Kampala- The private sector, academics and policy makers are optimistic that the Makerere University Private Sector Forum Tumusiime Mutebile Centre of Excellence will enhance development of critical human skills needed in the labour market to drive Uganda’s economic advancement.
The Mutebile Centre of Excellence which, among other things, focuses on driving transformation, educating the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs, will also foster efficiency in policy designs, implementation hence translating into increased industrial productivity and entrepreneurship development.
In an interview with Daily Monitor shortly after the first Tumusiime Mutebile Centre of Excellence dialogue held last week at Marriott Naguru Skyz Hotel, former Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said it is a neutral centre, which brings together policy makers, private sector and academies to discuss issues that need to be addressed and come up with solutions to achieve long term economic development.
“This is a neutral centre because it brings together the inputs and the outputs in the economy into the production chain,” she said, adding: “In this centre, nobody has been left out the business community. The academies, researchers, policy makers and government are all here in this centre, therefore this centre will help to guide in the production of the skills needed in the market, it will help in policy designs and implementation of programmes and projects which is always the issue.”
Ms Kiwanuka said it is neutral Centre that will enhance Uganda’s development programmes because it is more a collaborative efforts between actors in the various fields of the economy.
Responding a query from the audience, the former president of African Development Bank and currently a special envoy of the African Union on sustainable Financing for the Union and funding peace in Africa, Dr Donald Kaberuka said: “We first need rethinking education system in African to have the right human resources that are needed in the current labour markets in African countries.”
The theme of dialogue was Three Decades of Economic reforms in Uganda: Building Base for Wealth Creation and Job Creation!
Tasked to explain whether Africa is making progress, Dr Kaberuka said: “Africa is making progress there are many inter regional railway lines, power dams, roads and industries being built things are changing.”
The importance of private sector in Uganda and African economies over the last 30 years has been tremendous.
The chairman of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Mr Patrick Bitature told Daily Monitor in an in interview that it is new think tank Centre which is very important for Uganda’s economic development.
“This a Centre of new think tank because things have changed, the IMF has been advising Uganda to adjust economic policies, so we have to use this Centre to rethink our development policies,” he said.
While opening the dialogue, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said: “Tumusiime Mutebile is the bed-rock of our current macroeconomic stability –a role he has diligently played for the last three decades. During the most difficult economic times, Tumusimme Mutebile has been critical in stabilizing the troubled waters.”
Dr Rugunda said Mutebile’s contribution to defining the current Uganda’s economic growth of liberalization, diversification, industrialization as well as regional integration cannot be underestimated.
“This growth strategy is beginning to pay-off. The country has diversified its export base from predominately coffee, cotton tea, and copper and currently, on truck of those, it is also vigorously promoting its tourism, fish, minerals and many other potentials to the world,” he said.
The governor Bank of Uganda, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, said the Centre is a new hub for providing transformative and alternative solutions for private sector growth and employment creation in Uganda.
“We are here to discuss what the Tumusiime –Mutebile Centre of Excellence presents to promote “the African solutions for African problems” philosophy. This is in view of developing African economies to middle income status in the next few years of our commitment to the nation,” he said.
Noting that the economy has grown stronger, Mr Mutebile said: “Let us work together to build a vibrant and sustainable private sector, increase choices and opportunity for income, employment and wealth.”