Differences between NRM and UDU development priorities

There are sharp differences between NRM and UDU development priorities.

1. For NRM urban and export-oriented economic growth and earning hard currency come first. This is a top-down approach where the people come last through a trickledown mechanism which sadly has not worked since it was introduced in 1987. Furthermore, NRM policy has focused on services in urban areas especially Kampala and its vicinity generating 70 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) with a population of less than 2 million out of 34 million Ugandans. NRM policy is designed to service external markets with food and raw materials first. For UDU Ugandans come first. The majority of Ugandans (over 85 percent) who are poor and unemployed live in rural areas. UDU will therefore formulate a bottom-up and pro-poor economic growth program based on agriculture and rural development (agro-processing, infrastructure such as roads – focusing on constructing permanent bridges with central government support – and affordable energy) thereby serving the people first and directly. In contrast to NRM food production will meet the needs of Uganda first and surplus will be exported to neighboring countries and beyond. With planned increased productivity, Uganda will have enough food for domestic consumption and increase exports. Under NRM policy food exports have undermined supplies for domestic consumption especially of proteins which are exported in beans and fish. Eating non-nutritious foodstuffs such as cassava and maize has resulted in neurological disabilities and insanity, undermining human capital formation.

Russian women: “They were just tired” – lessons for Uganda

I know that change is coming to Uganda. But what kind of change: peaceful or bloody change; change from below or from above? Although some readers have distorted my message for whatever reason, I have consistently pleaded orally and in writing for peaceful change – to the discomfort of those who want war – so that every Ugandan lives in peace, security, equality, prosperity and happiness. I have encouraged mixing at all levels – political, economic, social and cultural – to minimize conflicts. But to make appropriate changes we need to know what is happening in our society first. It is reporting the findings of what is happening that has caused discomfort in some quarters. And from these quarters we are getting name calling, intimidation and distorted messages. But the impartial analyst has to report research findings. And that is what we have been doing in the great lakes region. Hopefully we shall all end up on the same page.