Does government have what it takes to implement it?

Can Uganda soar with such rapid population growth?

The government this week launched an ambitious five-year National Development Plan, which some experts acknowledged makes excellent reading but doubt whether it will be implemented.


According to this plan, by 2015 Uganda shall be a middle-income country with an average per capita income of $850 (Shs 1.7 million); have well paved roads, modern airports, a thriving railway transport system, an effective city bus service, and an economy growing at 8% per annum.

“It is a very good document which unlike others before it prioritises core projects. My only fear is corruption which could affect its implementation,” said Prof. Augustus Nuwagaba, a poverty scholar, who participated in the drafting of the plan.

Dr. Abel Rwendeire, the deputy chairperson of the National Planning Authority, concurred with Nuwagaba that many good policies had failed because of poor monitoring and evaluation.

“We are going to be very serious on monitoring and evaluation. We are going to track every expenditure and have set performance indicators,” he assured journalists during a press briefing after the launch.

Donors applauded the plan but cautioned on accountability and transparency.
“The NDP’s successful implementation will in many ways hinge on the government’s ability to ensure compliance with internal government reporting requirements,” Theophane Nikyema, the UNDP Resident Coordinator said in a speech on behalf of the local development partners’ group.

Another point of debate is how the country is going to achieve lofty standards in the face of rapid population growth. The plan estimates that by 2015, Uganda shall have a population of 37 million and the United Nations Development Programme has warned that unless Uganda’s high population growth rate of 3.2% is checked, the country’s resources will be strained.

“This [high population growth rate] has serious implications for livelihoods, food security, maternal and child mortality and the environment. Providing social services such as education and healthcare to a rapidly growing population is already putting enormous strains on both households and the national budget,” Nikyema said.

Government estimates that the plan shall be implemented at a cost of Shs 54 trillion––an average of 10 trillion per year––45% of which shall be contributed by the private sector under public-private partnerships.

Officiating at the launch, President Museveni said this plan shall consolidate past achievements while accelerating growth in all sectors of the economy. He blamed the country’s inability to develop a similar plan in the past on donors who gave poor advice to government.

“They told us to control inflation, build some infrastructure and the rest will be done by the private sector,” he said.

Museveni added that the plan shall be the cornerstone of all government planning and polices. Prof. Adedeji Adebayo, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, who delivered the keynote speech, said by releasing the plan, “Uganda had dared to dream.” He warned that this plan shall not be implemented through workshops but fieldwork.
“African governments have been victims of planning without facts. Uganda must not fall in this trap,” he said.


The overall strategy of the plan, whose theme is Growth, Employment and Socio-Economic Transformation for Prosperity, shall be to link economic growth and poverty eradication. All the policies to be pursued in this period, according to the plan, shall be focused towards achieving accelerated and sustainable growth.

“Increasing incomes beyond the subsistence level and stimulating growth requires sustained orientation of government expenditure and interventions towards the effective resolutions of the most binding constraints,” it says.

The plan identifies seven major constraints that have hindered economic development and they include a weak public sector management and administration where over 70% have either obsolete, absent or weak policy frameworks.

Other constraints include inadequate financing, inadequate quantity and quality of human resources, poor physical infrastructure, cultural practices and gender biases, low application of science and technology, and limited access to critical production inputs such as raw materials.

“The cost of 50kg of cement in Uganda is about $15 (Shs 30,000) compared to $3 (Shs 6,000) in Malaysia and about $10 (Shs 20,000) in Kenya,” the report notes.

The report sets ambitious objectives, with one of the most eye-catching being generation of at least 3,000MW of electricity by 2015 to stimulate industrial development. Currently, the country generates some 500 MW, and when Bujagali hydro power comes on line as expected in 2011, the wattage shall rise to 750MW. Government hopes to develop other hydro power projects, including Karuma and Nyagak, in the near future.

According to the implementation timeframe of the plan, starting next financial year, 2010/2011, refurbishment work estimated at Shs 27 billion should have commenced at Entebbe Airport to make it “Class A”, and the construction of Karuma hydro-power station is supposed to begin with an initial injection of Shs 33 billion.

Government is also pledging to restock the Jinja Petroleum Reserves at a cost of Shs 39 billion and the one at Nakasongola at Shs 45 billion. Within five years, government hopes to upgrade 1,100 kilometres of national roads from gravel to bitumen and reconstruct 1,200 kilometres of paved roads. Some reconstruction of major highways has already started.

As for the oil, starting next financial year, Shs 3 billion will be set aside for refinery development, while Shs 282 billion will be set aside for oil exploration and database management. The National Museum, which today is in a sorry state, is set for a Shs 35 billion modernisation bonanza in the second year of the NDP implementation.

