The new investment rule book which prioritizes human capital development is capable of propelling Uganda’s Per Capita Gross Domestic Product from US$ 1,066 (approximately 4 Million Shillings) in 2017 base year to US$ 9,523 (UGX 33.4 Million) by the year 2040 when it expects to incline into the Middle Income Status.
Population experts are proposing new investment rule book for
guiding public sector investment for developing countries to reap the most from
their young populations.
The Rule Book is a set of economic principles that must be followed for higher
returns on net investments. The ones they are proposing place human capital
development at the heart of socio-economic transformation of countries.
Dr John Ssekamatte Ssebuliba, a Development and Population Consultant in
Kampala says economic models based on the proposed rule book have yielded
better investment dividends in Per Capita Gross Domestic Product compared to
investment in only public infrastructure – roads, electricity and industries.
Dr Ssekamatte says they used the case for Uganda’s socio-economic
transformation agenda to indicate that the Country will realize better Per
Capita GDP over a space of 30 years had implementation commenced by 2017.
He says the new investment models prioritizing human capital development would
propel Uganda’s Per Capita Gross Domestic Product from US$ 1,066 (approximately
4 Million Shillings) in 2017 base year to US$ 9,523 (UGX 33.4 Million) by the
year 2040 when it expects to incline into the Middle Income Status.
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For Uganda to achieve the proposed targets outlined in the Vision 2040,
population scientists say decline in fertility and mortality must be
accelerated through keeping girls in schools, promoting affordable family
planning services and strengthening the organization of the sprawling
urbanization into people-friendly settlements for the influx of the population
fleeing the rural areas in search of jobs.
They want government to redirect the 80 percent of the health budget currently
spent on curative health to preventive healthcare, the introduction of
universal early childhood development and a shift in the education system to
competency-based assessment to increase the number of decent jobs.
Dr Sarah Ssewanyana, the Executive Director of Economic Policy Research Center
says without strategic investment in health and wellbeing of the human capital,
the mega infrastructural development being undertaken will only boil down to
wastage of resources.
“Research is telling us that there is a shift in disease burdens in the country
which calls for government to rethink its economic policies. The African Union
has identified Four areas namely governance of resources, creation of
employment and enterprise development, skills development and human capital
development. We must sit down as a country to assess our performances against
these indicators” she stated.
Dr Ssewanyana says with the current capacity of Uganda’s economy to create new
jobs being equal to the number of new children born every year, the country
runs the risks of missing its socio-economic development targets in the long
run when it fails to invest in the human capital.
Dr Ssekamatte says in 2010 Uganda missed her first opportunity for achieving
socio-economic transformation by failing to integrate investment in human
development in its public sector planning.
This he says triggered the development of the first National Development Plan
centred on Wealth Creation, Job Creations and Investment in industries. He said
the second phase of the National Development Plan committed the same mistakes
which government has now opted to address in National Development Plan III.
The goal of the third phase of the National Development Plan is investment in
Human Capital through sustained industrialization for job creations. Uganda is
home to 42 million people with 70 percent being youth.
The two were speaking at a panel discussing on strategies for harnessing Uganda's
growing population at the 8th African Population Conference taking place at the
Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe on Wednesday.
The conference brought together more than 2,000 economists, population
scientists, policymakers and members of the civil society to discuss
opportunities for harnessing Africa's 1.2 Billion population.