficient oven, ceramic bio-gas burner and a soap making machine;
Development of a thermo-stable vaccine against Newcastle Disease Vaccine, a major step in dealing with the most devastating disease in poultry farming.

Madam Speaker, the Uganda Industrial Research Institute has also provided support for the development of the following industries on a business incubation basis:-
Premier dairies producing pasteurized Mega Milk at 180,000 litres per month;
Kabale potatoes processing and Research facility supporting 450 farmers producing potato chips;
Lira peanut processing and research facility supporting 150 farmers producing at 6.5 tons per month;
Mushroom Training and Research Center serving over 7,000 people in the districts of Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu, Bushenyi, Kisoro, and Ntungamo;
Pioneered support in the cosmetic industry with Aleosha and Amagara skin care products;
Under a pilot marketing arrangement, distributed 6 million doses of Vaccine against Newcastle disease in Mbale, Kibuku, Palisa, Bukedea, Kumi, and Iganga.

Madam Speaker, industrial and business Parks at Namanve, Luzira, Mukono and Mbale will continue to be operationalized to provide serviced areas for the development of manufacturing and other business enterprises. Government will complete the road networks and provide utilities such as water and electricity. In addition provision for warehousing and logistics including cold-storage and market auctioning for the wholesale of agricultural produce, will be provided.

In addition to the initial focus on the Kampala Industrial and Business Park at Namanve, an allocation of Shs. 4.5 billion has been approved for the compensation of persons on the Mbale Industrial and Business Park, to pave way for its development.

Madam Speaker, Government will also develop Economic Processing Zones (EPZ’s) in line with the Free Zones Act 2014. Economic Processing Zones (EPZs) are important tools for industrial and export promotion. Government has identified land in Kaweweta to set up an Export Processing Zone. Government is completing the procedures to secure ownership of the land and also concluding negotiations with prospective investors for its development. The Zone will consist of, among others, a world class modern abattoir, milk and fruit processing plants, an area for a modern farm, a textiles manufacturing plant, and refining local medicinal and aromatic herbs.

Tourism Development
Madam Speaker, Government has developed a 10 year tourism master plan and a 5 year sector Development Plan to guide the implementation of critical activities to drive tourism growth in the country. Consequently, a holistic tourism promotion strategy that builds on our comparative tourism advantage is being implemented by the Uganda Tourism Board. In addition, visa costs for tourists have been reduced with the introduction of the Single Tourist Visa to promote tourism through easing cross border transits within East Africa. This should increase tourist numbers, generate higher foreign exchange inflows and enhance the employment potential of the Tourism and Hospitality industry.

Madam Speaker, in order to diversify tourism products based on communities, Regional Tourism Clusters were formed in Buganda, Busoga, Kigezi, Bugisu, Bunyoro, Toro, Northern Uganda and West Nile. These clusters identify, develop and market region-specific tourism products with close support of the Uganda Tourism Board. Further efforts are being made with the development of Satellite Wildlife Education Centers in Fort Portal and Mayuge and the construction of a Regional Museum at Soroti.

Madam Speaker, Government actions to revitalize the Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the medium term will include the following:-
Undertake skills development to meet world class requirements for high standard of performance in the hospitality industry;
Complete the rating and ranking of hotels and restaurants;
develop strategic tourism infrastructure in partnership with the Private Sector ;
Enact and enforce sector regulation to ensure the maintenance of sector standards at internationally acceptable levels.

Madam Speaker, an allocation of Shs. 30.8 billion has been approved towards the Tourism sector to implement these activities.

Business Climate
Madam Speaker, in order to improve the business climate, Government has undertaken legal and regulatory reforms including: reforms in Land administration, business registration and licensing. These reforms have thus far resulted in the following:-
a comprehensive inventory and review of all business licenses;
establishment of a business license e-registry as the sole repository of business licenses to create a one stop center linking to other agencies;
the launch of a business regulation feedback portal at the Private Sector Foundation Uganda; and
Completion of computerization of 21 land registries.

Madam Speaker, in the medium term Government will further rationalize business licenses and procedures to eliminate red-tape in business transactions. We will also enhance the efficiency of the judiciary to reduce commercial case backlog by introducing new technology, making procedures faster, including instituting small claims procedures.

