Friday, June 7, 2013

Uganda: Museveni's dream (ing ) . More Batshit Crazy

All Africa reports

Uganda to Attain First World Status in 50 Years

Uganda is to become a middle income by 2017 and a first world country in 50 years.

I wonder if that is an order ?

President Yoweri Museveni said those who still perceive Ugandan as a third world country are "an endangered species". "If you don't want to be in such a good country then you should go away," Museveni teased MPs, during Thursday's State of Nation address.

Which is a bit unfortunate as fairly much the whole world is of the view that Uganda is a third world nation.   I have nothing against mindless optimism but Museveni  might have been wiser to have retained at least a tenuous grip on reality.
  1. Uganda was the 23rd largest recipient of official humanitarian aid in 2010
  2. Uganda received the equivalent of 10.4% of its gross national income (GNI) as aid (ODA) in 2010
  3. GNI rank in 2010: 107 of 215
  4. Uganda has experienced active conflict in each of the ten years between 2002 and 2011
  5. Classified as a fragile state, 2011
  6. Vulnerability index score, 2011-2012: High

Reflecting on Uganda's Vision 2040 which aims at transforming Uganda from a predominantly peasant and low income country to a competitive upper middle income country with per capita income of about US$9,500 by 2040 from the current US$506, Museveni observed that with the highly skilled human resource, Uganda there was no way this vision could be missed.

I am guessing it is an inflation adjusted figure but it would seem to be a little out of line with the accepted orthodoxy on the definition of upper middle income countries.

high-income economy is defined by the World Bank as a country with a gross national income per capita of US$12,480 or more in 2011, calculated using the Atlas method.

On the long road to 2040, average real GDP growth rate will be over 8.2% per annum translating into total GDP of about US $580.5bn with a projected population of 61.3 million, Museveni said, adding that Uganda's total GDP today stands at US420.2b.

I suspect that his GDP growth rate projections might be a bit on the ambitious side. 

"The projected high growth rate will match the level of development observed in upper middle income countries such as Malaysia, Mauritius, Hungary and Chile," he said.

Hate to resort to a reality check but....

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Malaysia contracted 4.90 percent in the first quarter of 2013 over the previous quarter.GDP Growth Rate in Malaysia is reported by the Department of Statistics Malaysia. Historically, from 2000 until 2013, Malaysia GDP Growth Rate averaged 1.18 Percent..

I didn't check Mauritius, Hungary or Chile but I am guessing that they won't be to far different to Malaysia.

To attain the high level of per capita income, the country will exploit its enormous and novelty opportunities including oil and gas, tourism, minerals, ICT business, abundant youthful labour force, strategic geographical location, fresh water resources, industries and agriculture, he added.

Seems to have forgotten education which is a bit unfortunate if you have an abundant youthful labour force ". 

These opportunities, he added, will be harnessed through strengthening fundamentals including; physical infrastructure (transport, ICT and energy), science, technology, engineering and innovation and globally competitive human resource.
I am sure all Ugandans can't wait to see Museveni's dream realised. 

There can be no doubt that Ugandan's ( and in fact all people ) have an absolute right to economic parity with the first or developed world.  In fairness to Museveni there is nothing wrong with having long term plans, the issue here is that none of his plans seem to be grounded in reality. 

Given Museveni's effective suspension of democracy over the last couple of weeks the role model Uganda might want to look at is Singapore. 


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