Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s quest for industrialization has been hampered by lack of focus, unclear plans and weak monitoring with most initiatives chaotically implemented, a new study has shown.
The December 2019 study sponsored by German foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung on the country’s industrialization journey says that Uganda’s intent to have industries has not been translated into clear plans at the technical and planning level.
This, the report says, leaves the country jumping from one thing to another. The study noted there was clear link between production, value addition and marketing.
The study says each Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) seems to have its own industrialization agenda, creating confusion and conflict and who should do want.
One of the key informants interviewed, who included top government officials, said: “it is not clear what we want to do and how whom we want to back and whom we should not.”
Industrialization is a where a country develops manufacturing capabilities by establishing industries in various sectors.
Industrialization is expected to be the anchor to achieve Uganda’s vision 2040. It is also expected to take up many of the country’s unemployed youths. The progress has been rather slow; an indicator something was not going on well.
The report also claims it was not clear how Uganda adopted the industrial park model as an anchor for industrialization.
The industrial parks model was a presidential directive, the report said. This was, however, not followed with a study to ascertain the appropriateness of the model. There have been no environmental impact assessment studies to inform location of the industrial parks – except for Namanve. Uganda is now developing 27 industrial parks across the country.
Even then, few parks have become operational. The Auditor General’s Report (2015) said the parks had not performed well in terms of creation.
Ramathan Ggoobi, an economist and lead author of the report, said there were some successes, including the fact that the state is stepping in to play a leading role in pushing for industry growth.
Another thing is the infrastructure development expected to vouch for industrialization and the push for Buy Uganda Build Uganda drive to support local companies.
BUBU has seen Ugandan companies earn contracts worth 890 billion shillings to supply road projects with steel, cement, among other things.
Dr Joseph Muvawala, the Executive Director of National Planning Authority (NPA) said it was high time government agencies were forced to work together and not in solos like they are doing now. This would mean that programmes are thought through before conceived.