Ugandas espresso enchantment New Vision

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“I am not an economist. In fact earlier on, I had hoped to become a philosopher. Or a polemicist. It was reflected in the choice of subjects I made at high school. I had zero interest in economics. Too many graphs and pie charts.
I had failed mathematics. I expected to spend the rest of my time teaching at a university. But things turned out differently. So when I finished school, I went to town to look for a job. For the last 10 years I have been ru
ing
a commercial enterprise in one of the most cutthroat market segments in this country. In the process I have learnt a few lessons in economics. The most profound one for me is that any modern entity is only as good as its revenue generation.
It is the lifeblood. Without it, such an entity is unable to finance its existence. This is true of commercial enterprises. It certainly can be said of a country like Uganda. So to put this very simply, the current economic squeeze is because we are not earning our keep.
We are not producing anything of substance that earns us more money than we need to spend. We have for years depended on some meagre coffee exports, a few visitors and some international good Samaritans.
This is a broken model and it ca
ot feed us. We need a new approach and I have an idea I want to share. In the world market (which is where countries go to sell things out of which they earn a living) of commodities where we have a stall, the most valuable product on sale is oil.
Although we have some deposits of it in the Albert Graben, we are still a long way to commercialising it. In fact there are far too many variables with the oil that are controlled elsewhere. It will be a long wait before we can see the money.
In the meantime, we have to live. Which brings me to our next hope and that is coffee. It is the second most valuable commodity on the world market and growing. This is going to be the case for the foreseeable future. So I want to guess that it is the reason the Government has set an objective to produce and export 20 million bags of coffee in the next four years.
A lot of money is being invested. It is here that I want to suggest an option which I am convinced will most certainly bring us closer to this objective. Just so you get a sense, 20 million bags of coffee can bring in $7.2b.”

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