SPEECH BY

H.E YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

AT THE
CELEBRATIONS MARKING 54 YEARS OF UGANDA’S
INDEPENDENCE

Theme: “Protection of our independence through
promotion of patriotism, unity and hard work”

Luuka

-

9th October, 2016

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Your Excellencies the Invited Heads of State and
Government;
H.E the Vice President;
The Rt. Honourable Speaker of Parliament;
The Hon. Chief Justice;
The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister;
Honourable Ministers;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
Your

Excellencies

the

Ambassadors

and

High

Commissioners;
Distinguished Invited Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
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It is with great pleasure and honour that I welcome Your
Excellencies and all the distinguished guests to this occasion
as we mark 54 years of Uganda’s independence.

I congratulate Ugandans on the 54th Independence Anniversary
of our country.

I wish you a prosperous 55th year of

Independence.
As I have told you repeatedly, over the last 55 years, the NRM
and its precursors have identified ten strategic bottlenecks.
These are:
(i)

Ideological disorientation;

(ii)

A weak State,
strengthening;

especially

the

army,

that

needed

(iii) Under-developed infrastructure (the railways, the roads,
the electricity, the telephones, piped water, etc.);
(iv) The underdevelopment of the human resource (lack of
education and poor health for the population);
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(v)

Interfering with the private sector (either by policy or by
corruption);

(vi) A fragmented African market on account of colonialism;
(vii) Exporting unprocessed raw materials and, therefore,
getting little money and losing jobs and lack of
industrialization;
(viii) The underdevelopment of the services sector (hotels,
banking, transport, insurance, tourism, etc);
(ix) The underdevelopment of agriculture;
(x) The attack on democracy.
By the time we eliminate or significantly reduce all the ten
bottlenecks, Uganda will be a modern country.
bottlenecks need to be tackled in a holistic way.

These
We have

already tackled the problem of ideological disorientation; the
problem of the weak State (especially the army); the problem of
the fragmented African markets that needed integration; the
problem of infrastructure such as electricity, improved roads,
the ICT backbone, some piped water

for some towns,
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educational infrastructure, the health services infrastructure,
etc; the emancipation of the private sector; etc., etc.

Especially by handling electricity, the improved roads and ICT
backbone, we are on the verge of lowering the costs of doing
business in the economy, especially in manufacturing.

The

only problem remaining is on account of the high electricity
prices caused by the Bujagali power station of 11 American
cents.

The power from Nalubaale is US 3 cents because we

have finished paying the loans. Recently, in New York, I had a
serious discussion with the stakeholders involved in the
Bujagali project and agreed on how to bring down the cost of
power of that power station.
By a number of measures, the cost of Bujagali electricity can go
down to US 7 cents.

Thereafter, we can undertake further

measures that can bring down the cost of a unit of electricity to
US 5 cents for, at least, the manufacturers.

Apart from

bringing down the cost of power, we are building new dams to
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ensure that Uganda will never, again, be in shortage of
electricity.

In order to further deal with the high cost pushers in
manufacturing and business, we are also going to build a
modern electrified standard gauge railway. In a manufactured
product, electricity accounts for 40% and transport accounts
for 50% (World Bank). Once, therefore, you tackle these two
(electricity and transport), you significantly lower the costs of
doing business in any given economy.

Now that we are, finally, addressing the cost-pushers of
electricity, road transport and rail transport, we remain to deal
with the total monetization and modernization of agriculture,
industrializing the country and continue to develop the
services sector.
The total monetization of agriculture will mean persuading the
68% of the homesteads that are still in subsistence farming to
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join commercial agriculture. Operation Wealth Creation is
continuing to distribute coffee seedlings, fruit seedlings, tea
seedlings, etc.

Since Operation Wealth Creation started in

2013, they have given out a total of 122 millions coffee
seedlings, 11 million fruit seedlings, 15 millions of tea
seedlings. This is in addition to the seedlings of maize, banana
suckers, dairy heifers, cassava, piglets, poultry, etc.

Unfortunately, I am told that around 40% of the coffee seedling
have dried up because of the beneficiaries not watering them.
This is terrible carelessness.

It is so easy to water coffee

seedlings and similar plants by fetching water from a nearby
swamp on a bicycle in a kidomola (a jerrycan), distributing the
water into plastic water bottles, putting a small hole in each
bottle and putting each near the kikolo of the plant (near the
roots). This is simple drip irrigation. The plant will not dry in
the dry season. Therefore, please stop this carelessness
(obutafaayo). However, agriculture needs to do more. There is
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sometimes the problem of leeched soils that are deficient in
phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen.

You should carry out

zonal tests and advise the farmers accordingly, through
intensive radio, sensitization. I recently got Dr. Zaake to check
on my land in the fertile Ntungamo area and we found that, the
good rainfall in the area notwithstanding, the soil was very
deficient organic matter, nitrogen, calcium and magnesium but
relatively deficient in phosphorous nd potassium, caused by
the leeching in the sandy soil. The other big problem for
agriculture is the occasional erraticness of the rain.

