On Wednesday, the Head of the National Economic Committee, Hon. Syda Bumba explained that the aim of the grant is to help the business sector meet operating expenses, ensure their continuity and reduce possible job losses.

In Parliament’s sitting of Wednesday, 21st April 2021, a motion for a resolution of Parliament to authorize Government to guarantee Uganda Development bank to borrow 15 million USD from European Investment Bank, 10 million USD from International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, 20 million USD from OPEC Fund for International Development and 20million USD from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, to aid local businesses in Uganda.

This motion was tabled by the Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. During its consideration by the Legislature, Syda Bumba said that “adequate and appropriate funding remains a critical success factor for UDB to achieve its strategic aspirations of raising 500million USD over the 2020-2024 strategic plan period, through debt and equity.”

During this same plenary sitting, Parliament also tabled a motion for a resolution of Parliament to authorize Government to borrow 78.2 million USD from International Development Association (IDA) OF THE World Bank Group to finance Uganda’s climate change project: Uganda Investing in Forests and Protected Areas for Climate- Smart Development.

The Chairperson of the Committee on National Economy, regarding this motion, observed that Uganda’s economy remains heavily reliant on renewable natural resources and such heavy reliance exposes the economy to risks from adverse weather. She also added that, “Uganda investing in forests and protected areas for climate- smart development project is in line with Uganda Vision 2040 and the Third National Development plan”.

This National Development Plan (NDPIII) 2020-2024, a work of the National Planning Authority, highlights a priority area for intervention to achieve climate change as being development and implementation of forest management plans. However, a section of the legislators are opposed to this request saying most forests have been encroached on and degazetted. Hon. Idah Nantaba retorted, “Can the minister produce land titles for all the forests and other natural resources that they intend to protect and recover before we approve this loan!” The debate on this loan request still continues as MPs are divided on its viability

The events of Wednesday’s plenary sitting are a smoking gun to the fact that the legislature is focused of achieving faster economic development by stimulating local business and is proceeding with cautiously in tackling the newer areas like climate smart development.