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Uganda’s (Africa’s) paradox  

Tailors sewing T-shirts at Fine Spinners Factory in Kampala on Oct. 17. Why are many Ugandans leaving the villages for towns? It is because towns offer better opportunities for employment. So urban poverty is a sign of urban strength and vitality not weakness and stagnation.

Uganda’s (Africa’s) paradox: Why youth unemployment and urban poverty is a sign of progress 

Andrew M. Mwenda | THE LAST WORD | Uganda, like all African countries, has a big problem of youth unemployment. Some figures put it at 83%. Unemployed and underemployed youths are relegated to slums in towns where they live a life of poverty, misery, and marginalisation. This assessment makes a lot of moral sense and emotional appeal. It is also politically attractive. But it is actually filled with a lot of nonsense.

Unemployment and poverty are a big problem for Uganda. But this is only because we are looking at it simplistically. Strategically (from the perspective of political economy) it is a sign that Uganda (and other nations of Africa) is beginning to transform from being a predominantly rural agrarian economy to towards a modern urban society.

There is little unemployment in rural areas. Almost everyone has a job: they wake up every morning, pick their hoe and go to dig in their garden to produce their family food. Such a static agrarian society is characterized by the paradox of full employment alongside broad based poverty.

Transformation is characterised by the movement of people from rural to urban areas, from village tillage to urban industry and services. Separated from their subsistence on agriculture, migrants to cities and other urban centers can only survive by selling their labour. The world’s most important market is the labour market. It is where one person sells their human capital to owners of financial capital.

Why are many Ugandans leaving the villages for towns? It is because towns offer better opportunities for employment. So urban poverty is a sign of urban strength and vitality not weakness and stagnation. Kampala is full of many poor people on its streets. But this is not because it makes people poor but because its opportunities attract poor people who want to improve their lives. And they often succeed.

Staying in the village and depending on agriculture for a livelihood is a sign of stagnation and poverty. Coming to a city is a sign of inventiveness, initiative, and progress. People in towns are richer, happier, and healthier than in villages. Less than 6% of the people who live in Kampala and 7.5% of those living in the surrounding Wakiso District fall below the poverty line. In Acholi region, those living in poverty are 32%; in Kamuli, 40%. And 92% of the poor people of Uganda live in rural areas.

Therefore, those who call upon Ugandans to remain in rural areas engaging in agriculture are asking them to remain in poverty. The good news is that in a society where people are free to move and live wherever they wish, people vote with their feet. In Uganda, they are doing so. Our country is one of the most rapidly urbanising societies in the world. The fact that 78% of our people still live in the countryside and still depend on agriculture or a livelihood is evidence that our progress has been slow. It will be a sign of progress when most of our people begin living in urban areas – even when they have no jobs.

Here is a paradox: the Ugandans who hate President Yoweri Museveni most intensely and are most critical of the performance of his government are those who have graduated and cannot find jobs. They miss the point that they have benefited a lot from Museveni rule. They have been educated. Indeed even those with jobs are frustrated because they feel they don’t earn enough.

This paradox has been confirmed by every opinion poll in Uganda: the higher you climb the education and income ladder and the closer you get to urban areas, the lower is Museveni’s support. The reverse also holds: the lower you climb down the income and education ladder and the deeper you go into rural areas, the higher is Museveni’s support. Rural agricultural poverty and urban indifference, not vote rigging, has been Museveni’s insurance against electoral defeat.

Karl Marx articulated this paradox over 150 years ago in what he called the “grave digger problem”. He argued that the bourgeoisie, in pushing to accumulate wealth, inevitably create a class of workers (the proletariat) whose interests are in conflict with those of capital. The more successful capital is; the more labour it creates. It turns rural peasants into urban industrial workers. Capital, Marx reasoned, digs its own grave as workers form the vanguard that would overthrow it.

Museveni faces a similar “grave-digger problem”. The more successful he is at developing Uganda, the more he is producing increasingly educated, urbanised and exposed Ugandans. These are the angry young men on social media calling for him to go. He has survived in power not because he has failed (Uganda has enjoyed an impressive rate of economic growth by geographic and historic standards) but because he has not been successful enough. Had Uganda urbanised more rapidly, Museveni would have had to mend his ways or stare electoral defeat in the eye.