Strategic Infrastructure Development and Maintenance
Transport Infrastructure
Roads and Bridges
Madam Speaker, in the roads sub-sector, emphasis has been on upgrading of numerous gravel national roads to bitumen standard, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as maintenance of national, district, urban and community access roads. For instance, over the last five years, the stock of paved roads has increased by 889 km; and 862 kilometers of paved roads have been reconstructed. Consequently, the following outcomes in the road sector have been achieved:
The proportion of national paved roads in fair to good condition increased from 74 percent in financial year 2010/11 to 80 percent in financial year 2013/14, and this is projected to improve to 85 percent in this year; and
The condition of national unpaved roads in fair to good condition has increased from 64 percent to 67 percent over the same period, exceeding the NDPI target of 55 percent.

Madam Speaker, urban areas continue to suffer poor road infrastructure and increasing congestion, costing dearly the population, and ultimately the economy in terms of time and money. Consequently, Government is carrying out total reconstruction of the urban road networks in Mbale, Arua, Jinja, Hoima, Masaka, Entebbe, Soroti, and Kabale Municipalities. In Kampala City, a total of 1,207 km of the city road network have been constructed, rehabilitated or regularly maintained and more is planned for.

Madam Speaker, I am glad to report that several road projects have been completed during this year. These are:- Tororo – Mbale – Soroti and Jinja – Kamuli in Eastern Uganda,  Hoima – Kaiso – Tonya and Buteraniro – Ntungamo in Western Uganda, Kampala – Masaka and Namanve Industrial Park Access Road in Central Uganda; and Vurra- Arua- Koboko – Oraba and Gulu- Atiak in Northern Uganda.

Madam Speaker, works on the following roads is progressing well:-
Kawempe – Kafu, Mukono – Jinja, Kampala – Entebbe Expressway, Kampala Northern Bypass Phase 2, Mpigi – Kanoni, Luuku – Kalangala and Mukono – Katosi/Kisoga – Nyenga in Central Uganda;
Ntungamo – Katuna, Ishaka – Kagamba, Mbarara By-pass, Ntungamo – Mirama Hills in South Western Uganda;
Kamwenge – Fort Portal, , Kafu – Kiryandongo, Kiryandongo – Karuma, in Western Uganda;
Moroto – Nakapiripirit in North Eastern Uganda;
Atiak – Nimule, Karuma – Kamdini, Kamdini – Gulu, Acholibur – Kitgum –Musingo, Olwiyo (Anak) – Gulu, Gulu – Acholibur in Northern Uganda.

Madam Speaker, a total of 167 km have been upgraded from gravel to tarmac out of the annual target of 250 km. In addition, 129 km of national roads were reconstructed/rehabilitated out of the annual target of 170km. With respect to paved road routine mechanized maintenance, a total of 2,664km were completed out of the annual target of 3,000km. In addition, a total of 11,448km of unpaved roads have undergone routine mechanized maintenance out of annual target of 12,500km.

Madam Speaker, an allocation of Shs. 3,328.79 billion to the transport sector has been approved for the next financial year, in order to improve the condition of transport infrastructure nationwide. This represents 18.2 percent of the total resource allocation for next financial year. Government shall accelerate the construction and completion of on-going road projects and maintenance of the national, district, urban, community access road networks and numerous bridges across the country.

Madam Speaker, the road sector is targeting the following outputs in the forthcoming financial year:
Upgrading 400km of roads from gravel to tarmac roads;
Reconstructing and Rehabilitating 250km of old paved roads;
Undertaking routine mechanized maintenance on 3,000 kilometres of paved roads;
routine mechanized maintenance on 12,500 kilometers of unpaved roads; and
Periodic maintenance on 2,000 kilometers of unpaved roads.

Madam Speaker, next year, the following roads projects will be completed:
Atiak – Nimule (35km), Maracha and Koboko town roads (6.9km) and Mvara – Ediofe Cathedral road in Arua Municipality (10.1km) in Northern Uganda;
Kamwenge- Fort Portal (65km), Kafu – Kiryandongo (43km), Bundibugyo Town roads (6km) and in Western Uganda;
Rwentobo – Kabale – Katuna road (65km), Ishaka – Kagamba (35km) and Kabale Town road (2.3km) in South Western Uganda;
Moroto – Nakapiripit (92km) in North Eastern Uganda; and
Masaka – Nyendo (8km), Seeta – Namugongo (7.2km), Kyaliwajala-Kira (3.5km), Naalya-Kyaliwajala (2.5km), Namugongo Ring road (1.8km) and Shrine Access (1.8km) and Nakasongola road (2km) in Central Uganda.

