IN talking about what to expect in 2018, let’s start from the bottom and go upwards, since Age has proven to be such a factor in Uganda during 2017, what with the Age Limit debates dominating everything we’ve seen and talked about in all settings for the last so many weeks.
I know for sure that in 2018 we will see a record number of births in Uganda because this appears to have been the trend that has over the years led to our population being so generally youthful.
It’s going to be worse this year because not only do we have more educated people filling the space within our borders, but the doctors are now being paid much more money than before, and the nurses and midwives have also brokered a good salary deal for themselves.
Using simple logic, that means they will work much, much harder at ensuring that people stay alive from the time they are born till the time they really have to die.
Newborn infants will therefore live till their old age, ill-raised toddlers will not die due to the carelessness of their ignorant parents who let them cross the road willy-nilly or chew on dry cells imported from China; teenagers won’t be expiring due to drug abuse because there will be doctors on hand to plunge syringes into their chests…
The list goes on and on – just like the lives of many more of the little babies that will be born this year.
Besides doctors being motivated by increased salaries, the science also bears this thought out: infant mortality dropped from 54 per 1,000 newborn children in 2011 to 43 in 2016. Imagine that! In 2018 we might be below 30!
The clever people will have already realised this and invested in stuff that will take advantage of the existence of so many young people – besides big ticket items like electricity out of massive dams – ranging from more schools to more toy imports and local toy manufacturing.
2018 is going to be the year of all manner of things that our parents – those of us old enough to actually be reading this article – would never have dreamed of.
When you speak with primary school children, for instance, and ask them what they want to be when they grow up, they will say stuff like: “NeuroAtomic Scientist” and “Robotologist” and “Life Tone Adjuster”.
Those jobs will not be in actual existence yet, but the kids will have their sights on them and so will the academicians. See, the future is already here, we are being told, and it will not require lawyers and doctors and people with other regular jobs.
A colleague of mine told me how her multinational employer (soft drink beverages) had this year started to do away with their big, global Audit Firm because of the concept of big data and computer-generated robotic analytics.
Because the computers of today are so clever, apparently, they only need to have more information fed into them and they will think and analyse just like a human being does but in the millionth of time we do.
The Audit Firm is flabbergasted right now but considering that in the developed world supermarkets are employing robots to carry shopping and manage the payment tills, think how many jobs we will have left soon.
Of course, we don’t have that problem in such a big way yet but technology is wiping out some of our regular jobs – “Nanti Google yajja!” (“Google came, so…”) is already pushing out jobs that used to be so knowledge based that some people were gods – Doctors, Lawyers, Economists…
Today before you take the Doctor’s word for it from Abim to Zombo, everyone will have first done a quick google to check the symptoms, making the conversation with the doctor a kind-of “I dare you to get this right” guessing game.
This lugezi gezi will increase almost tenfold in 2018, since we will have more smartphones in circulation and bundles (properly pronounced ‘bandwidth’) will be much, much cheaper and easier to access – not to mention the number of apps that are going to continually be rolled out by thousands of innovative ICT-nurtured youth.
We ordinary mortals can only imagine the irritation by comparing it to the times we are doing homework with the children and trying not to google the right answers, only for the whippersnappers to challenge us – having googled the stuff themselves earlier in the day!
But we won’t break out into violent parenting methods, thank God. There are enough threats of violence around us without our adding to the pile – from the United States to North Korea and even some regional sabre rattling over here.
Luckily, none of these will come to fruition – most of 2018 will be like that time Kiiza Besigye and Kale Kayihura shook hands and smiled at each other just weeks after one of them had been let out of a police cell.
Speaking of politicians, after all this excitement of #Togikwatako we will have at least one surprise in 2018 – a young (REALLY YOUNG) politician with charisma, eloquence, poise and even serious local backing, stepping forward to declare his (not her) interest in the Presidential seat.
The name and identity of the candidate won’t be as much of a surprise as the fact that he (or she) puts themselves forward – and I am not talking about any popular musician here!
The youthfulness of the candidate is to be expected, what with our demographics, and we will then have to address ourselves to any other factors that come into play with these young new people.
That youthful politician will talk about cryptocurrencies as if they are about to be introduced in Amolatar and Isingiro, but again that will not surprise us either.
See, in 2018 there will be more cryptocurrency-genic people living and working outside of Kampala. One major advantage of all the internet connectivity we are seeing these days is the ability it gives people to work from anywhere they please.
Rather than live and work in Kampala, more young and upcoming professionals are going to move out of the capital city to take up residence in rural settings with less stress.
Because Kampala can cause you to have a nervous breakdown. All the traffic, bad driving, erratic road works and phone snatching roadside thieves will push many impatient and imaginative young people to take up cheaper accommodation well outside of the city and even Wakiso.
These young people won’t be employed by the big multinational companies – small and medium scale companies are going to be as flexible as their larger cousins, providing the internet access for their younger staff to be able to perform money-earning tasks from remote districts.
Some of these youngsters, unfortunately, will be the ones responsible for some high level crime as seen on TV. Not corruption related crime as such – that will still be in plenty since as a people and a society we have gone down that path quite consistently for many years now – but that terrible crime that makes us wince when we see it on TV.
The kidnappings we are going to deal with this year, and serial killers, and blackmailers are going to be much, much more serious than what we have talked about in 2017 – mostly in ignorance.
Now that we are binge-watching crime thrillers by way of pirated DVDs and subscribing to pay TV packages that are cheaper than the price of a litre of milk daily, there are going to be many more twisted criminal minds out within these borders. It will not be pretty.
Provided we don’t grow the type of gun culture that countries like the United States has developed, we will be fine.
See, we will continue to be optimistic during 2018 and we will continue chant things like “Hakuna Mchezo” and “Buy Uganda, Build Uganda”. We MUST.
I know – a lot of this sounds like a dream.
But we should dream – provided we spend less time sleeping in order to have those dreams, and more time actually putting them into practice.