Government versus local investors

Government versus local investors; A struggle to implement import substitution

The government has been challenged to engage in more initiatives that support local investors and entrepreneurs if the national economy is to recover from the deep recession impacts after the induced covid-19 lockdown.

This comes at a time when unemployment levels have exponentially increased in the country with shutting down of several businesses causing the number of jobs lost to amount to about 180,000.

Policy analyst, Ramathan Ngobi says while COVID has had negative effects on the economy, it has helped the government find two necessary economic policies such as the switch to the promotion of exports and increased import substitution.

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“Losing 180,000 formal jobs in this small economy of Uganda is catastrophic enough and it will be quite tough to create them in the medium term. Import substitution could be good, but it is a long-term kind of venture. It is not easy to substitute imports.”

“So, in a way, COVID has helped Uganda to retrace the realities to the point that you can’t develop using foreign capital per se and foreign investors. You need to develop your own indigenous investors and enterprises because they are going to keep most of the multipliers within the economy.”

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