So if you are angry with Museveni, it is largely because his government’s policies have helped you get an education and lifted you out of the village to the city; thereby giving you more exposure to what the world offers. This has made you aspirational. You expect a lot. The problem is that the rate of growth in your expectations is not (and cannot be) matched by the rate of growth in opportunities to satisfy them. Even a pedestrian economist will tell you why this is always so.

Hence the mismatch between your expectations and available opportunities is creating and driving your social frustrations. That is why you are on social media yelling at everyone and insulting this old man who is teaching you the basics of political economy. I don’t begrudge you your anger; when I was young and intelligent I used to behave like you. Now I am old and stupid (you would add “and bribed by Museveni”), I eat cold eels and think distant thoughts.

So I perfectly understand where you are coming from. But I owe you a responsibility to tell you that you are actually deluded. In real terms, Museveni’s government has made you better off. That is why you are angry with him. If you were still an illiterate peasant nursing jiggers in Kamuli or Amuru, it is very likely you would be his supporter. You wouldn’t be having a smart phone and hooked on Facebook and using it to insult him or me. Happy New Year!

amwenda@independent.co.ug

 

 

 

27 comments

  1. Opolot M. Charles

    Still Loading……….!

  2. Thanks for the interesting and totally valid perspective.

  3. ejakait engoraton

    “SO If you are angry with M7, it is because his government helped you to get an education, blah blah blah”.

    What an utterly stupid statement.

    THIS assumes that the Onyango Obbos, Karoli Semogerers, Kanyeihamba, Nandala Mafabis of this world, not to mention the countless Ugandans in their 50 s got their education during M 7s era.

    UNEMPLOYMENT may be a sign of population movement, from rural to urban, and transformation, from agrarian to modern urban society, but what is the flip side that M 9 does not want to mention.
    IT is the sign of a failing government.

    IF a person says that they can not feed their family because they are growing and therefore eating more, is that a sign that they are successful and that at least they have raised their family thus far without them having died of hunger or disease.

    CHINA has had a massive increase in population and movement from rural to urban movement, but in large have managed to create employment and other attendant services to go with those shifts.

    • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

      Ejakait Dear,

      Kindly note that Education is continuous till we leave this earth.
      Mwenda may not have intended it that the Obbos —- you mention, continue to learn, unlearn and be educated even 30+ years after what a layman thinks is ‘end of education’ but that is the fact. Does Museveni’s government contribute to this latter education? – I leave that to you brother to answer.

      Cheers, and enjoy the new year.

      • ejakait engoraton

        YES, it does contribute to this latter education ( as distinguished from schooling) only it teaches people how to steal, be corrupt, disrespectful, use violence to solve any problem, believe in getting rich without working for it among many other things.

  4. ejakait engoraton

    FOR it to be meaningful and considered a success, it must be planned.

    People who move into urban areas, just like those who stay back in the rural areas must have certain things put in place for them.

    Knowing that the civil service was growing, and that they were needed mostly in urban areas, the OBOTE government set up the NATIONAL HOUSING CORPORATION as it was known then, to build houses for the civil servants, the reason we have the BUGOLOBI, WANDEGEYA, BUKOTO flats among other housing stock available then.
    There was already in place the NTINDA and NAKAWA estates in Kampala , MALUUKU and NAMAKWEKWE in Mbale, Walukuba and Nalufeenya in Jinja in addition to the police and army barracks in each town to house the growing urban movement.

    What have we added in the last 30 years to accommodate the more than five fold or more increase in the urban increase.

    To be simplistic and say that simply the population movement is a sign of progress (FORWARD MOVEMENT) is like praising a man who has 20 children for his virility , when he can not feed , treat , dress and educate the said children.

    • Who, when and why was the railway (tracks,stations and attendant infrastructure)system that had been modernised (to the then era) by President Amin uprooted? Why does it require to be heavily indebted in order to set up again? Where were the debris and scrap taken?

      • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

        My good comrade Rwasubutare,
        I note you like talking about railways a lot. But to say Amin had ‘modernised’ – (even to those days’ standards) them is a naked lie dear. In Amin’s time, my late old Pa from Karwenyi, in (present day Kyegegwa district) used to move to Kasese via Kabagole by train to collect that black Katwe salt for both human and animal consumption – yes: But it was a nightmare. Derailments and delayed repairs were a serious issue – with the result that one night in the 1970s, at age 12, I had to be the only ‘man’ at our home in Karwenyi to defend the family’s cattle against hungry lions. My Dad was stuck somewhere between Kamwenge and Dura river.
        By the time I went for secondary school education at Nyakasura (then the leading school in Uganda), it was considered not a wise idea to use the train from home, especially as I had to cross the 1 mile wide hippo-infested River Katonga on foot ( by canoe in later years). Thus, I typically had to walk the 40 km to Kyegegwa, wait for a 2 O’clock bus from Kampala and arrive in Fort Portal about 6 pm.
        Blame Museveni on ‘thousands’ of other things, but ‘hats off’ for him on road infrastructure at least.

        Cheers – and Happy new year to you and all other comrades on this platform.

        • Eng. Ateenyi, I am glad you went to Nyakasura. I also did from Tororo College in the 70s. At that time, UTC operated around the clock from Fort Portal to Kampala and Fort Portal to Hoima. PAMOJA Transporters buses (which I heard belonged to Batagwenda tribesmen) shuttled the Fort Portal-Ibanda-Mbarara route round the clock too as per time-table without fail or lateness. Fort Portal-Kasese was strictly for taxis (Peugeot 404 Station wagons) whose drivers were the most reckless and fastest on earth. The taxis were fast,numerous and were like a flowing river; available as and when you needed them. The UCI (Uganda Cement Industry) had just opened the second phase of Hima plant. There was scarcity of luxury commodities like beer,sugar and cigarettes but Kakiiza bakery supplied bread to all who needed it 24/7 including Nyakasura School and maybe Kyebambe and St Leos. All government maintained schools fed similarly. And the president then was Amin and the train moved also round the clock and UR employees were working as if nothing had changed. Rails were uprooted years after Amin had gone…..instead of being rehabilitated.

          • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

            Hi OB: Nice memory – but during my stay at THE SCHOOL, Mugasa, about one km from the playground supplied the bread – including buns (10 cts) and cakes (20 cts). To be honest, (may be because I was tasting those things for the 1st time), I have not found cakes of equal rivalry in taste and firmness ever since (including those from one leading Kampala bakery I used to supply eggs to in the 1990s). Some guy (Our ‘Quarter Master’- then but whose name I cannot easily recollect supplied Matooke from his ‘Kitika’ plantation adjacent the School, behind the Balya-Cooper dorms. At Canon Apolo, in senior 1, we had vegetables from our own gardens (never mind some of the labour was ‘forced’ in form of punishment ‘booking’ beyond 2 hours).
            The point I want to put forward here is that the Kakiizas, Mugasas, QMasters etc. were an enterprising crop conscious of the local needs and opportunities available in their immediate surrounds. They were supported not necessarily by Amin or other govt officials but by a then nearly ‘incorruptible’ crop of schools administrators. Moral rot in Uganda may have been cropping in slowly (eg Obote I regime’s ‘KONDOISM’) but it crystallised clearly when Amin declared an ‘economic war’ and later rewarded his henchmen with ‘free-bes’ from fleeing entrepreneurs.
            And let me now tell you more authoritatively: One of the most powerful laws of nature (2nd law of Thermodynamics) dictates that once such ‘chaos’ starts in whatever system, it can only get worse UNLESS the more useful forms of ‘energy’ are expended in much greater measure to stop and reverse the local chaos: But even then, chaos has to increase outside that locality (in other words, a positive change say in Ugandans’ morality would need to create chaos somewhere else e.g.in their politics, education — or even in neighbouring and trading countries!).
            So to the extent that Amin’s regime accelerated the ‘crystallisation’, it is culpable for today’s problems. This is not to absolve successive governments – including Musevenis – which should have used ‘excessive’ good energies to reverse the decay (but unfortunately create greater chaos elsewhere!).
            Cheers once again

        • I forgot to mention that even NRA/M used the UR system for sometime before it was abandoned and left to decay mbu allegedly because FUSOs were faster and the railway was outdated. that is the reason we were given when the rails were being uprooted and being taken for smelting in Kampala.