In addition, construction works will continue on the following roads:
Kampala – Entebbe Express way with a spur to Munyonyo (51km), Mpigi – Kanoni (65km), Kampala Northern Bypass (17km); Kanoni – Sembabule – Villa Maria (110km), Mukono – Katosi/ Kisoga – Nyenga (74km) and Mukono – Kayunga –Njeru (94km) in Central Uganda;
Pakwach – Nebbi (54km), Karuma – Kamdini, Kamdini – Gulu (65km); Olwiyo (Anaka) – Gulu (70km); Gulu – Acholibur (77km); Acholibur – Kitgum – Musingo border (86km) and Lira – Akia & Lira Railway & Army Barracks Accesses (12km) in Northern Uganda;
Kiryandongo – Karuma in Western Uganda;
Mbarara Bypass (40km) and Ntungamo – Mirama Hills (37km) in South Western Uganda; and
Musita – Mayuge – Lumino – Busia/Majanji (104km), Namunsi – Sironko – Muyembe (32km); Iganga – Kaliro (32km) in Eastern Uganda.

Madam Speaker, new road construction and maintenance projects to commence next year include;
Tirinyi – Pallisa – Kumi/ Pallisa – Kamonkoli (111km); Mbale – Bubulo – Lwakhakha road (45km), Nakalama – Tirinyi – Mbale (101km), Mbale – Nkokonjeru (21km); Soroti – Arapai Railway Station (10km), Soroti State Lodge road (2km) Kamuli and Jinja Town roads (22.2km) and Ngora town road (2km) in Eastern Uganda;
Mityana – Mubende (89 km), Kibuye – Entebbe Airport (37 km) Kampala – Mukono (21km), Nansana – Busunju (47km); Masaka – Bukakata (41km) and Luuka – Kalangala (60km) Phase 2 in Central Uganda;
Fort Portal – Kyenjojo (50km), Fort Portal – Hima (55km); Hima- Katunguru (58 km); Hoima – Butiaba – Wanseko (111km), Bulima – Kabwoya (65km); Kabwoya – Kyenjojo (105km); Mubende –Kibale – Kagadi (104km), Kigumba – Masindi – Bulima (69km) in Western Uganda;
Rukungiri – Kihihi – Ishasha/ Kanungu (78km), Ishaka – Rugazi –Katunguru (55km) and Kabale – Bunyonyi Lake road (8km)  in South Western Uganda; and
Karenga – South Sudan border (44km) in Northern Uganda; and
Soroti- Katakwi -Moroto – Lokitanyala (208km); Muyembe – Nakapiripirit (92km); Mbale – Nkokonjeru (21km) in Eastern Uganda.

Procurement for the contractors to undertake the following road projects will be commenced next year:
Tororo – Mbale – Soroti maintenance and Lira – Kamdini construction and maintenance (altogether 341km) with support from the World Bank (WB);
Two Kampala Flyovers and road upgrading project with assistance from the Japanese Government (JICA);
Muyembe – Nakapiripirit (92km) funded by the Islamic Development bank (IDB);
Kabwoya-Buhuka (43km) and Karugutu – Ntoroko road (55km) with assistance from the UK Government;
Rwenkunye –Masindi Port – Apac – Lira – Acholibur (250km) under IDB funding;
Kapchorwa – Suam road funded by African Development Bank (AfDB); and
Kampala – Jinja Expressway (77km) under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Madam Speaker, feasibility studies and designs will also be carried out on the following roads:
Luwero- Butalangu -Ngoma (83km), Lusalira – Kasambya – Nkonge – Sembabule (97km), Kanoni-Misingi – Mityana (61km),  Bombo – Ndejje – Kalasa (19km), Kampala – Bombo Expressway (35km), Kampala – Mpigi Expressway (21 km) and Nakasero-Northern Bypass Express Route, Seeta – Kyaliwajjala – Matugga – Wakiso – Buloba-Nsangi road; Najjanankumbi – Busabala Road and Nambole – Namilyango road in Central Uganda;
Karugutu – Ntoroko (55km), Muhororo – Ndaiga (31km), Kyenjojo (Kahunge) – Nyarukoma- Kigarale – Rwamwanja (34km); in Western Uganda,
Kabwohe – Bwizibwera/ Nsika – Ibanda-Kabujogera-Masyoro-Rwenjaza/Kyambura (85km);  Rwamwanja – Kiruhura (34km), Hamurwa – Kerere – Kanungu/ Buleme – Buhoma – Butogota – Hamayanja – Ifasha – Ikumba (149km); Ishasha – Katunguru (88km); Kisoro – Mgahinga Gate (14km); Kisoro – Rubuguli – Muko (48km) Muhanga – Kisiizi -Rwashamaire (50km) in South Western Uganda;
Nabumali – Butaleja – Namutumba (90km); Magale – Bumbo – Lwakhakha road (14km); , Kumi – Ngora – Serere- Kagwara/ Soroti (75km), Soroti-Katakwi-Moroto, Mayuge-Mbaale-Nakivumbi-Bugiri-Namayingo-Lugala (90km), Busia – Tororo (24km), Simu-Kamu-Bulago-Masisa (with a loop to Bumasobo in Buyaga) and Bubulo – Bududa circular road (28km) in Eastern Uganda;  and
Atiak-Adjumani-Afoji, Goli – Paidha – Zombo – Warr – Arua (59km), and Kitgum – Kapedo road in Northern Uganda.

