Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The United Nations Development Programme – UNDP has asked government to address the skill gaps responsible for low economic productivity in the country for inclusive growth to be achieved.
The UN Agency says investing in human capital should be at the centre of the third National Development Plan for sustained inclusive economic growth.
Elsie Attafuah, the UNDP Resident Representative says skilling the population should start at early childhood development to enhance household incomes and improve quality of life necessary for driving economic development as envisioned under the framework of the Vision 2040. She says investing in human capital will ensure that no one is left behind.
Uganda is in the process of developing the third National Development Plan for the country for the period 2021 to 2025 as the second National Development Plan comes to an end in 2020. A mid-term review of the second development plan indicates that Uganda achieved only one key performance indicator for sustained economic growth – the goal on life expectancy.
The goal on education, maternal mortality, under-five mortality and reducing fertility amongest others were never achieved. The other is a decline in institutional capacities and investment in the social sector. The draft of the plan identifies increasing the stock of skilled, innovative and healthy population as the third strategic objective of the country.
Professor Wasswa Balunywa, the Principal of Makerere University Business School says achieving the target should start with reforms in the governance sector. He says the size of government should be reduced in order for more resources to be invested in human capital development.
Speaking at the first Consultation dialogue for the formulation of the third National Development Plan at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Thursday Balunywa said government should focus on skilling the population for those jobs that will be relevant for the nation as more jobs are lost to technology.
Alain Sibenaler, the UNFPA Country representative says government should focus on keeping girls in schools to cut down on the high fertility rates. The other is to increase access to family planning services in order for the population to make informed decisions as to when to have children to manage the growing population.
Lydia Wanyoto, a member of the Board of National Planning Authority says their priority is on industrialization to create jobs for the population.
The dialogue recommended that skilling the population should be an integral part of the education system of the country, as Lydia Wanyoto explains.
The other is to prioritize technical and vocation education. It recommends that technical university be created in the country to improve technical training in the country as well as certification of technicians through apprenticeship programme.