LEFT—RIGHT; Mr. Isaac Mpoza (MoFPED), Dr. Corti Paul Lakuma (EPRC),Hon. Mukitale (Former chair of Parliament committee on National Economy), Hon. David Bahati (Minister of State for Planning), Dr. Ezra Suruma (UDN Board Chair) and Dr. Fred Muhumuza (Research & Advocacy specialist—KPMG) comprised the panel at the Symposium.
Dr. Ezra Suruma, the former Bank of Uganda Governor and Senior Presidential Advisor on the economy has tasked government to ensure that all that is borrowed is put to the rightful use. While speaking at a Uganda Debt Network public symposium themed ‘Debt Dynamics and Management: Which way forward for Uganda’ - Prof. Suruma noted that Uganda ought to ensure that she doesn't suffer the Greek fate.
‘I was once directly in charge of paying these loans. Some of these didn't even have records but had to face the borrowers. Sometimes the State needed answers, which we didn't have’ Prof. Suruma added.
The symposium was attended by over 200 participants including legislators, members of the European Union, World Bank, Ministry of Finance officials and members from CSOs.
UDN Board Chairperson Prof. Ezra Suruma addressing the participants at the Debt Symposuim.
Honorable David Bahati, the State Minister for Planning, Ministry of Finance stressed that government hardly makes enough from borrowing domestically because there’s not enough available; 540 billion now in deficit.
He urged Ugandans to help the government provide social services like education, medical care and social security. Hon. Bahati tasked civil society to spearhead discussions that will provide policy options for government to ensure that the available resources are utilized to reduce foreign debt.
Dr. Fred Muhumuza who presented a paper on invigorating the debt question recommended that government strengthens institutions that manage loans. He added that there is a need to have the legal framework to regulate continuous borrowing without accountability the citizens.
Cross-section of participants during the Debt Symposium at Hotel Africana