Good as the document is, skepticism arises from the fact that in the early 1990s, government came up with Vision 2020, which like this five-year plan was a comprehensive plan, which has never been implemented.

Other polices that have come [and gone] without much impact include the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture, Entandikwa scheme, and the current Bonna Bagaggawale (Prosperity for All), which is not underpinned by any known policy framework.

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0 #1 Maskini 2010-04-21 19:24
That's will not work! None of these projects can be within predicted period. Read the History of Egypt under Mohamed Ali.
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0 #2 kato 2010-04-21 20:03
This is interesting if not amusing. M7 and his enablers just show up with some UGX50T 'plan' and we are supposed to cheer or what ?

This is something that hardly anyone except M7 & NPA were aware of. The process if there was one in coming up with this 'plan' was kept under M7 bed. The media,parliamen t, academia , civil organisations and yes the opposition members need to have been in the loop at various levels.

And by the way where exactly is this money coming from? As usual M7 has again made things up to bolster his campaign message. He knows very well that with this lie both the oppositon and the voters will be left in the dust as recylcles his next electoral 'victory' speech.
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0 #3 MABO 2010-04-22 00:43
The govt NDP or strategic plan seems ambitious but welcome. All of us in our individual capacities plan & most of the time ambitiously.

Being ambitious is always healthy & I implore the govt to do the same. Whenever one budgets, the aim is for the best assuming all factors are kept constant. Then at implementation adjustments can be made.

Looking at the NDP most items are quite good & if we can achive even 70% of them Uganda will be ahead in E.A region. What I felt as an over sight is to peg the NDP on a short term basis of five Yrs only!

Most of the planned projects/progra ms are so massive,labour intensive & finacial needs hence at least it shld have been a 10 to 25 strategic plan with medium & long term goal. As the deabte goes on may be this wil be sorted out by relevant agencies or Depts e.g parliament! For God & my country
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0 #4 munabuddu 2010-04-22 04:23
Unless you have new leadership,you' re just dreaming,rememb er that story in the bible,of putting new wine in the old Ndeku,it just taste bad
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0 #5 Bazibu 2010-04-22 07:13
having a plan on paper is one thing and implementing it is another. how many of these olans have we had in the last 25 years?

and how many have worked? none to say the least. the problem with current rulers is that their focus is on how to stay in power so whatever they do ends up a window dressing activity. and so no body can nolonger take them seriously.

ootherwise the country need planning. but come to think of it you have killed all institutions. concetrated all powers under one individual. govern by orders . how can you have any successfull plan!
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0 #6 Eric Kashambuzi 2010-04-22 07:40
The population dimension has featured prominently in the reviews of Uganda’s five-year development plan which was launched on Monday April 19, 2010.

In considering this issue let us remember that:
First, individuals and couples have a human right to determine freely the number of children they need, when to start having them and how to space them.

This is in line with the 1994 Cairo conference on population and development and the recently concluded 43rd session of the UN commission on population and development. Authorities should provide information and facilities to enable individuals and couples full fill their rights voluntarily.

Second, according to Article II (iv) of the Convention on Genocide (1948), imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group [e.g. of poor people] constitutes an act of genocide.

Third, population growth in a country is largely a result of poverty and migration. Poor people as we have in Uganda tend to produce many children because mortality rate in that group is still high, poor parents depend on children in old age, and a subsistence economy requires more hands than a modern one.

Children of poor people drop out of school early and get married in their teens and begin to produce children right away. Reducing poverty and keeping girls at school beyond primary education and empowering women reduce fertility rates without controversy.

Uganda is receiving more migrants than it is sending out contributing to rapid population growth. Unless the authorities rein in on this excess of in-migrants over out-migrants, population in Uganda will continue to grow.

Fourth, in societies emerging out of civil war and conflict or epidemic like AIDS as in Uganda, there is a tendency for the survivors to have more children to compensate for the loss suffered.

Fifth, Ugandans are quickly learning that if you want more constituencies and more members of Parliament or district councilors, your group must have many people to divide up into constituencies, meaning that the fertility rate must remain high or even increase.

Under the above conditions, Ugandans and those advising them need to consider different scenarios on how to address the population dimension rather than simply jump to increased use of contraception as the only way to bring about birth control in the country.
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0 #7 katsigazi geoffrey 2010-04-22 07:52
we know that the level uganda is by now ,countries like malaysia have ever been on it 15 years ago the same thing to singapole.

if not the trick by the goverment to over wwhelm voters ,hope this idea is beest .however many plans for developing countries have ended zero because they expect foreign aid and corruption is the worst thing .we need to take anote of this.

it looks awesome and convicing but it might end up in the mouth of ahungry lion and end up with nothing .
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0 #8 Najjuka Martha 2010-04-22 09:34
All this is hot air. It is actually aimed at the next general elections for Mr. Museveni and his NRM-0!

