The Economy, And Feeling Good About Feeling Bad
But if it is a world economic downturn, how is it that Uganda survives? Aren't we part of the World? Well, yes and no. (By the way, read Ariaka's blog. Occassional, but worth it.)
I'm going to have a ball laughing at these peple who get off on seeing the negative in the past, present, and future of Uganda (and Africa in general), but never the positive. They also like to see the positive elsewhere (USA, the West, or, for Kampala's current élite, Rwanda), and never any negatives there. If there are negatives, that's because nobody survives them.
(It's an old and boring trick: express dismay at how bad things are around you, so that you may seem to be so much better than these things are—than you actually are.)
In the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Finance announced that the expected economic growth of Uganda would be 6% for the financial year that was then in the middle. Why? Because there was this “Global” economic crisis.
At the end of that financial year, six months later, the growth rate was actually 7%. Pessimism had been shown to be wrong.
Now, that may have been calculated pessimism; or what we call “conservative estimates”. But there were too many other people calling it a global economic collapse. And I'll dance on their heads now. Is it really that hard to see that Uganda has a reported economic growth of over 7% for more than ten years straight (and the real rate may be in double numbers, because a huge number of transactions are beyond the books), and therefore that Uganda's growth is not tied to America's? (America hasn't had more than 3% since anybody reading this was born, and has been going in the negatives, if the way of measuring had remained consistent.)
You see, when America gets irresponsible with her economy, and it blows up in her face, she says it is global, because, for Americans, the World is America. But the truth is that when America steps aside, there is always us to take up the space. By the way, I'm reading Crash Proof by Peter Schiff, and it was like the most-vocal prophetic book talking about the economy. Nothing in there flatters the American economy of today. Of their fathers and their fathers' fathers, yes: those people produced, lived below their means, invested wisely. But this generation! (Or use this one, easier on your computer.) It also explains how they keep their GDP growth numbers running high, high, high (all of 1.5%) in spite of the real growth being negative. I feel sorry for the generation that will have to pay for this foolishness. Who has space for so many refugees in that weight category?
So, first of all, it was not a “global” economic collapse, because America is not the whole globe. Okay? It was not a global economic collapse (there can't be such a thing, by the way—gold doesn't vanish when you are foolish with it; it just goes to someone else).
Second of all, Uganda has always stood, and will always stand, to gain from such a collapse of those other economies, for a variety of reasons. Uganda is basically a king-in-waiting. What we frogspeak people call le prince heritié. A land endowed with gifts from the hand of God Himself, with more than 50% of the population under 15 years old, with people who have the resourcefulness of angels, with men whose hands are eager and able to work, with women of high resourcefulness and beauty, with the rich and extremely vigorous mixture of Nilotic and Bantu blood within one country, and the raw, untamed Grace of God covering this Blessed Land in its entirety. Rise, ye mighty people!
When I saw people talking of an economic downturn, and calling it global, I just chuckled a bit and got working. The money is only now starting to flow. When the Chinese want a new place to put the money they've generated selling to their obese counterparts in the West, they'll be coming here. Better to get ready, no? Well, we try. So help me, God.
Was there an economic downturn here? Did anyone say so? And did things get better for Uganda? Or worse?
See the pessimism here.
See the part where Andrew Mwenda mentions the impact on Uganda in this article. Incidentally, Mwenda thinks the rescue efforts are good. But they are the problem. If you don't understand that, or you don't understand why that is the case, I urge you again: read Peter Schiff. If you can't buy the book, go here and read his entries as far back as you can: http://www.europac.net/archives.asp
Then this mentions the (goes without saying, Americentric, racial-determinist) index that said that Africans were destined to suffer more from the “global” economic downturn. The index is from the IMF, of course.
Here, someone from The Independent writes that “Uganda Won't Escape Global Crisis”. Of course, all this is because the current élite like pessimism and judging Uganda/Africa as a failure, because it makes them feel better about themselves, and helps them get laid quicker and more-often.
And in the end? Uganda's investments spiked upwards. If you want to know how that works, here's the short of it: when a non-producing giant eats a lot, the producing midgets—like Uganda—make much and eat little. When the giant doesn't eat, we eat. Now, you should all prepare for when the giant goes off the island. Work, work, work. Invest. Save resources (capital, labour, land). Get ready for it. Nothing lasts for ever, for better or for worse. That show is over, now ours begins.