Madam Speaker, construction of the following strategic bridges across the country will continue: Second Nile Bridge at Jinja;  Pakwala, Nyacyara, Goli, Nyagak- 3 (Nebbi), Enyau-3 and Alla (Arua), Apak Bridge on Lira – Moroto road, Ntungwe Bridge on  Ishasha – Katunguru road (Kanungu), Mitano  Bridge on Rukunguri – Kanungu  road, Kabaale (linking Kyankwanzi to Ngoma in Nakaseke), Kasozi (Lugogo) Bridge (linking Ngoma – Buruli), Nalakasi Bridge on Ariamoi-Kotido-Kaabong-Kapedo road, Lopei Bridge on Moroto -Ariamoi-Kotido road, Nyamugasani Bridge on Kinyamaseke-Kisinga-Kyarumba-Kibirizi road, Maliba-Nkenda Bridge on Bugoye- Nyakalingijo road in Kasese, Ruboni Bridge which provides access to Mt Mageritta tourist site in Kasese, Cido Bridge on Nebbi-Goli road, Leresi Bridge on Butaleja-Leresi-Budaka road, Seretiyo and Nyaliti Bridge on Kapchorwa-Suam road, Ora Bridge on Okokko – Anyiribu road, Aji Bridge on Ullepi Offaka – Nyiribu road, Kangole Bridge on Katakwi – Moroto road, Kaabong Bridge and, Kabuhuuna Bridge on Nguse River in Kibaale District. The design of Kiakia, Ora, Mutukula, Semilik, and Murungo Bridges will also be undertaken.

Madam Speaker, procurement for the construction for an additional 20 strategic Bridges will be completed. These include: Awa, Olemika, Ora 1 and 2  Bridges on Pakwach-Inde-Ocoko road, Nyakambu Bridge on Kabwohe – Bwizibwera road, Koch Bridge on Keri – Midigo – Kerwa road, Osu Bridge on Arua – Biliafe – Otrevu road, Odrua Bridge on Arua-Vurra Custom-Paidha Goli road, Nariamabune Bridge on Ariamoi-Kotido-Kabong-Kapedo road, Malaba  2 and 3 Bridges, Okane and Halukada Bridges on Tororo – Busia road, Maziba (Omukabaare) Bridge on Old Kabale Road (i.e. Kigata – Kabunyonyi – Nyakigugwe) road, Kagandi (Kaku) Bridge on Natete – Busanza – Mpaka road, Kiruruma Bridge on  Katojo – Kihihi road, Dungulwa Bridge, Rwembyo and Kajwenge Bridges on Kinyamaseke-Kisinga-Kyarumba-Kibirizi road, and Kamira Bridge on Kabwohe – Bwizibwera road.

Madam Speaker, since 2009, road maintenance equipment units were provided to Local Governments to enable them to carry out regular maintenance of district roads and also allow opening new community access roads. Because this equipment has not been properly maintained, commencing next financial year, Government will detail and enforce operational procedures for equipment management.