The

answer for this is irrigation-mega and micro. We have already
repaired the mega-irrigation schemes of Doho in Butaleja,
Mobuku in Kasese, Olweny in Lango, Agoro in Lamwo and
Kibiimba in Bugiri. I, however, would not like to multiply the
Olweny and Kibiimba type. They encroached on the wetlands.
Mobuku, Doho and Agoro are more correct conceptually
because they involve diverting River water and irrigating the
terrestrial portion of our country and not encroaching on the
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wetlands ─ in effect tampering with the tributaries of the Nile
River.

We are going to extend those types

around Mount

Elgon, the Rwenzoris, the Kigezi highlands and the Agoro
range.
This is where you use the mountain ranges to solve your civil
engineering needs and you simply channel the water taking
advantage of gravity.

The other mode of irrigation is to use

solar water pumps, pump water from a lower elevation to a
higher one and irrigate the nearby fields.

The Ministry of

Agriculture is already directed to have those solar-pumps
assembled and manufactured here, in the country. During the
Katuumba rains (March to May), we got so much water that
Lake Victoria got to 12.67 , metres at Entebbe almost equaling
the record of the 1961-64 rains when the comparable level was
13-46 metres.

Indeed, during the Katuumba rains, the whole shore-ine of
Lake Victorawas fooded.

Inside of Kyaanda (dry season ─
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Kyeeya) of June-July that has gone on up to September on
account of Al-ninna, the level of the Lake is still at 12.11
metres. All my dams at Kisozi and Rwakitura are still full. It
is, therefore, an irrationality to cry about the drought when the
Lakes are full of vast quantities of water. The answer is solar
water pump for standby irrigation when the rain delays.

Chinese friends are, finally, helping us to manufacture
phosphate fertilizers at Sukuru hills in Tororo. Eventually, we
hope to blend the Tororo phosphates with the potassium from
Lake Katwe and Nitrogen from the oil fields in Lake Albert or
importing some from our Tanzanian brothers so that the NPK
fertilizer is processed and formulated here.

Do not, however, forget that the other danger to stable
commercial agriculture in Uganda is land fragmentation
through archaic systems of inheritance. You the leaders need
to aggressively sensitize the people on this issue.
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On the side of livestock, the remaining challenge is to ensure
that we provide good pasture for the cattle, both in the rainy
and dry seasons. The farms everywhere must be planted with
chloris

Guyana

(orunyankokoore),

bracheria

(ejubwe),

hyperania ruffa (emburara), panicum maxima and minima
(obuteera-nte) as well as the newly recommended fodder crops
such as sorghum etc. etc.

We cannot continue to have bad

grasses in our farms such eyojwa (rhodenta Kaperansis) like
the one I saw in Nyangoma the other day, egaashe, kasibante in
Luganda (Sporaborus), omuteete (cymbopogan afronudus) etc.
and talk of farming. The Ministry of Agriculture should solve
the issue of tractors. Acquiring tractors is not a problem. The
problem are the people to entrust the tractors with. Should we
give them to Cooperatives or to rich individual farmers? I have
been giving out tractors to some community groups. We have
agreed in the sector meetings that Agriculture standardizes
this. The issue of ticks is being handled. Apart from changing
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the acaricides, there is the solution of vaccines like the one of
East Coast Fever or even the anti-tick vaccine.

The issue of industrializing our country will be handled in four
ways.

First of all, the Ugandan investors who have already done a
good job. These will be assisted to expand. I also encourage
them to source new partners from outside or inside.
there are the FDIs (the Foreign Direct Investments).

Then
The

crucial point here is prompt decision-making by our officials.
No delays.

The third source of manufacturers are our scientists whom we
have assisted to get patents after their inventions. Those are
being assisted with our direct funding.

These include the

banana project for four and starch, the juice project, the
Luwoko (phytolaccadodecandra), etc.
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The fourth group are the youth, the women and the cooperative
groups that we are assisting to acquire machinery for
processing most of our agricultural, mineral and forest rawmaterials

into

finished products.

The UNBS is being

strengthened to assure quality.
The services sector, especially tourism, is growing very well on
account of robust security and the good roads. Yesterday we
were at Hotel Africana for the Prayer Breakfast, I inquired and
they told me that the occupancy rate was 80%. The other
services are also growing ─ banking, insurances, transport, etc.
The other effort has been in the area of providing cheap finance
for the manufacturers. We are going to give capital to Uganda
Development Bank (UDB) to the tune of Shs. 50 billion this
financial year.

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Then, gradually, it will be increased up to 500 billion shillings
over the medium term. They can, then, lend that money to the
manufacturers at the interest rate of 15%.

The final effort is on the issue of the airline.

We allowed

Uganda Airlines to die because it was making losses and, at
that time, Ugandans were not travelling as much as today.
Somebody has told me that Ugandans are spending US$420
million per year on travel. Therefore, the NRM Government has
decided to start a National Airline to stop the outfow of this
money and to end travel inconveniences to Ugandans. We are
now finalizing the modalities.

Therefore, my dear Ugandans, I can confidently tell you that
the future is bright. In Africa, we are integrating our markets.
Our produces are, therefore, assured of the internal market of
Uganda, the regional market and the international markets.
While purchasing power outside Africa is declining or stagnant,
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the purchasing power in Africa is going up. The purchasing
power is one of the most important stimuli for production and
growth.
I once again congratulate all Ugandans upon celebrating the
54th Independence and

wish you good luck and happy

celebrations.

Thank you.

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