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Last Updated:[07-05-2010 00:56:47 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Uganda Welcomes New Development Plan with Hopes and Doubts

tradenews Uganda's latest offering of the new National Development Plan (NDP) is looked upon by its citizenry with lot of hope as well as misgivings. The failures of past experiments to perk up the economy are forcing people of the country and analysts alike not to categorically accept it as an effective plan, but a pre-poll promise.

The new plan, which would be supplanting the bombed "Vision 2025" has been largely blamed for its timing as elections less than a year away neither allows to check the efficacy of the program nor could be implemented to any degree. The NDP is expected to transform Uganda from a peasant to a prosperous country within the next 30 years with emphasis on agriculture, infrastructural development and food security.

The failure for "Vision 2025", launched in 1999, is cited as lack of funds and absence of constitutionally mandated body, such as National Planning Authority (NPA) who drafted the NDP, to coordinate it. Though repeated failures of several plans haunt the Ugandan psyche, experts believe that this one would materialize particularly as the Ugandan economy is better placed than it was 10 years ago, and since the economic growth would be further boosted by oil profits.

The NDP fundamentally departs from the failed Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) which was initiated in the late 1980's with the recommendation from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Under SAPs, the government sold most of the state-owned enterprises to the private sector including co-operative banks which supported agriculture sector that employed 73 percent.

SAPs literally brought the Ugandan economy to a standstill with no progress in infrastructure and other spheres those required constant care. Nonetheless, the NDP that advises a conversion from market economy to a quasi- market economy will be more of public-private partnership than government becoming a namesake watchdog of the economy.

During the recent launch of the new plan, the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni presented evidence as to how these milestones would be achieved. He observed the projected oil earnings and tax revenues would suffice for tiding over fiscal deficits and developmental plan implementation.

By Jose Roy

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