Of the many challenges confronting Uganda, none is arguably more important than the one of restoring national air transport. The country has lagged behind for more than a decade in air transport deficiency due to lack of a national State-owned carrier.
The one and only Uganda Airlines company was liquidated in the wake of liberalisation in May 2001 due to its heavy indebtedness that soared to a tune of more than $6 million.
President Idi Amin Dada made a spirited legacy in May 1976 by establishing and managing Uganda Airlines profitably for the rightful benefit of Uganda. This company by 1978 had a wealth of more than 15 aircrafts fully-owned and operated by the government of Uganda. Big up president Idi Amin and your defunct government for the work well done during your time!
Socio-economic development becomes slow in a situation of lack of adequate and efficient means of transport in an economy. The cost of doing business grows higher under this structural and systemic inadequacy. National and global publicity of the Uganda brand as a favourable and significant country becomes harder and difficult to communicate to the world due to this strategic sector deficiency.
It is, therefore, important to always plan, establish, overhaul and grow transport systems and structures in an economy that is investment oriented and fitted for competitive and overall economic growth and development. Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda among other African countries are exceptional economic models to copy and develop.
Modern roads, railways, water and air transport means are key sectors in driving Uganda faster and safely into the middle income status country by 2020 or so, as impatiently projected and envisioned by the NRM government in State control to date.
Reviving Uganda Airlines as proposed by government is long overdue. It comes with a lot of socio-economic benefit to Uganda if well-implemented. A lot of direct and indirect jobs will be created. Airfields across the country will be revamped, rehabilitated and new ones constructed. Fair air transport charges will be achieved across all the existing Airlines in Uganda due to business pressure exerted by the new national airliner.
Other benefits will include: Tourism across Uganda will be simplified with this means of faster local transport. Local and national revenue will boom due to faster mobility of people, goods and services as a result of this facility.
Global publicity and national imaging will flourish. Tourist and investor influx into Uganda will increase. Local and global trade will increase for Uganda, etc.
All the above combined will contribute progressively to the expansion of Uganda’s economy and consequently the Country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will sizably increase overtime.
The revival of Uganda Airlines, therefore, is ranked as the best decision so far made by the NRM government since its inception in 1986.
Our national prayer is that this revival depicts value for money, managerial efficiency and effectiveness, and is managed corrupt free to the total and rightful benefit of Uganda.
Our total national deliverance prayer is that the $400 million investment equivalent to Shs1.4 trillion targeted expenditure by government on this project, is spent on purchasing brand new rather than leasing aircrafts of any given species as reported in the media on January, 15. And that this purchase focuses on both local and global market distributions for Uganda for sustainable development.
Total ownership rights are better than total possessory rights and so Uganda should opt for aircraft ownership through outright or scheduled purchase planning rather than wasting national resources on aircraft leasing which is deemed wasteful, bogus and endlessly expensive.
Together let’s support this strategic revival for our country Uganda!Mr Nsubuga Mukedi is a senior public management scientist.
Revival of Uganda Airlines is a good idea