Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni says, the government has injected 1 trillion shillings (about US$270 million) into the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) to boost industrialization.
Museveni, according to a State House statement issued here, said the US$270 million is part of the US$491.5 million that Uganda borrowed from the International Monetary Fund early this month to address the “urgent balance of payments and fiscal needs” arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president said the money injected into the UDB will be used to support the manufacturing sector as the best way of balancing payments.
“We have the capacity to produce many things here because most of the raw materials are here,” Museveni said, while commissioning two production lines at a Chinese factory that has started manufacturing face masks.
“I appeal to local businessmen to use this opportunity to borrow this money from UDB and set up more plants to produce more here.
“This money is yours,” he said, adding that, the government would protect local producers by imposing a heavy tax levy on similar products that are imported into the Ugandan market.
Minister of State for Investment and Privatization Evelyn Anite said that many business people were heeding the government’s call to borrow from the UDB.
“Right now if you go to UDB, you will see very long queues of Ugandan businessmen borrowing money,” Anite said.
Economists have predicted the country’s economy to grow at 3 percent this year on account of the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the economy was projected to grow at 6 percent.