If these very guys have miserably failed to improve the quality of life for the majority of Ugandans as well as build both physical and democratic infrastructure for the last 24 years, what makes any sane Ugandan believe that the so-called NDP they have just unconstitutiona lly unveiled will be implemented according to its overly ambitious intentions?????

I am not one of those Ugandans who can easily be fooled by this regime's machinations!
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0 #9 Gowon 2010-04-22 10:28
Remember something called “The Ten Point Program? The issues then like they are now: lack of democracy, poverty, distorted economy, state inspired violence, polarized army and police, corruption, sectarianism, religious, linguistic, and ethnic factional issues, interference of foreign interest in Uganda hence the need of an independent, integrated, and self-sustaining national economy that would stop the leakage of Uganda's wealth abroad, clean water, health dispensaries, literacy, and housing etc. etc

That was 24 years ago and, and tell me now, how many of these have been met to the satisfaction of Ugandans if they have not only been made worst by the failing regime of Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

Look at the roads now, just like after the wars of Luwero_ full of gapping potholes.

Well a few people from some quaters of the country have amassed themselves great wealth through graft, fraud, theft, loot and corruption.

Well better with a promise (vision for rigging election) than without if only for the failing regime to deceive itself along with the misguided ignorant Ugandans, the sycophants and opportunist bootlickers still hanging on the back of the dictatorship to cling to power through fraud and deceit.
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0 #10 Jim Kamezza 2010-04-22 11:43
m7 is lying and Ugandans know it , the dictator is deluded in his brains .IPC under the leadership of FDC must come out and tell the truth about what they are about to deliver to Uganda after wining the vote of 2011 like ;
Abolishing NAADs SACCOs and all that bedroom nosense

Nationalising Housing Co-ops
Nationalising Commercial Bank
Triming the Army
Cut the size of Paliarment to cut waste of funds
Reducing No of Districts and abolishing RDCs
Abolishing none performing taxes

Abolishing tax targets by URA
Confisticating and auctioning or Nationalising property and Businesses aquired through bribery and thefty of public funds

I call on Dr Besigye to come out and delivery his true development plan and also plegde to conduct free and fair election in 2 yrs after IPC win over evil NRM and protect Busoga from NRM lies
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0 #11 Stephen Kakooza 2010-04-23 01:26
Uganda has 4 regions that planners should always focus on if they have anything to offer to this country apart from being used by politicians.

Planning itself would have been regional based. Planning for a whole country has many loop holes because implementation will always fail as long as the centre is controlling everything including resources.

Uganda needs to develop 5 other towns of Jinja,Gulu, Mbale,Mbarara and Fortpotal into cities. If these learned friends were to be taken serious by Ugandans they would have adviced government to think broad; for example Kampala cannot be the capital city at the sametime an industrial Town.

There is a deliberate action to make the population figures abstruct for political reasons and riging of elections that puts planners in the same category of jokers as they dont rely on the National Census figures to make proper projections.

Ugandans have little hope in this NRM government as it has failed on all its promises and resorted to curtain raising. Its overrelying on privatization of almost all government parastals inclunding Uganda Airlines only promotes corruption from the word go and the population now knows that all these documents are to please Donors and soliciting for funds to be used during elections.
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0 #12 kabayekka 2010-04-23 07:37
If this plan had the popularity of the people with it as was during the rule of President Lule 1979, this country would be in a better position of development.

That is why after Museveni and many of the UNLF die-hard had messed up Lule's rule, run back to Lule for political help. Without the good will of the people such well written economic documents will continue to gather dust as most children in this country cannot have one egg and one litre of milk every other day of their lives.

Besides sitting under a mango tree to learn to read a book in the English language free of charge.
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0 #13 john 2010-04-24 07:34
m7 has mastered the politics of kiwani, i guess this one is for 2011
remember he has been organising one each time there is an on coming contest.
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0 #14 kabayekka 2010-04-24 09:25
Indeed Mr John it is the fifth Kiwani from olubengo, entandikwa, bonnabagaggawal e etc. It is very clear that the army is in support of all that this regime is doing despite lack of democracy.

The political opposition must therefore accept to confront the Ugandan army and police over its longtime support it has given to this government of oppression.
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0 #15 Jim Kamezza 2010-04-24 11:41
m7 has no money and plans to develop Uganda ,he has lies ,bullets and evil will to ruin Uganda , we know it and we see it
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0 #16 kizito 2010-04-24 15:58
24 years with nothing to show how does he put together a development plan when he had no vision in the past? M7 is getting old should vacate the office. M7 family and sale outs are doing well while the rest are going down.
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