On Day 4 of the cabinet, permanent secretaries and NRM Central Executive Committee retreat in Kyankwanzi, President Yoweri Museveni presented his third paper of the retreat titled ‘Fast-tracking the industrialisation and socio-economic transformation of Uganda. Kisanja hakuna mchezo’.
“We need to note that prior to 1704 A.D. there were no machines. Humans used hammers and muscle power to work,” he told ministers.
The inception of machines thereafter made production faster and increased volumes, Museveni added, citing Stevenson’s discovery of the steam engine which enhanced production, same with discovery of electricity.
Uganda only joined the industrial revolution in 1954 with introduction of sugar and soap factories.
Uganda got its first dam then, producing 15MW but consuming only one megawatt.
The 14MW were exported to Kenya. Eventually 10 turbines of 150MW capacity were built but by 1986, only four (60MW) were working. By 1970, only 9% of GDP contribution was from industries.
“Industrialisation is Point Five of our Ten Point Programme. We stated that the economy must be integrated. Agriculture must be linked to industry which is also linked to mining. Industry should likewise be linked to intellectual education.”
The problem was that by 1986, Uganda didn’t have a base for industrialisation.
“We now have a base but should avoid traps that will slow our industrialisation efforts.”
The president said Uganda should avoid prohibitive costs of labour, ensure low cost of transport, offer cheap credit by recapitalizing Uganda Development Bank, offer low-cost electricity while modernising agriculture.
“For more guidelines, I refer you to my 23 guidelines passed to the new cabinet on what should be done to industrialise and move Uganda to a middle-income country.”