There is, arguably, no other country like Uganda in terms of natural endowments. Fresh water bodies, lush natural forest, scenic mountains, expensive woodlands, we’ve got them all and much more. Our ecosystems are so packed with animal and bird life; we have some of the rarest species found only in Uganda.

Mesmerized by our flora and fauna, 19th century colonial strongman Sir Winston Churchill christened Uganda the “Pearl of Africa.” Today, international media like CNN International and Lonely Planet, have Uganda as a nature/tourism marvel in their global rankings.

Located astride the Equator, Uganda is blessed with fine weather, with temperatures averaging 24-30 degrees all-year-long, arable soils and two rain seasons in most parts of the country. Beneath Uganda’s soils is a rich ‘menu’ of minerals and oil reserves.

We couldn’t have asked for more from the Almighty. We ought to appreciate his generosity by harnessing these vast resources for the betterment of our lot. It is the important of the good book in Genesis 1:28; where God bestows upon man dominion over the earth and its resources.

Our government priorities, indeed, include harnessing Uganda’s resources for our people now and for posterity. We have growing power generation capacity, high on our agenda under the National Vision 2040 and NDP III which involves harnessing pour water resources through investing in hydro-power dams.

The cumulative effect, to-date, is the growth of our capacity to over 2,000MW up from 60MW  in 1986.We are thus able to add value to our other natural resources and primary produce through manufacturing. And, currently, we have over 5,000 factories in Uganda, with capacity to power more.

The Government is also investing in other infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports and ICT fibre, with a strategic focus. For instance, while paving roads in natural effort, those in the Albertine Graben were expedited to support the developing of Uganda’s oil resources. This is alongside Government’s backing for  the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, with many business possibilities for Ugandans in local Government

Elsewhere, the Government maintains dynamic macro-economic policy to ensure stability and predictability of core fundamentals such as exchange rates, interest rates and inflation. As such, entities and individuals have the ‘legroom’ to harness the available resources into viable enterprises.

Further, the Government continues to grow regional markets, and to promote Uganda as viable tourism and investment destination. Just last week, President Museveni was in Dubai, UAE, where he made a strong submission for our country.

The one enabler by the NRM Government which anchors the  others is securing entire country, and setting up structures and systems for the rule of law. In building core infrastructure and guaranteeing security for persons and property with sound arbitration mechanisms, the Government has in place most of the pre-requisites for rapid GDP growth.

The onus then, is on us wananchi to harness vast ample resources to improve our livelihoods. Moreover, beyond the policies and infrastructure, the Government is scaling-up direct funding for livelihoods enhancement at the community and household level. Currently, Ugandans can access funding for income-generating projects, countrywide, under the parish Development Model (PDM).

Through the community mobilization and mindset programme, the Government is intensifying sensitization to have more Ugandans reap from the PDM and other similar initiatives. We also seek to roll back the negative aspects holding back sections of Ugandans such as gambling, binge drinking, land fragmentation and unfounded cynicism.

We should celebrate our gem of a country. And,37 years later, the NRM government has firmed the foundations for wananchi to leverage and harness the abundant riches in the ‘Pearl of Africa’.

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