On Tuesday, 28th May 2019, the sports federations and associations gathered together at Lugogo for the first minister’s sports forum to brain storm and share ideas.
Here is the FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo’s message after the historic forum.
Sports Priority Levels:
For the 2019/20 FY, Sports has been allocated about 20b UGX out of the 25.545t UGX which is 0.078%.
Whereas the Education Sector is allocated 10.5% of the National Budget, only the 0.078% goes to sports and rest of 10.422% goes to Education. In other words, out of the Education Sector budget, 99.2% is for Education and 0.8% is for Sports.
I have read the entire (368 pages) 2019/20 Budget Framework Paper and the word Sports is used only 48 times and 32 times as part of the name of the Ministry.
This therefore indicates the priority level of Sports and in particular federations activities yet it is the federations that actually develop, prepare and present the athletes who represent the country at all levels.
Proper development of athletes to compete at international stage takes over 10 years.
The Case for Sports
Despite all this disproportionate allocation to sports, there are many value additions that Sports can make to the society and our country.
It is estimated that 77% of the Uganda Population is below 30 years and that for the Ugandans aged between 15-24 years, 83% are un-employed.
It is also estimated that 8.8 million of those aged between 15-24 years are neither in school nor in employment (Source: UNFPA)
57% of those aged 14-35 years are involved in Drugs Abuse while Uganda is ranked the world’s worst Alcohol abuse. It is also stated that 73% of Uganda’s prison inmates are aged 18-30 years (Source: Youth Policy Press)
These demographics and statistics suggest that there is an impeding problem of young people who are not productive to support the economy that should provide for them the services and life they desire.
I call them the ticking time-bomb.
The first case of sports to Government should be that nothing will absorb the energy and time of these youths and convert them into useful citizens like sport.
The second case of sports to government should be that the World Professional Sports Economy is booming at over 640bn USD and China alone investing to boost its Sports industry to 300bn USD by 2025.
Professional Sport is a robust industry that can provide an economic activity to skilled and unskilled masses instantly.
Sport is not positioning itself in a way to share the national cake worth its value.
This requires all voices and energy in one direction.
It is unfortunate that people like Mr. Muhangi Moses, the President of the Boxing Federation have engaged the reverse gear and pressing the accelerator.
The reason sport is not getting enough resources has nothing to do with football but the entire priority levels for sport against other competing priorities.
We need to make our case as sport to be part of the solutions to the challenges of our society and the Government will allocate more resources to sport.
It is possible that each of the 50 federations can get 10b UGX as that would only be 500bn UGX which would be only 2% of the National Budget.
We also need to raise governance levels of Federations as we prepare to absorb such funds else more conflicts will emerge instead.
We cannot present a case of medals to government when Energy, Roads, Health and Education are not getting enough resources.
A fully fledged sports industry does not need only funding of federations but a set of things such as;
- Modern Sports Law
- Sports Infrastructure
- Sports Investment Policies
- Sports Curriculum for Tertiary Education
- Funding of National Representative Teams and Athletes
- Hosting of international Sports Events
With due respect, I do not believe the government sports technocrats have the expertise and means to ably advise government on the trend of modern sports.
We request the minister to cause a series of opportunities for the sports minds of this country to meet the government planning technocrats, the Parliament, the Hon Minister of Education for Sport, the Cabinet and his Excellence the President of the Republic of Uganda to make our case.