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Sunday, 29th January 2017
President Museveni and IMF Chief Christine Lagarde at State House Entebbe

The IMF MD; Christine Lagarde arrived in Uganda on the 25th January 2017, and was received and welcomed by Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Hon. Matia Kasaija at Entebbe Airport. On arrival to Kampala, she carried out a series of activities that included meeting with president Museveni.

On 27th Jan 2017, Madame Christine Lagarde met with President Museveni and his economic team and addressed a joined press conference at State House Entebbe. The Presidents started by welcoming Madame Lagarde and her delegation to Uganda, and proceeded to address the journalists. He said that we have had a wonderful collaboration with the IMF since 1997. The IMF have taught us to control our bleeding (inflation), which helps preserve the value of people's earning and encourages investment.

The IMF has also linked us with useful friends especially in areas of infrastructure, he continued. Also because of them, we learnt how to be liberal, and privatized things like transport, and housing to the public. These things are now being managed by the private sector. Commenting on the debt question from the press, President Museveni said that Uganda has a debt absorption capacity that can allow it to continue borrowing. While some people have been "dormir" (asleep), there has been a need to borrow, and so we can't say that we will do away with debt.

On the issue of trade wars, he said that prosperity comes from producing and selling goods. Those who are pushing for isolation ideas will not help their people. However, we; East Africans are working for the integration of the East African market as well as reaching out to other partners like China and many others. As for the resent drought question, Agriculture is the back bone of our country; the president said that the drought has woken us up to launch vigorous irrigation programmes, so that we can shift from rain fed agriculture to irrigation agriculture.

President Museveni then proceeded to introduce Madame Lagarde and welcomed her to address the press. "It's been an immense privilege and pleasure to visit Uganda for the first time". She said. For the last 30 years the IMF has been a partner to Uganda and we are very happy about how far it has come in the many sectors. We believe Uganda is at a time where it can grow drastically with accountability and efficiency by prioritizing especially in areas of health and education.

In regard to the debt question, she said that for developing countries, there should be a balance between the concessional and non concessional loans because there is an abundance from which to borrow.

After the press conference Madame Lagarde was ushered to the official luncheon hosted by H.E President Museveni and there after she addressed a Public Lecture at Kampala Serena Hotel hosted by the government of Uganda. The audience at the public lecture included representatives of the business community, Financial Sector, CSOs, Academia members of Parliament and media.

During her stay she also met with Minister of Finance; Hon. Matia Kasaija and Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and his economic team. She also met with Parliamentarians specifically with their key committees of Budget and public accounts. She visited the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) at St. Agnes Academy Wabigalo, where she conducted a short program and made a charitable donation. She also had a lunch with the CSOs, met with the private sector (industry leaders and financial sector representatives), as well as dinner with the Women Leaders as she is passionate about women among other things.

Visit the link below for the statement at the public lecture.

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