Uganda has reached the middle-income status despite an onslaught of crises in the past three years, President Yoweri Museveni said on Tuesday.
According to official data, the nation’s economy stood at about $45.7 billion by the exchange rate method or $131 billion by the purchasing power parity (PPP) system.
“This means that the GDP per capita is $1046. We have now passed that figure of middle-income status ($1,030),” Mr. Museveni observed as he delivered the annual State of the Nation Address in Kampala.
Speaking in person to mainly ruling NRM party legislators, Mr. Museveni on June 7 expressed confidence that Uganda would maintain its spot above the middle-income status GDP per capita minimum of about $1,030.
“You need to sustain this for two to three consecutive years to be declared a middle-income country,” he echoed.
On the soaring commodity prices, Mr. Museveni said he was engaging global actors such as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, using diplomacy, to urge him to solve the problems they created. The war in Ukraine following the February 14 Russian invasion has triggered shocks in the global supply chains.
On subsidies to rescue the economy, the President said the government cannot direct money into consumption instead of building infrastructure for development.
“I’m used to problems. When people are panicking, I am never bothered because I have handled bigger problems. But the most serious problem I don’t want is lack of food,” the president said.
He said the government would focus on production, saying his administration is working with the private sector to produce solar-powered water pumps that the rich farmers can buy and engage in mini irrigation.
On Tuesday, the 77-year-old leader of a country with millions of unemployed citizens further urged amplified agricultural production to suit global demands.
“Our strategy is that everything agricultural that is not consumed instantly should be processed industrially, so it’s preserved to be able to reach distant markets,” he noted.
Over 100 opposition MPs boycotted the constitutional occasion at Kololo, accusing the president of “interfering with the country’s judiciary” and “failing to solve” a raging economic meltdown.