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Gov’t Asked To Invest In Entertainment Industry To Grow Tax Base

Victoria Ssekitoleko

Government has been asked to invest in the entertainment industry so as to boost revenue moblisation, instead of focusing on a small group of taxpayers in Uganda.

The call was made by Victoria Ssekitoleko, a member of Private Sector Foundation Uganda, who wondered why Government has continued to ignore investment in entertainment industry.

She said government should construct grounds and premises where the youth can perform from instead of living in denmial like this group doesn’t exist.Ssekitoleko made the remarks on Thursady at Serena Hotel, Kampala during the ongoing 7th High Level Economic Growth Forum.

“I find it interesting when we sit here and pretend like we don’t see what is happening. If you are to be asked, where are all the youth now? Most of them are in innovation and creative sector but it is never mentioned. Is there any reason why nobody ever talks about the music in this country? If you are looking at taxes, it is the musicians who can collect a lot of money in one day. But somehow when we come to these high level meetings, we pretend they aren’t there, we don’t mention them, we don’t plan for them,” Ssekitoleko, who’s also former minister for Agriculture, said.

She said she is an ardent fan of Uganda’s entertainment industry and  cited the recent music concert held by Patrick Mulwana also known as Alien Skin at Freedom City where fans are reported to have put up a fierce fight just to pay and access the venue. She also cited another case of artist Ronald Alimpa who sang famed song ‘Lusuku lwa’cementi’ and raised doubts whether the owner of the banana plantation where the video was shot will ever make money close to what the artist raised.

“Recently when there was this new musician Alien Skin at Freedom City, people were fighting to pay, every ticket brings taxes, but nobody has ever thought of planning for those youth, as to where they can perform. Apparently when you go to Lugogo Grounds, that one can only be used twice of thrice a year,” she added.

Moses Kaggwa, Director Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in response said the issue of youth is one that Government is grappling with and asked youth in the creative industry to seek funding from the Emyooga project so as to boost their careers and incomes.

“It is one of the areas we are grappling with and see how to assist. These youths have funding through Emyooga and they have claimed that this money isn’t enough. So in our discussions on Emyooga, we are trying to see how we are trying to add more funding to Emyooga. To be able to further their professions,” he said.

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