Africa-Press – Uganda. Despite Uganda’s aggregate challenges under National Development Plan II (2015/16 – 2019/20), the spirit of NDP III (2020/21 – 2024/25) envisions economic drive at households and GDP expansion, through the Parish Development Model (PDM) as one of the windows.
PDM modus operandi, calls for exigent joint actions to add on parish plans into broader sub-national and national programmes by State and Non-State Actors.
As Uganda awaits the budget speech day, can we utilise media channels for aptitude of Ugandans towards delivery of PDM and other models?
Globally, African-oriented media is at critical junction to showcase Africa and homegrown development initiatives than recurring Western-world prescription.
PDM is just one window by government in implementing NDP III. Others include Multi-modal transport system, infrastructure and services programme; and NUSAF III (soon into phase IV).
There are economic free zones (e.g. Arua, Entebbe, Mutukula) and; strategicagro-industrial development models e.g. the Kochi-goma (Amuru District) based Bukona factory taking regional processing for cassava products, Atiak and Kasanda sugar factories involving thousands of farmers, Nyeihanga and Mpigifruit factories in Ntungamo and Mpigi districts; and rural electrification programme.
So, let’s help plug any conceptual, misinformation, implementation and roll-out gaps for PDM.
Under the hitherto “sleeping” Parish Development Committees (PDCs), the parish chief needs to bring aboard other actors, to mutually reinforce community development through organisedgroups, private sector associations, FY 2021/22.
To leverage joint resource mapping, implementation and support supervision is welcome. Considering new scheme of service, professionalism and probity for PDM to aptly achieve NDP III and NRM manifesto 2021-26 components, it may require qualifications of parish chief cadres from the current A-level stock to graduates. From managing Shs50,000 to about Shs41,627,336 as public resources for each parish effective FY 2021/ 22, the parish chief’s programming oversight for parish operations and attendant paraphernalia demand astuteness.
For equity, let’s revise blanket formula allocations of Shs41,627,336; to per capita parish population; communities are not homogenous, numerically and by enterprises. Even if meagre, the FY 2021/22 Shs44.778 trillion budget must reflect equitable sharing under PDM proposed allocations.
Any effort, on organising Uganda’s citizens into comparative advantage-guided parish production and marketing cooperative entities is long over-due. May those entities under PDM feed into a value-chain for commercial agro-industrial production tagged to specific (not generic) domestic and foreign markets.
Markets for Ugandan products remain critical, recalling that trade deficit from $8.1 million in November 2020 to over $666 by end of February 2021 was not pleasant. This translated into drawdown effect on thecountry’s import cover under Bank of Uganda, amid Covid-19.
So, Shs1.7 trillion allocation to agro- industrialisation in FY 2021/22 should begin small, with value-chain and end-user mapping of domestic and foreign markets.
Then graduate parish recruitments, integration plans for parishes’ prospecting commodities into existing strategic economic free zones; and agro-industrial links with the Bukona Factory, Atiak and Kasanda sugar factories, etc, in broader PDM outlook now and over FYs 2022/23 and 2025/26 period, to anchor increased household income streams and GDP growth.
Mr Julius Kapwepwe Mishambi is a public and domestic debt analyst & programmes director, Uganda Debt Network