By: John Linonn Sengendo
Lack of adequate financing and prioritisation of government programs is one of the leading challenges facing Uganda’s much sought growth and development.
Speaking at the annual Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) Economic Forum, Dr. Patrick Birungi the Director in charge of Planning at the National Planning Authority who represented Dr. Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa noted that there was misalignment between the intent of the budget and the actual budget allocations. He further noted that the poor budget or fiscal discipline that in turn leads to frequent supplementary expenditures and off budget financing; public borrowing that is not aligned to the NDP priorities and the high interest payments were crowding out budget allocations to key sector and priority infrastructure projects that are key in driving growth and improving competitiveness of the economy.
Other challenges he noted were, in implementing national development priority programmes and projects, a week private sector, delayed realisation of the oil and gas revenues, high population growth and increasing dependence burden eroding the benefits of increasing economic growth.
This year’s three day forum themed ‘Supporting the economic Growth and Development’ was at was attended by over 400 participants from the different sectors of the economy.
On his part, CPA Prof. Samuel Ssejjaaka during his presentation stressed the need for government to embrace industrialisation through agriculture. This, he noted was where the country had a comparative advantage over others. He noted that, unlike in other industrial activities, it is only in agriculture where the country can establish a value chain right from planting, to harvesting, processing and exportation. It is only through agribusiness that the country will be able to attain the much desired industrialisation, which in turn will aid growth.
In his opening remarks, CPA Frederick Kibbedi the ICPAU President thanked government for considering some of the Institute’s recommendations made during the 2017 Economic forum while formulating policies during the 2018/2019 National Budget pronouncements. The recommendations bordered on infrastructure, ICT, education and agriculture.
The three day forum that commenced today at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe will run until Friday 20th 2018. Some of the speakers will include, CPA Dr. Protazio Begumisa, the Commissioner in charge of Audit and Compliance at the Uganda Revenue Authority, Prof. Ndebesa Mwambutsya, Mr. Gideon Badagawa among others