Message by Hon. Gume Fredrick Ngobi, Minister of State for Cooperatives on the 59th Independence Anniversary
Fellow countrymen, the cooperatives have the potential of increasing production, productivity and value addition, therefore, they are critical for Uganda’s transformation towards an inclusive middle-income economy. To this end, we are trying to diversify the cooperatives portfolio as they grow because it is a key hedge against product specific risks and it also widens their economic base. We are aware that the cooperatives are autonomous associations of persons united voluntarily to meet common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. They have a potentially strong role in reducing poverty and social exclusion and they can promote rural and national development. It is for this reason that the government is virtually promoting the cooperatives model and it is committed to using cooperatives to enhance production and productivity. Conclusively, in light of Uganda’s unique historical, political, social and economic realities, defining a framework that addresses the cooperatives sector challenges will be important to underpin their success as we drive Uganda’s economic transformation. I am happy as a Minister to be serving in this capacity and I am calling upon everybody to affix ourselves to mindset change. We should embrace saving as a culture, aggregation of our products and value addition. We need to consider market driven production; people should produce well aware of the market. We are also cognizant of the post-harvest losses which we are addressing through the warehouse receipt system and the need to have cheap credit which we are addressing through the Microfinance Support Centre and Emyooga and now the Parish Model approaches. I wish all Ugandans a happy 59th Independence anniversary.
For God and My Country!