“I will not allow Privatization of Railways and Electricity” -Museveni

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President Museveni and John Pombe Magufuli at the Forum

President Yoweri Museveni has said he will not allow participation of private developers in key sectors of the economy as a means to lower the cost of doing business in Uganda.

President Museveni made the remarks at the Tanzania – Uganda Business Forum held at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 6th September 2019.

President Museveni highlighted Railways, Electricity, and Development Finance as key sectors of the economy that must be protected from profit-minded investors in order to reduce the cost of money which he attributed to high costs of doing business in Uganda.

He said, in order for the Uganda government to reduce the cost of doing business in the country, he will no longer allow government to borrow expensive money, or private sector developers (who want high profits) in the railway, electricity, and the Development finance on an account of high interest rates.

“They can invest in road tolls, telephone companies, etc, but not in these three areas. These three are not areas of profiteering” Museveni said.

 He said the three sectors are the “bone marrow” of the economy which when exposed to “cancer” has devastating consequences.

He expressed pleasure over the effort the East African governments have put in infrastructure development citing the benefits some projects including the Standard Gauge Railway will present in reducing the doing of business.

“The cost of moving a container of goods by rail and water from De res salaam to Portbell is $4500 compared to $1600 if the new railway was used. This will save almost three quarters of the cost”

He also said East African governments are aggressively working on power and soon the cost of power will reduce which will facilitate manufacturing and gross production of goods domestically.

Museveni said in Uganda, the total electricity generation will soon be 2000MW with the completion of Karuma Dam, and what remains is reliable transmission and lowering the cost of power to the manufacturers by removing distortions of price of Bujagali Dam for which government officials made a mistake of borrowing expensive money.

Running under the theme; “Promoting bilateral trade and investment for growth and sustainable development”, the two-day forum attracted over 1,460 participants from Uganda and Tanzania including business leaders, policy makers and stakeholders with the aim of boosting bilateral trade between the two countries.        

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