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NRM must walk the walk on poverty alleviation, financial insecurity

The latest survey data from Uganda’s central bank reveals a distressing scenario regarding the financial well-being of its citizens.

Alarmingly, over 70% of Ugandans aged 16 and older are compelled to borrow money from friends, family and even their own children to meet basic needs. This stark reality highlights a failing economy and an inadequate social safety net that leaves the majority struggling to survive.

Furthermore, many Ugandans are spending beyond their means, not due to extravagance but because their incomes are insufficient. This situation is a severe criticism of the government’s economic strategies and priorities, showing a profound neglect for the populace’s financial security.

Notably, a significant number of Ugandans lack access to adequate pension or savings schemes to support them through tough times. The predicament is particularly acute for young adults aged 19-36, who despite completing their education, encounter severe unemployment challenges.

Many are reduced to begging or depending on financial support from family, stripping them of the chance to lead productive and satisfying lives. This underutilization of youthful talent is a critical loss for Uganda, signaling a grave socio-economic issue that demands urgent attention.

It is deeply troubling that economic vulnerability in Uganda has significantly worsened over the last five years, as indicated by the dramatic decline in survey results from 2018 to 2023. The fact that the survey did not identify the root causes of this crisis is alarming and suggests that the government has not adequately diagnosed or addressed the underlying issues.

Immediate and decisive action is essential to rescue Ugandan citizens from this dire situation. The government must invest in job creation, skills training, enhanced social safety nets, and financial literacy programs.

Additionally, reforms in the tax system, business regulations, and the allocation of public resources are necessary to promote a more equitable distribution of economic opportunities and prosperity.

Uganda’s leaders have a moral obligation to ensure that all citizens can meet their basic needs and have the opportunity to build secure financial futures. Failure to act would represent a profound dereliction of duty. The time for action is now—the people of Uganda cannot afford to wait any longer.

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