Contributor's Nicholas Osobi Opinion

Comparing Ugandan’s Economy Under Idi Amin Dada To South Sudan’s Economy Under Salva Kiir


By Nicholas Osobi,

Juba, South Sudan.

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July 07, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Although the western media painted a grim image of the then self-styled ‘Conquer of British Empire in Africa in general and Uganda in particular’, former Uganda’s president Idi Amin Dada that traces of his achievement can barely be heard of today than his Holy Wood’s invented cannibalistic oddity, comparing him to the JCE boss, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, we would realise that Amin was not an idiosyncratic murderous buffoon as being portrayed but rather just a representative of the new African elite that came to power in the wake of decolonisation. He carried within his chest all the confusions and complexities of demeaned colonised people who suddenly translated, through no virtue of their own, to the apex of power thereby making him a confusion masterpiece. Coupled with limited formal education, and access to every resources, he was able to use advance methods available to achieve brutal and primitive ends.

Eating leaves of trees, water Lillies, reptiles, roots while starving more than 50, 000 children may die from hunger, million displaced and more than half of the country's population live in poverty as Salva Kiir government invest billions of US dollars in military to fight the war(Photo: Africa Review)
Eating leaves of trees, water Lillies, reptiles, roots while starving more than 50, 000 children may die from hunger…(Photo: Africa Review)

However regardless of his shortfalls, he deserves some credit for being able to manage Uganda’s economy throughout the chronic western induced political instability in his country and also after expulsion of Asians in 1972, a move aimed at putting into practice, ideas that were widely accepted by many development economists that the Asians had enriched themselves at the expense of the Africans.

Though unschooled, to counter the economic setback, Amin ensured Uganda’s export crops were sold by government parastatals, and he used the foreign currency they earned to pay the civil servants. There was no record of civil servants going without salaries for months like it is happening now in South Sudan.

Ugandans during Amin’s regime had comparatively higher per capita income that they were able to donate food and financial aid to rescue Britain from its ailing economy in 1973. Through a project dubbed “Save the British Fund”, the proud and yet empathetic self-styled Conquer of the British Empire wrote a telegraph to his citizens (Ugandans) in regard to “Save the British Fund” project:

“In the past months the people of Uganda have been following with sorrow the alarming economic crisis befalling on Britain,” he continuous,

“The sad fact is that it is the ordinary British citizen who is suffering most. I am today appealing to all the people of Uganda who have all along been traditional friends of the British people to come forward and help their former colonial masters,” Amin’s telegraph reads.

Although Britain, out of ego didn’t accept the offer, the “Save the British Fund” project was reflective of status quo of Uganda’s economy during Amin’s regime. The citizens had enough disposable income and food produce surplus to donate to the first world country. The people of Kigezi District alone donated a lorry load of vegetables and wheat which Warrap state alone cannot afford to produce.

South Sudan under JCE boss Salva Kiir lacks the needed competence to keep the economy afloat, more especially after dragging the country into a meaningless and possibly unending war which most revolutionary economists believe would even make South Sudan to record negative gross domestic product growth this year if the decline in oil production and global fall of oil prices persist. His government hasn’t been able to regulate commodity prices. To address the issue of hyperinflation, he instead came up with currency devaluation and printing of more currency which is now gravely impacting on the transport sector and importation of food items since importers have to deal with cuttingly augmented prices to bring in goods from its neighbouring countries such as Uganda and Kenya. Food importers shift the burden of the devaluation on to consumers by charging enamour prices on each unit of commodity. This explains why a high school teacher’s one-month salary can’t even buy a bag of flour. In couple of months to come, South Sudanese will begin to carry money in wheelbarrows when going to the market.

Nicholas Osobi, is a Revolutionary Columnists who can be reached at nicholas.osobi@columnist.com

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