President Yoweri Museveni has today launched events that will lead to Uganda’s 50th independence celebrations that will reach a climax on 9th October 2012 and described the last 50 years of independence as a period of learning experience. He said that although the country has not achieved what it should have realized in the past 50 years of Uhuru, it was, however, gratifying that not all the years have been lost.
Addressing several dignitaries at Kampala Serena Hotel, that included the Vice-President, Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice as well as several government officials and diplomats, the President noted that the present and the future leaders of Uganda need to borrow a leaf from the past 50 years and not repeat the mistakes that happened so as to work and propel the country from a backward to a modern first world country.
The President said that Uganda, like most African countries, has remained backward and undeveloped because of the failure to deal with the basics that cause transformation. He said that in the case of Uganda, the focus is to generate enough electricity, ensure a good road and railway transport network, invest in Information Communication Technology, develop an experienced and healthy human resource and create an easy business environment on top cementing the existing peace and security.
Mr. Museveni noted that most of the above could have been achieved already but due to lack of a shared vision and lack of cohesion in national governance, it has not been possible to realize them in time. He highlighted the achievements of the country in the last 26 years of the NRM administration as having been ensuring peace and security, increased literacy through free universal education, the liberalization of the economy and market accessibility through regional integration and global market access.
He singled out the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) as one biggest contributor to the national development through guaranteeing peace and security, stopping extra judicial killings and looting which has earned the country investors’ confidence.
The President cautioned the political leaders against misbehaving and said that as leaders, they should lead by example. He disagreed with allegations that the Uganda Police Force was conducting their duties unprofessionally, noting that the nation’s Police Force today is more civil than any other post colonial force.
On the economy, the President said that Uganda has been the 3rd fastest growing economy in the world behind Turkey and China, notwithstanding some setbacks such as lack of sufficient electricity that has been largely caused by lack of leadership cohesion and the interference of some development partners.
Makerere University’s economics Professor Augustus Nuwagaba, who made a keynote presentation on Uganda’s 50 years independence journey, said that the only golden jubilee gift that leaders can give to their country, is making Uganda a corruption free society and also making corruption a high risk venture for everybody.
He lauded the achievements the country has realized in security, women empowerment, the economy, education and her contribution to regional security.
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