By Moses Oketayot
Kigali – Rebecca Kadaga; the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs has said that Uganda like the rest of the World, has suffered an unprecedented setback to the country’s sustainable development path and therefore, confronted with huge challenges, such as putting the economy back on track, reducing poverty and inequalities, while addressing the impending climate and biodiversity crisis.
Rebecca Kadaga the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs
She made the remarks at the Common wealth Business forum ongoing in Kigali Rwanda at Intare Conference Arena Wednesday.
The session is running under the theme: “Ecosystems: redesigning global value chains in a post covid world.”
“Therefore, there is a need to redesign the global value chains in the post Covid-19, to address the challenges identified. We need to make these Global Value Chains work for all of us. The Common Wealth could help spur industrial revolution among her membership. While some parts of the world are on the verge of the 4th Industrial,” she said.
She also stated that many parts of Africa have not yet entered the 1st Industrial revolution and hence cannot relate well with the Global Value Chains.
She also underscored the role played by global value chains as she added: “GVCs have proven resilient and will undoubtedly play a major role in the recovery. They have played a key role in the production of personal protective equipment and vaccine components as COVID-19 recedes.”
She also rallied the for the need to bridge the digital divide since the digital economy anchored on new ICT developments. UNCTAD 2021 estimates the value of online shopping, facilitated by a number of digital platforms to steadily having grown in recent years, at $26.7 trillion in 2019.
Investing in Structural transformation and building of productive capacities to fully harness the linkages in manufacturing, services and Agriculture.
She also called for the need to build regional economic blocks to expand market outreach like in Africa we have EAC, COMESA, SADC are pragmatic solutions to promote intra-Africa trade including promoting import substitution and forging standards that are acceptable.
“The concept of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is premised on a bigger market and trade on the continent and offering of a good bargaining ground for future economic negotiations. I call upon the Common Wealth to exploit the common language to intensify trade among themselves,” she noted.
Furthermore, Kadaga said there is need to maintain the integrity of ecosystems to minimize scenarios where a conducive environment that activates pathogens to pandemic levels, originally not known to affect humans as she said: “There is a need to improve biodiversity conservation and because this has a potential of providing a source of cure for emerging diseases. Research through bio-prospecting by the different agencies is helping us to discover some of the useful genetic resources that the country can supply globally. She concluded.”