President Yoweri Museveni has called upon the youth in the country especially those who dwell in commercial centres to look for where there are wealth accumulation opportunities in the private sector and where money is as long as peace prevails in the country.
“Those who don’t have land, strive to acquire it. Those who already have land, expand on it for peri-urban agricultural and private sector ventures in order to be self-employed. This will help you to become rich and create the ability to eradicate poverty,” he said.
The President was on Wednesday addressing a delegation of over 300 mainly Councilors from the five Divisions of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) at his Kisozi farm in Gomba district.
The delegation, led by the Minister of Kampala City Authority, Hon. Betty Namisango Kamya, also included State Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority, Hon. Namugwanya Benna, Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Ms. Deborah Mbabazi, Deputy RDCs from the 5 Divisions, urban councilors, technical staff, informal sector representatives and a group of businessmen and women, among others.
Before the meeting with the President, the delegation first toured some progressive farms in Kilasi Parish of Maddu Sub-County, Gomba county and personally witnessed the fact that out of a total number of 1700 homesteads, only 100 have not yet been transformed to a status of assured sustainable income generating activities through small-scale commercialized agricultural methods of farming. The KCCA delegation was also exposed to the fact that Kilasi village is an area that is tailored to provide a learning environment for investment in rural settings with a view to achieving sustainable money generating activities to eradicate household poverty.
The farmers who the KCCA visited do carry out agricultural production such as growing coffee, bananas, poultry, zero-grazing of dairy cows and as well as goats on the basis of a revolving method whereby farmers benefit from one another within a stipulated period of time whereby productive animals are given to farmers on a rotational mode.
“The problem with young people in Kampala City is that they just there. If you have land learn how to shift from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture in the peri-urban and suburbs areas of the city. Start up small scale factories like the young girls who have been trained in skilling methods in artisanship and they were recently trained and commissioned at Wandegeya market,” he said.
President Museveni called upon KCCA councilors to emulate the example of Kilasi village saying: “I am not ready to stay with neighbours who opt to live perpetual poor life of financial darkness. That is being selfish,” he added.
“For me, I am ready to go to heaven. However, I am not ready to answer questions from God as to why I did not impart this knowledge to you as most leaders have behaved. Have you ever heard about me going for holidays for the last thirty years?” he asked.
Mr. Museveni challenged officials of Kampala City Traders’ Association (KACITA) as to why they promote and encourage the business community to import products like fabrics, furniture, etc from outside the country to fill the shopping arcades in Kampala. He noted that a good number of those imported products can easily be manufactured locally. The President observed that this translates to financial hemorrhage that must stop.
“Let us focus on increasing exports from the country, reduce imports for our currency to gain value hence increasing job opportunities in the sectors of commercialized agriculture, manufacturing, services and ICT, among others.
Mr. Museveni reminded the councilors that as members of a sector of a small number of people employed by government who survive on salary only, they ought to be encouraged to think of private sector business orientation.
“All I want from you councilors is to find what to do in the private sector. If you already have, add on. If you don’t have, start,” he advised.
He expressed satisfaction with the KCCA administration for being visionary as far as infrastructure development of the Authority is concerned.
Kampala City Authority Minister, Hon. Betty Kamya thanked President Museveni for organizing the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) tour of Kisozi area for the KCCA Councilors adding that the exercise was very instrumental for the councilors to learn. She also commended the councilors and the informal sector for their cooperation with the democratically elected government despite their divergent political affiliations.
In their memorandum presented to the President, the councilors commended him for the tour of the area. They thanked Minister Betty Kamya for bringing them together to enable the realization of success in development.