Madam Speaker, in order to protect road reserves, Government will also establish a road reserve protection unit comprising of police and UNRA officials to patrol and demolish structures set up in road reserves, gazette these road reserves, freeze any future development on these reserves and install mark posts to demarcate them.

Madam Speaker, Government will enforce zero tolerance for corruption at weighbridges by dismissing and prosecuting corrupt officials manning weighbridges. This is because weighbridges continue to be abused and have not deterred axle overloading which is seriously damaging our newly constructed roads. In addition, the law will be amended to make it more punitive to transporters who overload. The Hon. Minister of Works and Transport will issue a statutory instrument banning the transporting of wet sand.

Railway Transport
Madam Speaker, Government is committed to revitalize the railway network in order to lower cost of freight, especially for bulky commodities. Government will fast track the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). To-date, we have made modest progress in a number of areas. The preliminary studies for the Kampala-Kigali and upgrade of Tororo-Pakwach/Gulu-Nimule railway line to standard gauge railway line are underway.

Water Transport
Madam Speaker, Inland/water transport has great potential for development of an inexpensive, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly transportation system. Government initiatives under the water transport sub-sector have mainly focused on construction and rehabilitation of the inland water landing sites, procurement of ferry services, improving the safety through surveys and mapping of inland transport routes.

In the forthcoming year and over the medium term, Government will focus on improvement of existing marine infrastructure so as to reduce the cost of transportation and increase connectivity. Specifically, Government will focus on increasing the volume of passenger and cargo traffic by marine transport. In addition, a number of legislative interventions will be initiated as measures to provide safe, secure and environmentally friendly inland water transport. In the next year, new ferries will be commissioned for Wanseko – Panyamur, Namasale – Lwampanga and Sugulu Islands (Bugiri district) while rehabilitation of Kiyindi ferry will be completed. Procurement for a ferry on Lake Bunyonyi will also commence.

Air Transport
Madam Speaker, over the next five year period, Entebbe International Airport as Uganda’s principal international gateway, will be upgraded to improve the quality of operation and maintenance. The scope of works upgrade includes, among others, construction of a new cargo center, new passenger terminal, strengthening runways, and the replacement of navigations aids. The cost of the Airport rehabilitation amounts to US$ 325 million, and this money has already been secured. In addition, several regional aerodromes, including the Jinja one, and an airport at Kabale (Hoima) to ease the development of the oil refinery will be fast-tracked.

Energy Infrastructure
Madam Speaker, over the medium term, Government will address the high energy costs and unreliable power supply faced by the consumer especially those engaged in production.

Madam Speaker, electricity generation capacity in Uganda has increased from 595MW in 2011 to 851.53 MW in 2014, including 100MW of thermal power on stand-by. This generation capacity includes: Nalubale (180MW), Kiira (200MW), Bujagali (250MW), Electromaxx (50MW), Jacobsen (50MW), Kakira (50MW) and Kilembe Cobalt (KCCL (9MW). Other small stations include Kinyara (5MW), Mubuku (5MW), Ishasha (6.5MW), Mpanga (18MW), Bugoye (13MW), Kabalega (9MW), Nyagak 1 (3.5MW), Kisiizi (0.35MW), Kuluva (0.12MW), Kagando (2MW) and off grid thermal plants (2MW).

Arising out of the above interventions, the National electricity access has increased from 11 percent in 2011 to 14 percent in 2014. During the same period, rural electricity has increased from 4 percent to 7 percent. Power loses in the Distribution Network now stand at 20 percent from 27 percent in 2011. The total Grid electricity Supply increased by 5.4 percent from 3,039 Giga Watt hours (GWh) in 2013 to 3,203 Giga Watt hours (GWh) in 2014. Under the Rural Electrification Programme, a total of 1568 kms of Medium Voltage lines and 688 kms of Large Voltage lines have been completed and commissioned in FY 2014/15. Ongoing projects total to 1,938 kms of Medium Voltage lines and 1,633 kms of Large Voltage distribution lines. These will be completed in the coming financial year. In terms of connections, new customer connections made under the Rural Electrification Programme during this year include 46,000 new connections on the grid and 1,968 new solar Photo Voltaic (PV) connections.

