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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Ugandan economy grows 5.8 percent in 2017/18 financial year

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda’s economy grew 5.8 percent in the 2017/18 financial year and is projected to take an upward trend in the coming financial years, the country’s President Yoweri Museveni said on Wednesday.

Museveni while issuing the State of the Nation address said the growth is higher than the 4 percent registered the previous financial year.

He said the growth in the 2017/18 financial year is mainly on account of all sectors of the economy.

The four sectors that made the major contribution included industry (6.2 percent), services (7.3 percent), information, communication and technology (7.9 percent), and construction (12 percent).

Museveni said growth in the agricultural sector will lead to further growth of the economy. He said the government is going to boost irrigation and provision of fertilizers to farmers in a bid to boost agricultural production.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Uganda to capitalize microfinance institutions to reduce credit cost

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday said the government will capitalize microfinance institutions in a bid to reduce the cost of credit that manufacturers can borrow.

Museveni, while giving the State of Nation address to Parliament, said when the institutions and the Uganda Development Bank are recapitalized, they will offer credit with an interest rate of 12 percent per year.

Interest rates in commercial banks in the country are currently over 20 percent.

Museveni said manufacturers would be able to access the cheap credit compared to the market rate. He noted that the move is intended to boost industrialization in the country.

“Through enhanced micro-finance, we are going to solve one of the bottlenecks—absence of low-interest money for manufacturing. The privatization of commercial banks failed to solve the problem of high interest-rates,” Museveni said.

He said farmers would also access the credit in order to transition from subsistence to commercial farming.

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