By Watchdog reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has assured the country that his Government will continue prioritizing and improving the general infrastructure as well as providing an enabling environment for creation of jobs and lower the cost of doing business in the energy and transport sectors.
The President was speaking at the United Nations’ International World Population Day that was held at Isingiro district headquarters in Ankole Sub-Region in South Western Uganda, under the theme “Harness Uganda’s Demographic Divided; Invest in Teenage Girl.”
Mr. Museveni disclosed that the population of Uganda has increased because the government prioritized pro-people programmes like immunization which is rated at 97% successful, coupled with improved water, sanitation, nutrition and prevention of malaria.
Referring to the 2014 National Population and Housing Census statistics, the President said that Ugandans now live longer with life expectancy having increased from 42 years in 1991 to 63 years currently.
“Riches of any nation are not in soil or in the ground but in its people,” he observed.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Matia Kasaija, State for Planning Mr. Bahati David and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative Ms. Miranda Tabifar, addressed the gathering. Tabifar noted that Uganda’s population has the youngest people the world has seen.
A statement from the adolescents group indicated that teenage pregnancy is a major concern because it affects the health, wellbeing and opportunities of a girl-child as an initial victim.
The President, therefore challenged Ugandans that most countries, which lack natural resources, have developed because they depend on their educated, skilled and innovative population. He expressed strong optimism that Uganda should be able to develop.
“Uganda is blessed. We have abundant natural resources, good climate and now a healthier population,” he said.
Mr. Museveni criticized local leaders who are not assertive and who wrongly assess what government has done and has not accomplished in some sectors of development in different localities.
“The yardstick to measure development in your area is to evaluate people’s development at household level,” he advised.
The President told the people of Isingiro district that part of the land around Nakivale Refugee Camp will be developed into an industrial park to attract investors who will create jobs for the young, healthy and skilled citizens and said that these will indeed become the engine of growth of the national economy.
Turning to the issue of teaching sex education in schools, President Museveni cautioned that the matter requires more dialogue, attention and sensitization saying “teach the growing children that everything has sits own time.”
Regarding water provision, President Museveni told the people of Isingiro that it has not been possible to sink boreholes in the area because of the nature of the terrain. He, therefore, advised them to protect the environment, especially the swamps and rivers saying that the only supply of water for public consumption will be by gravity flow scheme.