Madam Speaker, in the forthcoming year, Government will fast-track the construction of the Karuma and Isimba Hydropower Projects (600MW and 183MW respectively), other mini-hydro power projects such as Muzizi HPP, construction of at least Five Small Hydropower plants (Nyamwamba 9.2MW, Siti 1  5MW, Waki  5MW, Rwimi  5.4MW, Kikagati 16MW and at Nengo Bridge 7.5MW) as well as construction of transmission lines under the Rural Electrification Programme. Feasibility studies for other hydropower projects are on ongoing.

Madam Speaker, commencing next Financial Year, Government will also construct a total of 2,002 Km of transmission lines across the country. These include Bujagali-Tororo-Lessos (220kV), Mbarara – Mirama Hill – Birembo (220 kV), Mbarara – Nkenda (132kV), Tororo – Opuyo –Lira (132kV), Kawanda – Masaka (220kV), Nkenda – Fort Portal – Hoima (220kV) Isimba Interconnection Project (132kV), Karuma – Kawanda (400kV), Karuma – Lira (220kV); Mutundwe – Entebbe (132kV) and new substations at Gulu and Agago with line bays at Lira.

Madam Speaker, Government is resolute in investing in the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the exploitation of the abundant renewable energy sources including hydropower, geothermal, and nuclear, so as to increase power generation capacity to 2,500MW in 2020. However, our long term vision is to achieve the required 41,738 Mega Watts by year 2040. In addition, Government is targeting to increase per capita electricity consumption to 588kWh by 2020 and 3,668 kWh by 2040. This will address the energy constraints in order to lower production costs and ultimately improve on the country’s competitiveness.

Oil, Gas and Mineral Development
Madam Speaker, as we are all aware, the legal framework for the management of Oil and Gas Resources has been finalised. These include the enactment of the Petroleum (refining, gas conversion, transmission and midstream storage) Act 2013, the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act 2013 and the Public Finance Management Act 2015. The relevant institutions, including the establishment of the National Oil Company and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, are also being finalized to ensure prudent management of the Oil and Gas resources.

Madam Speaker, as part of the Refinery development programme, land acquisition for the proposed Oil Refinery at Kabaale in Hoima is almost complete. The Environmental baseline study for the Oil Refinery project has also been concluded. The major priority next financial year will be commencement of detailed engineering studies for the Oil Refinery, following the selection of a Lead Investor on a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) basis. Government shall also fast track infrastructure development for the commercialization of oil, including the development of an airport, as already alluded to earlier, near the Oil Refinery project site at Hoima.

Madam Speaker, Government will also continue the exploration and production of oil and other valuable minerals such as Iron Ore and Phosphates, and also concretize the development of the Crude Oil Pipeline to the Indian Ocean and petroleum products pipelines.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure
Madam Speaker, improving access to efficient and affordable ICT services is key to promoting private sector investment, by significantly reducing the cost of internet services and which also stimulates the growth of other related sectors of the economy. The ICT sector currently employs about 1.3 million people and generated up Shs 416.7 billion in 2014 up from Shs 332 billion in 2013. It contributes almost 2 percent to national output. The number of mobile telephone subscribers now stands at 19.5 million, while internet subscriptions increased from 3.4 million in 2013 to 4.3 million in 2014.  The volume of various value added services such as Mobile Money transfers and other data related services are becoming more popular. All these are attributed to the improved ICT infrastructure.

Madam Speaker, the operationalization of the national backbone has started yielding positive results. By January 2015, thirty (30) public offices were connected to the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) and received high speed internet bandwidth. This intervention has led to a reduction in Government expenditure to the tune of UGX 5.287 billion per annum. In the coming year, an additional 60 offices will be connected to further reduce public expenditure on connectivity by UGX 9.347 billion.

Madam Speaker, the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) is currently consolidating the hardware and software licenses with the objective of accelerating delivery of Government services. Other developments include the connection of Public Universities to the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) to enable access to high speed internet connectivity and facilitate e-learning and technological research.

In addition, a One Network Area for telecom services for partner states under the Northern Corridor Integration Project was established. As a result, calls originating and terminating in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan are charged at the local call rates, hence, reducing the cost of cross-border business transactions from USD 18 cents to USD 10 cents per minute.

Madam Speaker, Digital Broadcasting Migration that increases the efficiency of the use of the broadcasting spectrum has commenced with a pilot phase covering Kampala. Digital Migration in broadcasting will be rolled out nationwide, under a Public Private Partnership arrangement.

