By Guest Writer
OPINION: For Uganda to solve the current problems they are facing, the country needs to invest in green economic activities such as forestry, tourism, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy, especially solar, which is clean, affordable, cheaper, and reliable.
The financial national budgets the country has been reading for many years have not been prioritizing much green economic activities, which is why the country is currently facing a lot of challenges ranging from drastic climate change, loss of critical biodiversity, increased unemployment among the youth, shortage of food, limited revenue to finance the country’s budget, and even failure to reach middle income status.
Therefore, for a country like Uganda to reach middle income status, achieve the vision 2040, and address challenges such as drastic climate change, poverty among the Ugandans, unemployment, and others, it needs to invest heavily in green economic activities.
This is because green economic activities allow the reduction of carbon emissions and pollution, help in the prevention of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, are resource efficient, promote social inclusion, and help in the creation of employment and income generation, among others.
According to the statistics from the Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda loses 120,000ha of forest cover and 60% of trees are cut down for charcoal and firewood for cooking due to the failure of the government to invest in alternatives such as solar and other sources.
Additionally, over 70 percent of the Youth in Uganda are unemployed because of the country’s failure to invest much in green economic activities that can improve people’s livelihoods, address climate change problems, and improve the country’s economy.
Therefore, I call on the government to think about the passing of the supplementary budget for 2023–2024 to ensure that green economic activities such as sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, tourism, and forestry are given priority during the implementation of the 2023–2024 national financial budget and other government programs such as Emooga and the Parish Development Model.
The author is Kato Paul, a research associate and Environmental activist.
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