        • ejakait engoraton

          YES, he did improve and moved from steam to diesel. In whatever language or whatever school you went to, that is an improvement, and with or without an improvement, the railway was there.
          YOU do say NYAKASURA was the best school then, something RWASUBUTARE and I may have something to say about, and mind you I was there in 1973 to play cricket in the schools tournament, and yet we doubt you ever stepped in TORORO College or ALOET.
          YOU claim it was the best school then, under the M 7 government, it must be now competing with the likes of ETON and the best from INDIA and CHINA.
          I hope you have made your contribution in the desperate on going appeal to restore the school to some of its former glory.

          • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

            Hi, fellow cricketer,

            And we ‘clobbered’ you then: – including in Hockey?
            Through you, my condolences to the cricket fraternity on recent loss of Ekalunga and earlier losses of Azuba and Ligyalingi Sen.

  5. ejakait engoraton

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to all though.

  6. (A)Why doesnt that Ghanaian Professor Ayittey come to this forum so that we undress him academically he is even not married?Why is he hiding on Twitter ?Ghanaians and Kenyans dont wish other African counties well they are living in the past glory. New girls like Ethopia,Nigeria,Rwanda are the virgin girls on the international scene.
    (B) Since the article is about unemployment why doesn’t Makerere employ 2 categories of staff i mean employ staff to provide both administrative and academic services to day and evening students what is hard with if Makerere currently employs 3000 workers they could be doubled.
    1.@ Rajab,Ejakait,Rwasubutare and Kant please spare us your jinxed new year wishes.
    2.The tastes and preference of people keep changing overtime.In Uganda in the 1970s-80s our prayer was to have a good night sleep and in M7 era we are spoilt for choice.
    3.@ Ejakait: Currently, most workers in Uganda are entitled to transport,medical and housing allowance so how different is the current system from the colonial system u r alluding to?unless of course you r are just daft.
    4.North Korea,Cuba are still communist states are their citizens better off?I mean the govt caters for all their social welfare,everyone works for the state there is no room for salivating and envying the lifestyle of others.Are they really happy?Do Africans want to revert to that style of living?
    5.Can anyone still categorize Masaka,Mbarara,Gulu,Arua,Lira,Mbale,Bushenyi as villages?The mentality that life begins and ends in Kampala is the one that is causing mental instability among the youth in Kampala they really marvel and salivate when they see some people in Kampala live a better life yet they would also do the same in their districts i mean why do you come to Kampala to snatch ladies bags and bras?.
    6.On 23rd December i visited a friend who lives in Naguru i found the whole house smelling bread so i asked why she eats alot of bread she told me her maid was traveling to the village for Christmas so she bought 8 loaves of bread to share with her people i then asked the maid whether there was no bread in Kasese she told me that the bread in Kampala tastes better.This made me wonder what other thing traumatizes the people in the village about Kampala.
    7.There are alot of training opportunities and scholarships abroad for the youth .By 26, i had already completed my Masters Degree i had so many PhD scholarships thrown at me but i am not interested meanwhile my friends who offered science programmes are having a blast with research and consultancy so who do our youth interact with and why dont they utilize social media effectively?
    8. Africa still has a long way to go but they seem not to be in a hurry.People in the 1st world are reaping big from their skill for example,David fisher an Italian designed Burja Khalifa Towers and Willam Baker an American was the structural Engineer for the project so what are u in Africa planning to offer?
    9.I was shocked to learn that the likes of Rajab and Ejakait prefer files hoovering all over their meat as evidence that its fresh what happened to fridges?
    10.Ugandans can really brag mbu they were not interested in listening to M7’s end of year speech on TV as if they can even afford a full DSTV package to watch other channels. what do they gain by watching Big Deal on NBS?

