President Yoweri Museveni has said Uganda had considerably reduced its poverty index figures over the past 12 years, from 56 per cent in 2004 to 19 per cent in 2016.
Mr Museveni, who was addressing the 71st UN General Assembly (UNGA), said that poverty figures will further reduce from the current 19% to 10% in 2017.
This year the theme of the General Assembly is: ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world’, and according to Mr Museveni, the improved welfare due to poverty reduction has contributed to lateral development across the world.
‘Isn’t the world a better place with this spread of affluence? Haven’t the old affluent societies and the new ones both benefitted? The USA is today exporting goods and services to China worth US$ 120 billion per year. The EU is exporting goods and services to China worth US$ 356 billion. Hasn’t the spread of affluence benefited more people?’ Mr Museveni told the UNGA, reminding the members of the first principle of the 17 SDGs, ‘to end poverty in all its forms everywhere’.
He however, said the 17 SDGs in their current composition had failed to comprehensively address the bottlenecks faced by Africa, naming ‘ideological disorientation’ and ‘market integration’ as some of the 10 critical omissions on the continent’s priority list of bottlenecks.
‘As you can see, there are two (2) crucial bottlenecks that are missing in the SDGs. These are: ideological disorientation which, for us, is bottleneck number one and market integration which is bottleneck number 6. One can, of course, say that the idea of ideological disorientation is subsumed in SDG number 16, that of peace, justice and strong institutions’, Mr Museveni said.