As debts continue to pile on different economies, African governments have been urged to exploit internal sources of revenue, instead of relying on borrowing, so as to improve service delivery in their respective countries.
Ms Angella Nabwowe, the Executive Director of the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) said African governments, including Uganda are spending a bigger percentage of their national budgets on repaying debts, instead of increasing allocations to critical sectors like education and health.
Ms Nabwowe made the call during a regional conference on reclaiming public services organised by Initiative for Social and Economic Rights and the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability held at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo from August 29 to 30.
“Africa’s rising debt burden threatens the future availability of public services as debt repayment increasingly takes a lion share of budget funds,” she said.
During the 2023/2024 Financial Year budget reading, Shs17 trillion out of Uganda’s total budget vote of Shs52.7 trillion was set aside to cater for debt repayment.
While giving his keynote address, Mr Brian Kagoro, a lawyer and Pan-Africanist from Zimbabwe critised African countries for failing to learn from their colonial past and instead continue to beg from the powerful countries whom he said are determined to control the former’s resources.
Dr Gerald Siranda, a Ugandan representative at the East African Legislative Assembly stressed the need for addressing the challenges of governments, if African countries are to make progress.
Dr Siranda who also chairs the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) committee on regional affairs and conflict resolution cautioned leaders against enriching themselves at the expense of the masses.