Economy of Uganda
|Currency||Ugandan shilling (UGX)|
|1 July – 30 June|
|EAC, COMESA, AU, WTO|
|GDP||$26.39 billion (2017 est.)|
|GDP rank||90th (nominal, 2017)|
|4.4% (2017 est.) (57th, 2017 est.)|
GDP by sector
Services: 23.7% (2017 est.)
|5.8% (2017 est.)|
|19.1% (31 December 2017 est.)|
Population below poverty line
|19.7% (2017 est.)|
|39.5 (2017 est.)|
|20.05 million (2017 est.)|
Labour force by occupation
|agriculture: 71.9% (2013 est.)|
|sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles; cement, steel production|
|Exports||$3.172 billion (2017 est.) (123rd)|
Main export partners
DR Congo 8.9%
Italy 4.5% (2017)
|Imports||$4.592 billion (2017 est.)|
Main import partners
China 17.9% |
South Africa 4.5%
Saudi Arabia 4.4% (2016)
|$10.909 billion (2016)|
|$-1.476 billion (2017 est.)|
Gross external debt
|$7.163 billion (31 December 2017 est.)|
|$11.2 billion ($3.8 billion, domestic) (2018)|
|Revenues||$3.98 billion (2017)|
|Expenses||$7.66 billion (2017)|
|Economic aid||$3.68 billion (2017)|
|Standard & Poor's: B|
|3.045 billion (31 December 2017 est.)|
Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it is thought that Uganda could feed all of Africa if it were commercially farmed. The economy of Uganda has great potential, and it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development.
Chronic political instability and erratic economic management since self-rule has produced a record of persistent economic decline that has left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries. The national energy needs have historically been more than domestic energy generation, though large petroleum reserves have been found in the country's west.
After the turmoil of the Amin period, the country began a program of economic recovery in 1981 that received considerable foreign assistance. From mid-1984 onward, overly expansionist fiscal and monetary policies and the renewed outbreak of civil strife led to a setback in economic performance.
The economy grew since the 1990s. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average of 6.7% annually during the period 1990–2015. , whereas real GDP per capita grew at 3.3% per annum during the same period. During this period, the Ugandan economy experienced economic transformation: the share of agriculture value added in GDP declined from 56% in 1990 to 24% in 2015; the share of industry grew from 11% to 20% (with manufacturing increasing at a slower pace, from 6% to 9% of GDP); and the share of services went from 32% to 55%.
International trade and finance
Since assuming power in early 1986, Museveni's government has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation. The country's infrastructure, notably its transport and communications systems which were destroyed by war and neglect, is being rebuilt. Recognizing the need for increased external support, Uganda negotiated a policy framework paper with the IMF and the World Bank in 1987. Uganda subsequently began implementing economic policies designed to restore price stability and sustainable balance of payments, improve capacity utilization, rehabilitate infrastructure, restore producer incentives through proper price policies, and improve resource mobilization and allocation in the public sector. These so-called Structural Adjustment Programs greatly improved the shape of the Ugandan economy, but did not lead to economic growth in the first decade after their implementation. Since 1995, Uganda has experienced rapid economic growth, but it is not clear to what extent this positive development can be attributed to Structural Adjustment. Uganda is a member of the World Trade Organization, since 1 January 1995 and a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, from 25 October 1962.
Agricultural products supply a significant portion of Uganda's foreign exchange earnings, with coffee alone, of which Uganda is Africa's second largest producer after Ethiopia, accounting for about 17% of the country's exports in 2017 and earning the country US$545 million. Exports of apparel, hides, skins, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, and fish are growing, while cotton, tea, and tobacco continue to be mainstays.
As of 2017, Uganda had about 130,000 kilometres (80,778 mi) of roads, with approximately 5,300 kilometres (3,293 mi) (4 percent) paved. Most paved roads radiate from Kampala, the country's capital and largest city.
As of 2017, Uganda’s metre gauge railway network measures about 1,250 kilometres (777 mi) in length. Of this, about 56% (700 kilometres (435 mi)), is operational. A railroad originating at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean connects with Tororo, where it branches westward to Jinja, Kampala, and Kasese and northward to Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, and Pakwach. The only railway line still operating, however, is the one to Kampala.
Uganda's important link to the port of Mombasa is now mainly by road, which serves its transport needs and also those of neighboring Rwanda, Burundi, parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan.
An international airport is at Entebbe on the northern shores of Lake Victoria, about 41 kilometres (25 mi) south of Kampala. In January 2018, the government of Uganda began the construction of Kabaale International Airport, in the Western Region of Uganda. This will be Uganda's second international airport, which is planned to facilitate the construction of an oil refinery and boost tourism.
The Uganda Communications Commission regulates communications, primarily "delivered through an enabled private sector." The companies it regulates include television networks, radio stations, mobile network operators, and fixed-line telephone companies.
Mining and petroleum
Uganda's predominant mineral occurrences are gold, tungsten, tin, beryl, and tantalite in the south; tungsten, clay, and granite between latitude zero and two degrees north; and gold, mica, copper, limestone, and iron in the north.
In late 2012, the government of Uganda was taken to court over value added tax that it placed on goods and services purchased by Tullow Oil, a foreign oil company operating in the country at the time. The court case was heard at an international court based in the United States. The Ugandan government insisted that Tullow could not claim taxes on supplies as recoverable costs before oil production starts. Sources from within the government reveal that the main concern at present is the manner in which millions of dollars have been lost in the past decade, money that could allegedly have stayed in Uganda for investment in the public sector; a Global Financial Integrity report recently revealed that illicit money flows from Uganda between 2001 and 2012 totalled $680 million. Tullow Oil was represented in the court case by Kampala Associated Advocates, whose founder is Elly Kurahanga, the President of Tullow Uganda. A partner at Kampala Associated Advocates, Peter Kabatsi, was also Uganda’s solicitor general between 1990 and 2002, and he has denied claims that he negotiated contracts with foreign oil firms during his time in this role.
In June 2015, the Ugandan government and Tullow Oil settled a longstanding dispute regarding the amount of certain capital gains taxes that the company owed to the government. The government claimed that the company owed US$435 million. The claim, however, was settled for US $250 million.
In April 2018, the government signed agreements with Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, an International consortium led by General Electric of the United States, to build a 60,000 barrels-per-day Uganda Oil Refinery in Western Uganda. The cost of the development is budgeted at about US$4 billion.
- Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (Uganda)
- Uganda Investment Authority
- Uganda Securities Exchange
- Banking in Uganda
- Tourism in Uganda
- Poverty in Uganda
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- RTE Ireland (22 June 2015). "Tullow pays $250 million to settle Uganda tax dispute out of court". Dublin, Ireland: Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
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- Olingo, Allan (14 April 2018). "Uganda signs $4 billion refinery plant deal". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- Musisi, Frederic (8 May 2018). "Uganda signs off Shs4 trillion for US in refinery". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
- Uganda Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development
- Uganda Investment Authority; Sector analysis reports available
- Economy of Uganda at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
- The Uganda Business Index
- Uganda Business Directory
- Uganda latest trade data on ITC Trade Map
- Google Earth map of the oil and gas infrastructure in Uganda
- World Bank Uganda Trade Summary Statistics