COMMENT | BENJAMIN AGABA | President Yoweri Museveni has oftentimes highlighted four pillars, that he says are core for the economy and which every citizen needs to be engaged in. He urges Ugandans to engage in at least one of them for the country to achieve the socio-economic transformation goal as stated in the NRM principles.
First is commercial agriculture which should lead to a shift from the common and usual subsistence farming, Ekidda kyonka, as he calls it, that is largely practiced in most parts of the country. This shift however needs a lot of mechanization up to the sub county level and other institutions like religious ones, and the good news is this is currently being worked on by the government.
Second is industrialization which majorly encourages citizens to take part in value addition by creating small and medium factories that will help in employing more and more people plus paying taxes. It also aims to encouraging foreign investors to invest in our country through the several incentives being set by the Uganda Investments Authority. This has also been supplemented by the surplus electricity and the numerous roads being constructed.
The third is the services sector that includes hotels and other tourism services, education, media, medical, construction, legal, accounting and auditing, security, among others. This however calls for intense skilling and professionalism.
Lastly, is Information, Communication and Technology. This is through encouraging people to participate in making and formulating digital solutions like applications and software. The president has given an example of an accountant based in Uganda being able to do work for a certain company in India, America or anywhere else.
Recently, during the Youth Day event at Kololo, Museveni challenged Ugandans to identify other sectors that can be core to our economy. In my opinion, one of them is the talents sector.
Talent is simply defined as a marked or exceptional natural ability, skill or knowledge.
In Uganda, we have millions of talented people in different fields such as sports, and the whole range of The Arts, among many others, and these have been a source of livelihood to many and have also sold our country to the outside world.
Nigeria, India and USA being the top countries that have promoted talent in the Arts, which led to the birth of Nollywood, Bollywood and Hollywood respectively. These have tremendously contributed to their GDPs for example by 2.3% to the Nigerian GDP, through employment and the respective taxes.
A look at the recent Olympics will also show you how countries that greatly invested in sports won the most medals, how their economies are performing and how the wins shall positively impact on their GDP. Fortunately, Uganda was the 36th overall.
The promotion of talent in and outside Uganda will also act as a production and consumption linkage to some of the other four sectors for example tourism under the services sector which will also promote commercial agriculture by creating market for the farm products. The good image created abroad will also attract foreign investment hence promoting industrialization, and the list goes on and on.
Agaba is a former Mayoral Candidate, Ntungamo Municipality.
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