President meets World Bank Board of Directors
By Acaye Henry
President Yoweri Museveni has held a meeting with World Bank Board of Directors who are in Uganda to get a first hand view of the Bank’s support to the country’s development priorities.
The eleven-member delegation represents 92 countries and nearly 51% of the World Bank’s shareholding.
During the meeting that took place at State House Entebbe yesterday (Thursday 25th April 2019), the President and his guests discussed a wide range of issues concerning the economic development in Uganda. President Museveni warmly welcomed the delegation to Uganda saying that he had for so long wanted to meet and interact with members of the Board of Directors of the World Bank.
Mr. Museveni informed the group that Africa has got huge potential but the challenge has been that the people tackling Africa’s issues are bent on using uni-dimensional approach where they tackle some of the bottlenecks not knowing that the challenges are integrated.
He said Africa is so rich with a huge market but because of the bottlenecks, such as lack of infrastructure, fragmented markets, ideological disorientation and export of raw materials, among others, the continent has not been able to attain substantial economic development adding that in order for Africa to have a meaningful and sustainable growth, the bottlenecks need to be tackled together.
He assured the visiting delegation that now that Africa and Uganda in particular has addressed some of the challenges, such as high electricity rates, transport and the issue of market, the economy will even triple.
On the issue of refugees, President Museveni noted that ‘refugees coming to Uganda is not an issue because these are our people and our brothers and they integrate easily because of their backgrounds.”
He however, said the only impact on host countries is on social services and the environment for which he called on the World Bank and other development partners to direct their efforts.
The World Bank delegation, led by the Bank’s Group Executive Director, Mr. Fabio Kanczuk, expressed satisfaction with how things are going on in Uganda under the wise leadership of President Museveni. He cited the high and consistent growth rate of over 6% per annum as an example.
The delegation also positively expressed happiness with how Uganda is handling both social and environmental issues. The visitors applauded the country on the way it has handled the influx of refugees. They expressed commitment to further working with Uganda especially on in tackling issues of human capital development, market integration and value addition, among other areas.
The World Bank Group has had a long-standing and strong partnership with Uganda with a cumulative investment of more than US$10 billion.
The current WB’s program is well-positioned to assist the Government of Uganda in achieving its ambitious development agenda through the Bank’s portfolio of almost US$3 billion covering investments in all major sectors of the economy. This is complemented by US$175 million in commitment by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) targeting projects in infrastructure, agribusiness and financial sectors; and US$236 million in gross exposure by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) supporting the Bujagali Hydroelectric Project.