Madam Speaker, next year interventions in Information and Communications Technology will include the following:-
Complete the third phase of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI);
extended to include Short Messaging Services (SMS) and Data Services by December 2015;
connect more MDAs to the NBI to reduce the cost of internet connectivity and promote e-Government;
strengthen the legal and institutional framework for ICT use and IT information security;
establish a fully integrated one stop centre for investment linking the National Identity Card System, the Integrated Financial Management System, Government Payroll System, (IPPS) and Computerized Education Management System (CEMAS), among other interventions;
operationalize the second phase of the National Backbone Infrastructure; and
commence the construction of the National ICT Park and Innovation Centre at Namanve.

Human Capital Development
Madam Speaker, enhancing the skills and the welfare of Uganda’s human resource enables sustainable supply of skilled, healthy and capable Ugandans to support private sector and social development.  As I mentioned earlier, Government is committed to enhance service delivery in the education, health and water sectors by addressing challenges in human resources management, enhancing performance, and strengthening supervision, monitoring and inspection.

Education and Skills Development
Madam Speaker, Government has continued to improve access to education by implementing the Universal Primary Education (UPE), Universal Secondary Education (USE) and Universal Post Ordinary Level Education and Training (UPOLET) programmes. In the financial year now ending, UPE enrolment amounted to 6.4 million pupils; and the USE/UPOLET programme enrolled 873,476 students, of whom 46.2 percent were female.

Madam Speaker, financing for higher education under the Students Loan Scheme commenced with 1,201 students for 26 programmes in 13 Chartered Universities under 9 major disciplines receiving loans against 2,125 applicants. Under Skilling Uganda, the Sector disbursed funds towards completion of construction works of workshops and classrooms at Kihanda and Namasale Technical Schools, civil works of classrooms and workshops at Namisindwa Technical School in Manafwa and St. Joseph’s Kyalubingo in Kamwenge were undertaken. Construction of 8 Primary Teachers Colleges is ongoing at Paidha, Arua, Canon Lawrence, Bukedea, Kapchorwa, Bundibugyo, Buhungiro and Ibanda. In fulfillment of the pledge by His Excellency the President, teachers’ salaries were increased by a further 15 percent and Shs. 206 billion was disbursed towards this purpose.

Madam Speaker, Government is committed to enhance access and quality of education and skills development. In the next financial year, an allocation of UShs 2,029 Billion has been approved. The key priorities to be financed in the FY 2015/16 include the following;
Increase in the Capitation and School Facilities Grants by an additional UShs.39.78 billion to ensure better effectiveness of the UPE, USE/UPOLET programmes;
Construct 293 Primary schools in the country;
Train 4,000 Head Teachers and orient 10,000 School Management Committees (SMCs) in Leadership and Management Skills. In addition, 12,000 teachers and head teachers will be trained in delivering literacy and numeracy in primary 1 to primary 3 in 27 worst performing districts
Provide instructional materials and teaching aids for UPE, USE and UPOLET;
Enhance vocational and skills development by implementing the Skilling Uganda Project with additional funding of Shs 5.9 billion;
Increase access to tertiary education by expanding the  Student Loan Scheme with an additional allocation of Shs. 6billion for loans to 1,000 new degree students and 200 diploma students;
Support to the Teachers SACCO with an additional Shs. 5 bn in order to increase access to affordable financial and credit facilities;
Kick-start construction of the National High Altitude Centre in Kapchwora and embark on preliminary design works for Akii-Bua Olympic Stadium in Lira with an additional allocation of Shs.5bn; and
Increase of salaries for Lecturers in all Public Universities with an additional funding of UShs.50bn.  This enhancement will raise the Professor’s pay from the current shs.4.1 million to UShs.6.3 million per month.

Madam Speaker, this year, Government launched the Youth Livelihood Programme in order to create jobs for the youth. By December 2014, a total of 36,144 youth had received technical and financial support to enable them establish projects. As a consequence, a total 2,788 youth projects worth UGX 19.6bn have been supported under the programme.

Health Service Delivery
Madam Speaker, over a number years, health service delivery has improved as a result of Government interventions with the support of our development partners.

From 2006 to 2014: Infant Mortality rate reduced from 76/1,000 to 54/1,000 Live Births;
Under Five (5) mortality reduced from 137 per 1000 live births to 90 per 1000 live briths…

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