Uganda’s Government has been urged to invest more in its people starting at an early age and pay more attention to issues affecting their health and education if it is to achieve meaningful and sustainable inclusive growth.
The, UNDP Uganda’s Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah made the call on Thursday this week during the inaugural United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and National Planning Authority (NPA) breakfast policy series meeting in Kampala.
“Government of Uganda demonstrates acknowledgement that investing in people is not only critical, but necessary to ensure sustained inclusive growth.” Said Elsie Attafuah during the breakfast policy series aimed at informing the formulation of the third national development plan.
In a related development, the Executive Director of National Planning Authority, Dr. Joseph Muvawala, called for the equipping of Uganda’s “abundant labour with globally competitive skills, relevant knowledge, good health and positive attitudes.
The Uganda Vision 2040 identifies Uganda’s young labour force as one of the opportunities that Uganda has to utilize to harness growth.
Education has been identified as a key foundation for human capital development. Ms. Diana Sekaggya Bagarukayo, Education Specialist at the World Bank, observed that Uganda needs to increase the 10% it currently spends on education annually to improve learning, enrollment and completion rates. In comparison, she said, other Sub-Saharan countries spend 16% of their budget on education.
Prof. Juma Waswa Balunywa, Principal of Makerere University Business School, warned that the job market demands are changing very fast hence the need for a forecast of jobs and skills that will be relevant for the future and ensuring that the education curriculum and learning institutions are training for that.
While Uganda has made significant progress in all dimensions of human development during the past three decades, progress is slowing down recently. Particularly, Uganda’s Human Development Index rose by less than three percent, compared to the era of the Poverty Eradication Action Plans (PEAP), when it averaged 12 percent.
The National Planning Authority has continued to guide the country’s progress towards socio-economic transformation through three major landmarks of the Uganda Vision 2040 and the first and second five-year National Development Plans which guide Uganda’s transformation agenda. The formulation of the
Uganda’s current National DPII expires at the end of June 2020 and the next Development Plan (NDPIII) will be in place by September 2019 to guide the Budget Strategy for the financial year 2020/21.
The conceptual framework for the NDPIII is drawn from the thinking behind the Uganda Vision 2040 of strengthening fundamentals and harnessing opportunities, with attainment of the middle-income status remaining the driving factor.