Uganda to revive national airline

Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, has disclosed that the country is close to finalizing plans to restart operating a national airline.

According to the president, he had information that Ugandans were spending a lot of money traveling, hence the government’s latest move. ‘‘Somebody has told me that Ugandans are spending US$420 million per year on travel.”

‘‘Therefore, the NRM Government has decided to start a National Airline to stop the outflow of this money and to end travel inconveniences to Ugandans. We are now finalizing the modalities,’’ Museveni said.

He was speaking at the country’s 56th independence day celebration which took place in the Luuka district. The president explained that the national airline was allowed to die because Ugandans were not traveling a lot by air.

‘‘We allowed Uganda Airlines to die because it was making losses and, at that time, Ugandans were not traveling as much as today. Therefore, my dear Ugandans, I can confidently tell you that the future is bright,’’ he added.

Aside the issue of the airline, he also touched on plans that his government was putting in place to ensure the country reaches its industrialization goals. He underlined the importance of investors and tasked officials to avoid delays in dealing with investors.

‘‘The other effort has been in the area of providing cheap finance for the manufacturers.  We are going to give capital to Uganda Development Bank (UDB) to the tune of Shs. 50 billion this financial year.”

‘‘Then, gradually, it will be increased up to 500 billion shillings over the medium term.  They can then lend that money to the manufacturers at the interest rate of 15%,’’ his statement noted.

He also noted that the purchasing power of Africa was continually rising, hence manufacturers were sure to have access to an integrated market locally across the continent and globally.

‘‘While purchasing power outside Africa is declining or stagnant, the purchasing power in Africa is going up. The purchasing power is one of the most important stimuli for production and growth,’’ he said.


Africa news/Zainab Sa’id