“Take advantage of prevailing peace and embrace development” – President tells Karamoja

Wednesday 21st March 2012

President Yoweri Museveni has attributed the people’s mode of life that is largely characterized by living outside the operations of the money economy and end up in extreme poverty to their leaders’ failure to sensitize the societies on the precepts of modern living. He said that subsistence production is unacceptable in this era of money economy.

The President was addressing Karamoja Region leaders that participated in a day’s Poverty Eradication and Enterprise Selection Conference that took place yesterday at State House, Entebbe. The leaders were drawn from the districts of Abim, Amudat, Kaabong, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Napak and Moroto.

Mr. Museveni noted that despite challenges such as internal political confusion and dependence on external funding which has not been reliable, the national economy has been growing especially in the areas of construction, telecommunications and agriculture. He said that sugar and tea estates have been repaired and others expanded.

He, however, noted that despite these achievements, there is still a lot to be done because 68% of the total households in the country as revealed by the 2002 census, still practice subsistence farming. He said that this state of affairs is blamable on leaders that have failed to penetrate deep into the web of society to talk to the people on the way forward in the struggle to eradicate household poverty.

‘’This is leadership failure because they cannot penetrate to talk to the people. They end up staying backwards’’, he said.

Mr. Museveni asked the Karimojong to take advantage of the prevailing peace in their region and embrace development. He added that the exercise of disarmament in the Karamoja Region was a success. He informed them the insecurity that was rife in the region was a big hindrance to the promotion of development of the area.

The President wondered what various leaders in the country who have been outside the country on study programmes have been doing if they cannot copy some of the best practices they see out there, such as pasture preservation and other agricultural practices, for the benefit of their people.

‘’If they can go and copy ties and life styles, why can’t you copy some practices which are beneficial to the people?’’, he asked.

Mr. Museveni, therefore, asked the leaders at all levels in the country to empower their communities so that the people can create wealth for themselves. He also appealed to mainstream faith-based churches to come out boldly and clearly in their sermons and encourage their followers to seriously take up the challenges posed to households by poverty.

The Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mrs. Janet Museveni, appealed to the people of the region to use this opportunity of peace and tranquility and toil to change their attitude towards work in order to enable their numerous societies cope with the dictates of the modern economy.

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