The National Planning Authority (NPA) has unveiled plans to carry out reprioritization within the approved National Development Plan 3 by the end of this month. The revised National Development Plan will focus on Small and Medium enterprises and industrialization as a benchmark for economic recovery. The review of the NDP III is in response to the COVID-19 shocks.
Uganda’s economy grew by only 3% in the calendar year 2020 up from the historical averages of 6% on account of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
But with the battle against the pandemic intensifying coupled with the low economic activity, the National Planning Authority has declared its responsive position to manage national development by reprioritizing specific programs within the National development plan III.
Dr. Abraham Muwanguzi the Manager science and technology department National Planning Authority says they will be shifting implementation of different interventions;
“Most likely the end of this July, the new, not the new but the priorities that we are going to concentrate on, the NDP 3 will not be done away with but what will happen, will be the shifting in terms of implementation of different interventions and this will come out most likely the end of this month.”
He adds that the private sector could largely be affected by the reprioritization and thus called upon Ugandans to tighten.
“We should brace ourselves for the hard times because they are already here, the hard times are not yet to come, they are here. Especially in the business sector, the government has cut down on spending.”
The IMF and World bank project Ugandans economic growth at 4% for this calendar year 2021 while the National Planning Authority projects a 3.5% growth. But Dr. Fred Muhumuza, a senior economist at Makerere University notes that the indicators are good despite the uncertainty.
“As we have learnt from the past, I don’t want to put figures, what I would do, is pick the NPA figure of 3.5% and the IMF higher figure of 4% and say the growth for this calendar year will be between that interval we are yet to discover is life going to be normal.”
Recently, experts from the National Planning Authority came up with a model to monitor COVID 19 but economists disagree with the data provided.
Muhumuza says; “The criteria is unable to provide accurate data, for now. We can say that the economy is stable.”
Budget cuts of up to 40% have also been effected this financial year as part of the efforts to support critical programs that would propel the country to the path of recovery key among them being industrialization and support to Small and Medium Industries.