  7. @Eng Ateenyi, You are right about Mugasa’s cakes. I have traveled in 6 countries in Africa and 2 in Europe. I have never tasted a cake as palatable as Mugasa’s. But knowing what I do now, it does not surprise me at all. Uganda is unique in some ways that cannot be duplicated even by the masters of the game. Mugasa’s cakes being one , Khakhi American from Nytil (then not now) is 2 and the most delicious bread on earth (though it has deteriorated by the guys you know only too well) TIP TOP is 3. It beats Elliots of Kenya hands down and cannot even compete Broadway from Thika.
    Our Quartermaster was Mr Kaija and Chief Cook (Chef) Nyakato…. whose kitchen was cleaner than a surgical theatre. They might not be with us now but those were nation builders whose work is being demolished step-by-step by their children. I at times dream and wake up sweating that “Parliament has privatised all schools and stopped education waiting to employ the already learned first” and has sold the lands to indian developers.
    As for Nyakasura being (or ever having been) the best it is not true because there were many schools that were exclusively special in given domains. For example Tororo College had the best and biggest library in Uganda Schools. It had 4 sets of Encyclopaedia, could seat all of us 600 with corridors in-between. ‘A’ level were treated as undergraduates and had separate(and bigger) everything from dormitories (Lwanga) to refectory (dining hall) and classrooms and laboratories. They also had their own sealed off library section which had all facilities in the upper story of the main building. We only interacted with them during sports.
    TC had a school truck (Bedford bus) for outside trips, school van (VW Kombi minibus) for emergency work like ambulance and school ‘bicycle’ (Baby fiat car) for the post office messenger. TC had a zoo with crocodiles,snakes and some rodents. It was in fact personally looked after by one teacher who taught in ‘A’ level who we used to see at a distance though we visited the zoo at our pleasure. I know little about other schools but I found an Olympic size swimming pool in Nyakasura which TC lacked. I can only attest to a goalkeeper of Teso College Aloet had the biggest goalkeeper I have ever seen; though Walusimbi (the Tororo College striker) used to send a ball or two past him into the net. The boy (he was a well-fed Kumam still in teeenage of course) just filled the goal. So Kitamirike (the TC captain) commanded Walusimbi to never ever direct a ball 10 centimeters from a post or ground. It was the only way to send a ball past this Aloet giant. TC had a boxing team (led by Emaju) which used to stand (and at times win) against the Air and Seaborne Battalion team. We fed better than those soldiers then though we were all fed by same government (UG). The TC student identity card was like a debit card. You could go in town and if you see something,get them to call the Bursar at school; and after he responds you are given the item and the bursar will pay. And to cap it all we had the “best” English teacher in the Commonwealth Mr Oguti Bichachi.

  8. ejakait engoraton

    RWASUBUTARE, I am in stitches and thanks for my New Year wish , which the lady WITCH on this forum thinks is a jinx.

    NOSTALGIA, NOSTALGIA.

    THE ALOET goalkeeper, was as blind as a bat , and ordinarily he wore specs, which I doubt were even prescription glasses, and without his glasses, could not see beyond his nose. AND yet he was our best ever goalkeeper, without his glasses.
    THE joke or legend went around that he kept goal by smell and that he just smelled the ball, and one match he ended up giving the ball to the opponent, because their strip was very similar to ours, and being away , they had the choice of strip, but he miraculously saved the shot. IT was claimed that in all the time he was the goalkeeper no one had scored a penalty against him.
    I wonder if you ever had the chance to test the cakes that were made in TORORO opposite the taxi park. There was a restaurant (they were all called hotel) that was run by the Somali family , the owners of Gateway Bus, the HUSSEIN SHIRE. My friend who has traveled to all corners of the world and is a self confessed lover of all things confectionery , swears that he has yet to find cakes that taste that good.
    YES, each school had something to pride with. Ours at ALOET was our timetable , which was devised by our mathematics teacher, a Mr KAMUGISHA, who was one of the most brilliant mathematicians and who mentored me to win one of my biggest prizes , but who was one of the biggest boozers . No one from another school could make out what the time table meant and it took pride of place at the administration block in a wonderful glass display case.
    We also had the best ART teacher, and artist in EAST AFRICA who had won a FORD CORSAIR as a prize at a competition held then, a MR ENWAKU. I doubt that the car had covered more than 10.000 miles, as he was always seen around on his bike.
    And of course ALOET was the biggest boarding school then and were privileged to have as headmaster, one of OBOTES top confidants then, MR TIBERONDWA ADONIYA. Other headmasters were Mr HEDDLE, Mr MEADOWS, DR KAZUNGU, Mr KASIRAGI, and the one and only DR AKABWAI .
    The staff houses, as was the case with most schools, were at ministerial standard.I went to visit Mr HAJE GASHEGU , then headmaster at NGORA HIGH, and his house was as good as any ministers in KAMPALA. Mbale SS had some of the best staff house in INDIAN quarters, with the Late BUSAWULE , HM then , having a palatial residence overlooking Mbale stadium.

