The “Real Economy” and the “Vulnerable Economy”: The State of the Nation Address
On the 4th of June 2020, the H.E President Museveni delivered the State of the Nation address 2020 to Parliament in line with Article 101 (1) of the Constitution which requires the President to address Parliament at the start of every session. The President’s address this year was anchored on the economy narrowing it to the “Real Economy” and the Vulnerable Economy.”
The President referred to the ‘real economy’ as that which deals with the basic human needs. He noted that the real economy is durable and that even during hard times like this of COVID19 pandemic, that economy would survive. He called upon Ugandans to take interest in the real economy as a short, mid, and long term strategy to strengthen the economy.
“The Real Economy is the economy that deals with the nine (9) basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, medicine, security, physical infrastructure (the railways, the roads, the electricity, the telephones, etc.), health infrastructure (hospitals, etc.), the education infrastructure (schools, etc.) as well as the teaching of numeracy, literacy, skilling and intellectuality and the spiritual work (churches, mosques, radios, TVs, etc).” H.E Kaguta Museveni.
Regarding the ‘Vulnerable Economy’, the President observed that this economy could be summarized as the economy of leisure and pleasure. He noted that this economy is usually optional, it supplements the real economy and in the circumstance that this economy is not available, the society can still survive.
“The vulnerable economy happens to be the economy of leisure and pleasure. Leisure and pleasure are optional. If you can get them, it is all right. These are activities that add leisure and pleasure to a human being; but, if necessary, he/she can survive without them. They are optional and additional. These are sectors like tourism, entertainment, bars, night-clubs, cruises on ocean-liners, theatre-going, import-business for luxuries like carpets, perfumes, wines, spirits, and wigs.” H.E Kaguta Museveni.
The President in his address urged Ugandans to embrace the real economy which he said was the way to go. He promised that the Government had put in place measures and was willing to support Ugandans to transition to the real economy. He further informed the country, that the Cabinet had accepted the analysis of emphasizing and fully developing the Real Economy of survival and prosperity on a durable basis
“The Cabinet has accepted this analysis of emphasizing and fully developing the Real Economy of survival and prosperity on a durable basis. The real economy capacity and potential of Uganda are in: Agriculture; Industry; ICT; and some of the services that have durable demand that is not easily affected by crises.” H.E Kaguta Museveni.
The President also highlighted that amidst the COVID19 pandemic, the real sector in Uganda like Agriculture, ICT, Manufacturing, and industry was still strong and firm.
“Even in this lockdown, since March, the following agricultural products have earned for us as follows:
March – US$45.87million
April – US$36.928million
May – ……………
March – US$5.15million
April – US$6.145million
May – ……………
March – US$14.98million
April – US$6.831million
May – ……………..
March – US$10.23million
April – US$6.256million
May – …………….” H.E Kaguta Museveni.
The President also pointed out the Gold Refinery at Entebbe. He observed that it was that the gold refinery was and is still being fought by the neo-colonial agents, he was confident that the Government would defeat them. He further noted that the refinery earns the country US$1.256billion per annum.
The President was, however, keen to dispense off any misinterpretation of his emphasis on the vulnerable economy. He observed that his emphasis on the real economy did not mean that he does not value the vulnerable economy, but rather he looks more at its vulnerability.
The President also emphasized that the Government was keen at implementing import substitution. He noted that for long, Uganda had imported products like medicines, textiles, leather products, industrial sugar for use by coca-cola, industrial starch for use by the Pharmaceutical Industries, paper, packaging materials, glass products, automobiles, and bicycles among others, which can be produced locally. He also encouraged Ugandans to embrace the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) to build and grow Uganda’s economy.