Uganda to utilize nuclear energy – President Museveni

Wednesday 4th June 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has disclosed that plans are in the pipeline to utilize nuclear energy.

He made the disclosure at the Serena Conference Center while delivering the State of the Nation Address to Parliament and the official opening of the 4th session of Parliament in fulfillment of article 101 of the constitution.

“We will get some energy from geothermal. But Uganda needs over 50,000MW. Where will the rest come from? If the cost of production per unit lowered, then solar energy would be the solution. Meanwhile, I prepare the country for nuclear energy," he said.

He observed that when all the hydro power plants commissioned and those in the pipeline are combined, the country will be able to produce about 8,000 Megawatts only.

He added that uranium could rescue us in energy generation.

President Museveni told Parliament and the country at large that in 1992, 56% of the population lived below the poverty line.

He was pleased to note that in 2012/2013 the people living below the poverty line had reduced to 19.7%.

He said that Uganda has surpassed the millennium development goals of 2015 by overcoming poverty.

He said that there cannot be economic growth without addressing the issue of infrastructure development.

He said that the NRM Government has budgeted Shs 4 trillion for roads and security and commended the NRM MPs for promoting infrastructure development and security.

On the same note the President praised the UPDF for ensuring national security.

He thanked development partners who assisted in constructing some of the roads.

He said that the State of the nation address is not a ritual but accountability of the Government’s commitments to Wananchi.

He explained that there are four crucial sectors that contribute to income and national development, namely; Agriculture, industry, services and ICT.

President Museveni said that there has been progress in plantation and commercial farming.

He observed that commercial farming has experienced a number of challenges such as high costs of inputs.

He revealed that he has always encouraged the farmers to cultivate produce which has a big market in the country, in the region and at the global level.

He gave the example of coffee which has an international demand of 149 million bags of 60 kgs that fetch US $ 13.6 billion when unprocessed.

He added that the processed coffee has a value of US $ 32.2 billion.

He stressed that there is need to ensure that the products are competitive at all levels and reminded the people to always maintain good quality of all the products.

President Museveni revealed that the Government was working closely with the Makerere University scientists to develop solar powered pumps which are expected to play a big role in promoting irrigation.

While referring to funding the agricultural sector, the President said that the funds are available and that the task at hand is to get a channel to deliver to the farmers.

He reminded the gathering that a modern economy cannot depend on agriculture alone.

He said that time was ripe to move to industries. He said that currently 841,000 people are employed in industries.

He said that the factories were now migrating from China to Uganda on account of rising labour costs.

President Museveni criticized people damaging the environment, especially through deforestation and cultivation on the banks of Lake Victoria and River Nile.

He tasked the Minister of Environment to make more efforts to ensure the protection of River Nile and Lake Victoria.

He said that the country has discovered 3.5 billion barrels of petroleum in 40 % of the exploration areas.

He said that crude oil will be refined and part of it used in electricity generation.

He revealed that there were over 300 million tons of limestone in Karamoja adding that Government would exploit it.

He said that over 9 million tons of copper and 5.5 million tons of cobalt in Kilembe would be exploited.

The President reiterated the fact that the NRM Government would never accept pressure to sell the minerals in their raw forms. He stressed that all minerals are to be refined.

The Speaker of Parliament said during the last Parliamentary session 19 bills were passed as compared to 16 during the previous one.

She introduced the Speakers of Parliament from Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Deputy Speaker of Rwanda.

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