  9. ejakait engoraton

    ENG ATEENYI, it was the CRICKET week and believe me we beat NYAKASURA as a real upset and your one and only , I bowled out the NYAKASURA talisman, a one ANDAMA.

    On our team , we had the late David Ndayondi(RIP , one of the 27), his brother Robert Katushabe, who was the wicket keeper, a one John Kintu , left handed ,who matched the Nyakasura and NTARE boys bouncer for bouncer and our cricket master was a one PETER RATCLIFFE.

    Our best batsman was a one BAGALANA, who had come from NABUMALI, and we also went along with the Nabumali cricketers, with whom we shared our blue Bedford truck, driven by our famed Mr OKWAPUT, who it was claimed had driven from Ethiopia to Uganda after the war, to bring back the kawonawos, ABASEVENI.

    The other team was NAMASAGALI and they had Prince Mutebi, the son of the late Prince Mawanda. I had studied with Mutebi, along with his brother Prince NAMUGALA and cousin KAJJUMBA, at BUDDO primary, where I had learnt to play cricket.

    SO , you could not have clobbered as in HOCKEY , because we did not come to play hockey.

    Being the naughty boys we were, we escaped in the evening/night to go to Fort Portal and went to watch a film, the first time I watched FRANKENSTEIN. And because the film ended late, we had to walk back. IT is the longest( and most scary ) journey I have ever made. Even the slightest sound/noise, and we thought FRANKENSTEIN was coming for us.

    • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

      Well brother Ejakait, you ‘win’. That is the beauty of our game: we accept defeat and always part as friends. Hence, the close brotherhood (and now sisterhood) in the Cricket fraternity. Thanks – together with your buddy, Rwasubutare for the fond memories. Apologies to our younger colleagues on the platform if we have ‘bored’ you!

  10. Education is one of the control structures, a legal system is the other. The low quality of education is such that it is meant to create graduates who become workers for the cormorant ruling classes, not their replacement.

    • Ocheto, your conclusion pertinent to decayed education standards is as painful as scratching a fresh wound. Sadly it is true to the letter. And it is incurable.

  11. Ateenyi and Ejakait, do you realise every district (except Mengo which had the capital) had an Eton class school and some had more than 1.
    To refresh your memory: we had 16 districts as follows:
    1. West Nile-Mvara Sec School
    2. Acholi-Sir Samuel Baker
    3. Lango- I forget
    4. Teso-Teso College Aloet
    5. Bugisu- Nabumali
    6. Bukedi- St Peters (and TGS which was then the best equipped school in East Africa)
    7. Busoga- Busoga College Mwiri
    8. Mengo District- Namilyango,Nabbingo,Nabisunsa,Gayaza,St Mary’s Kisubi (and a horde of other uncountable cut-throat day schools inside Kampala)
    8. Bunyoro-Kabalega
    9. Tooro-Nyakasura
    10. Masaka- Budo
    11. Ankole – Ntare
    12.Kigezi- Kigezi High School
    13. Mubende- I forget
    14. Karamoja-I think they had no school
    16. Sebei- I think they had none too
    Those were the giants of the 60s to 70s whose performance and standards were better than UK’s. Evidence: when indians were repatriated in 1972, one Sunil Chandarana (from S2 C) relocated to UK and was brighter than all British combined and he was elevated to S3. he wrote back to us in Tororo college to say we should all promote ourselves to S3 because we were way beyond S2 curriculum. And remember we were in the C stream. My peers will know the difference between stream A,B and C.

