Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The State Minister for Finance, David Bahati has urged Ugandans to celebrate the visit of American rapper, Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian.
Kanye West is currently camped at Chobe Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park where he has been recording a new album. He is expected to leave country on Friday.
Bahati, while speaking at the National Competitiveness Conference at Mestil Hotel, in Nsambya on Thursday argued that Kanye West’s visit is a confirmation that Uganda is the best tourist destination in Africa. Uganda was last year voted as the fourth best country that tourists should visit in the World by Rough Guides, a leading travel guide publisher based in Britain.
He said that the tourism sector has been one the leading drivers of growth and the sector has been earmarked as one of those that the 2019/20 financial year must focus on.
Bahati said Uganda’s economy grew at 6.1 percent during the 2017/18 financial year which is above 5.8 percent that had been projected. The challenge, he said, has been to make the growth inclusive by making all Ugandans feel it in their pockets.
Uganda last year launched national strategy for private sector development which identified issues to alleviate in order to promote Uganda’s competitiveness in the business arena. The issues identified, Bahati said include high levels of informality, factors that contribute to high levels of infrastructure, bureaucratic delays in public administration and corruption.
He said Uganda has made strides in streamlining land registration and access by establishing 21 zonal land offices across the country with support from World Bank.
Bahati further argued that the process of registering businesses has also been eased. As a result, he said Uganda Registration Service Bureau- URSB currently collects over 10 billion shillings from two billion which they used to collect few years ago.
Moses Kibirige, the private sector development specialist at World Bank-WB Uganda offices said Uganda has been supported to improve business competitiveness.
For instance, he said WB gave Uganda 100 million dollar loan to finance land reforms. Since 2013 when the loan was approved, he said Uganda has recouped 113 million dollar non-tax revenue using the new land information system.