President Museveni has said he is not shaken by the effects of coronavirus pandemic because the key sectors of the economy are still strong despite the global uncertainties predicted elsewhere.
Museveni made the remarks during an event to mark International Labour Day, held scientifically at State House Entebbe before a few officials and dignitaries.
He said while there is panic across the world with some people predicting doom on economies due to the COVID-19 crisis, he is optimistic that Uganda will recover quickly and record huge positives in post-COVID era.
“There are those who are panicking; things are going to collapse. I am not part of that panic, and I am not pessimistic in any way” Museveni said.
He said the big mistake has been for people failing to differentiate between the economies for survival and the economy for leisure/pleasure and therefore, assessing the consequences of COVID-19 basing on the former is crucial.
For Uganda’s case, President Museveni said the “real economy for survival and livelihood” which deals with basic needs for survival including Food production and processing, Clothing, Shelter, Medicine and Security, has very many opportunities and it has remained strong.
He said while sectors like tourism were affected, the crutial sectors in Uganda’s economy like agriculture and manufacturing have not been affected by coronavirus pandemic which shows that once expanded and consolidated, the country will register better economic growth.
He however urged Ugandans to reorient their thinking and support import substitution especially in sectors like agriculture where the country has huge potential. He said through expanding UDB’s capital base, the crucial sectors will create jobs and salvage moneys lost through importation of items that can be locally made.
“By providing jobs to Ugandans we are going to change the economy of Uganda from the economy of dependency to being the economy of an independence and also export oriented” He said to do that, workers need UDB for loans at low interest rates.
He said he has a comprehensive plan to grow Uganda’s economy in leaps and bounds and assured people that the other sectors which have been affected like tourism are set to thrive since the COVID period has proved to the world that Uganda is stable, securer and safer.
“On this Labour Day, I want to cheer you up. Don’t listen listen to people who are talking doom that things are going to collapse.. I don’t know why. Yes, they may collapse elsewhere but not in Uganda because we have a strong base but people do not know it because they behave artificially.” He said.
President Museveni discouraged employers against laying off workers saying it’s not a good idea because things are going to normalize soon. He instead urged employers to instead send workers on leave and retain them when the situation normalizes.