  12. RWASUBUTARE , and even the B grade schools were not that bad, these were mostly the “feeder” schools for A level for the ETON schools, and I can see you conveniently “forget” to mention the likes of MANJJASI. There were others as you say, the likes of NGORA HIGH school, MBALE SS, KACHONGA, NKOMA, most of which were part of the “project” schools that were built out of mostly prefabricated elements, very much like the BUGOLOBI flats, and the hospitals; IGANGA, KAYUNGA, BUSOLWE, ATUTUR etc.
    THIS is where districts like SEBEI got the SEBEI COLLEGE, TEGRES and the likes of MENGO SS , NGORA , SOROTI SS got upgrades by were of staff houses, class rooms , laboratories , dormitories to upgrade them mostly from what had been JUNIOR schools, into SECONDARY schools.
    For LANGO you had LANGO college and BOROBORO.

    • I purposely picked the giants in each of the 16 districts. Manjasi was O’level though they had a superb football team. otherwise I could not list all…… not that I don’t remember Duhagas, St Edward’s Kakumiro or Kyebambes, Bubulos, Iganga SSS, Jinja College, Kako SS, Kitunga, St Leos and many other UG maintained schools I could not list here. Like I said I mentioned giants per district. But Sebei,Mubende and Karamoja districts did not have any big schools’ league. Another issue to note is that Buganda ate the whale’s share in big schools allocation. This does not mean they admitted Baganda only….far from it because corruption was zero I swear; selection was done on merit and Headmasters used to meet in the Ministry of Education HQS to share the successful candidates after which admission letters would be sent by the UG post office to the applicants’ homes. The system worked better than and faster than this present day confusion mbu IT.
      Standards have gone to the dogs Ejakait. Ask Winnie how she can identify whether a liquid is water if it looks colourless. She will arrogantly answer: ” of course I will smell and then taste it with the tongue”. But a senior 1 drop-out of the 60s will brilliantly tell you how dangerous it is to smell,taste or even touch unidentified matter. S/he will tell you: “Get pink coloured cobalt chloride paper and put a drop from your unknown liquid, if it turns blue, it is water…… if you don’t have that get grey copper sulphate and add a drop of your liquid and if it is water it will turn blue”.

      • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

        Hmmm,

        You two guys have fantastic memories!
        If I had my way we would consider ‘cloning’ you so that this Africa of ours is filled with more of the type.
        You hint on today’s IT kids: I have two in my household: though ‘brilliant’ on short term memory and go-merry assignments, they easily get ‘bored’ on those requiring a bit of patience and ‘strategising’. This is a serious problem that probably percolates through the entire below 35 age group (so called youth). Naturally, such ‘kids’ will not want to live in ‘villages’.
        But I think sister Winnie in her point No. 5 hints on what could be done to keep these kids more spread across the country: Modernise services in ‘upcountry’ (whatever that means) towns and trading centres. Still though, Mwenda’s paradox remains: the newly urbanised centres become hotbeds of opposition to ‘old fashioned’ Museveni. I have had to find some means to influence attitudes of the older of my IT kids referred to above. He relocated from Kampala – and is beginning to show signs of ‘desirable’ progress. No – not that he has become a Museveni supporter, but more of an apolitical development oriented individual. For me, that is ‘progress’.

        Cheers.

        • Ateenyi and Ejakait, there is nothing that makes me realise how old I have become than when I fume over Mwenda’s remarks while at same time reflecting that when Mwenda was not yet born or was in diapers suckling, I was attempting to apply for acquisition of a departed Indian’s studio shop next to Light Hotel in Fort Portal. How such a toddler can make me mad over remarks and conclusions arrived at from statistics…… me who was shown the MainFrame computer in Ministry of Education HQs in Crested towers in 1970; me who shuttled the Main Bus Park to Banda for 30 cents. Me who knows Uganda when I used to order a policeman on patrol at night to escort me to a place on account of feeling afraid and he would oblige with his dog. I pity Mwenda and I understand that he has never known a quiet prosperous provident Uganda which educated and employed the Kibakis. I think we should collectively compel Mwenda to go and interview Mwai Kibaki when he(Kibaki) is still with us. Ateenyi and Ejakait, can Mwenda believe that Kampala was once cleaner than the present day Kigali (yet was bigger) that the whole world is touting? Can he believe that all towns were patrolled by kadenge? Mwenda should study history (from elders not books). Uganda was first in East Africa in nearly everything except size. But now see. And the cause? Be it internal or external, intentional or incidental is immaterial, the Pearl of Africa must be rescued for posterity.

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