President Yoweri Museveni addressed fellow Ugandans, particularly the younger generation, acknowledging recent meetings with traders striking against government taxes. He highlighted the historical significance of these discussions, centered around breaking free from the colonial-era economic model of exporting raw materials and importing finished goods at inflated prices. Museveni emphasized the need to add value to Uganda’s abundant natural resources to retain more benefits domestically, echoing a long-standing principle of the NRM.

The President outlined key issues contributing to Uganda’s economic challenges, including minimal returns from raw material exports, loss of jobs to foreign industries, and reliance on imported finished products. He pointed out the success stories of value addition in sectors like fish processing, maize milling, sugar, and steel production, which have generated employment opportunities for Ugandans since 1986.

Museveni addressed concerns raised by traders regarding taxation, explaining the government’s strategy to incentivize local production and discourage imports of non-essential goods. He emphasized the importance of building Uganda’s manufacturing capacity to create more jobs and expand the tax base. The President highlighted the need to protect local industries from foreign competition, which often benefits from subsidies or unfair trade practices.

In concluding remarks, Museveni urged Ugandan traders to prioritize the country’s economic interests over foreign dependencies. He emphasized Uganda’s unique potential as an industrial powerhouse with abundant natural resources, a skilled workforce, and strategic geographical positioning. The President called for unity and concerted efforts to realize Uganda’s economic potential, leveraging indigenous wealth creation practices and embracing value addition to transform the nation’s economic landscape.

Based on his submission, there seems to be no hope for any tax policy revision since he simply re-echoed the stand the traders are demonstrating against. Here is the full article

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