Today, June 4, 2020, President Yoweri Museveni has delivered the last State of the Nation address of his 2016 – 2021 term. The address has been delivered live from State House through Zoom video conferencing to Parliament, and it has heavily talked about the state of the economy with consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to figures fashioned to him by the Ministry of Finance and other departments like Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), President Museveni has revealed that Uganda’s import bill is usually $7 billion (about Shs26.3 trillion) every year on things like animal and animal products (1%), vegetable products, animal, beverages, fats and oil (7%), prepared foodstuff, beverages and tobacco (4%), mineral products (excluding petroleum products) (20%), petroleum products (15%), and chemical and related products (9%).
Other imports include plastics, rubber, and related products (6%), wood and wood products (2%), textile and textile products (4%) miscellaneous manufactured articles (4%), base metals and their products (7%), machinery equipment, vehicles and accessories (20%), arms, ammunition and accessories (0%) and electricity (0%).
The President said that most of these products imported can be made here, and he will see to it that that they are made here so that Uganda reduces on the foreign exchange spent abroad.
“When you look through this list, you see that there is no reason why we should import many of these items: 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, bicycles, etc. Many of these can and will be made here,” Museveni said.
Museveni also said that things like banana flour, which, according to Dr Florence Muranga discovered to be better and safer at making bread than wheat flour are being developed to tap into the $43.6 billion potential international market.
For this, he said Shs9.5billion has been released and in the next financial year, Shs12billion will be released to conclude this project.