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Experts urge govt to heavily invest in human capital as formulation of dev’t plan starts

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for Uganda, Ms Elsie G. Attafuah,  Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kahamba Kutesa, recently. (PHOTO/PML)

KAMPALA – As Uganda embarks on formulation of its third five-year National Development Plan (NDP), experts meeting here have urged the government to focus on human capital development.

A joint statement issued on Friday by the National Planning Authority (NPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said the experts urged the government to invest more in its people starting at an early age and pay more attention to issues affecting their health and education.

Critical groups such as the youth, elderly and persons with disabilities are also important if the country is to achieve meaningful and sustainable inclusive growth.

“Government of Uganda demonstrates acknowledgement that investing in people is not only critical, but necessary to ensure sustained inclusive growth,” said Elsie Attafuah, UNDP Resident Representative.

Joseph Muvawala, executive director of NPA said the country’s abundant labor needs to be equipped with globally competitive skills, relevant knowledge, good health and positive attitudes.

Diana Sekaggya Bagarukayo, education specialist at the World Bank said the country needs to increase expenditure on education annually to improve learning, enrollment and completion rates.

She said in comparison, other sub-Saharan countries spend 16 percent of their national budget on education, compared to the nation’s 10 percent.

Juma Waswa Balunywa, Principal of Makerere University Business School, warned that the job market demands are changing very fast hence the need for a forecast of jobs and skills that will be relevant for the future and ensuring that the education curriculum and learning institutions are training for that.

The experts were meeting at the first breakfast policy series aimed at providing a multi-stakeholder platform to deliberate and build consensus around the strategic issues relevant to the NDPIII formulation process.

The current NDPII expires at the end of June 2020 and the next Development Plan (NDPIII) should be in place by September 2019 to guide the budget strategy for the financial year 2020/21.

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