NPA hosts Renowned Economist Jeffery Sachs, discuss NDPIV

by Business Times
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The National Planning Authority (NPA) hosted Monday Professor Jeffrey Sachs at Planning House for insights on the priorities for the upcoming fourth National Development Plan (NDPIV) and on mechanisms to accelerate Uganda’s attainment of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Prof. Sachs is a world-renowned Professor of economics and a global leader in sustainable development, currently serving as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

During the engagement, Professor Pamela Mbabazi, the NPA Board Chairperson, highlighted that the Planning Authority continues incorporating the SDGs into the national development plans. Prof Mbabazi added, “the current NDP identifies industry, governance and environment as development accelerators through the Uganda Integrated SDGs (iSDG) model.

In his remarks, Prof Sachs said, “Uganda should consider long-term debt for high return investments with an internal rate of return above 15 per cent and a debt cost lower than 4 per cent. Uganda should also leverage financing partners such as China and the Gulf region.”

Prof Sachs also highlighted the need for long-term strategic planning at various levels, including the local (parish level), national and regional planning for areas with shared ecosystems, while sighting the example of Lake Victoria for projects on infrastructure and services.

Professor Sachs committed to supporting the Planning Authority in the ongoing NDPIV formulation process and in enhancing NPA’s planning capacity. The agreed-upon areas for capacity building include formulating economic models and training on macroeconomics, financing and climate policy. He also committed to supporting the ongoing effort to identify sources of long-term and alternative financing for national development.

NPA’s engagement with Professor Sachs underscores Uganda’s proactive approach towards harnessing global expertise to accelerate progress towards the SDGs and realizing Uganda’s Vision 2040 target of a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future. His perspective for Uganda’s future is a highly diversified economy with agriculture, industry and services as significant growth drivers and a well-educated human resource with average years of schooling above 14 years.

Professor Sachs is in the country upon invitation from the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda, as a follow-up on Uganda’s sideline engagements during the 2023 UN General Assembly in New York.

The NPA is the government of Uganda’s institution charged with developing comprehensive and integrated development plans by incorporating development agendas such as the SDGs.

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