Uganda is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, with GDP growth averaging 6% per annum over the past decade. The World Economic Forum ranked Uganda 4.5 (on a 7-point scale) in macroeconomic performance, well above the average of Sub-Saharan Africa (average rank 3.7).
In recent years agriculture hás played a decreasing role in the economy with industry increasing, to the current 22% and 29% respectively. Services accounts for 49% of GDP. Agriculture employs 80% of the population. Government policy promotes and supports private sector-led development.
The main industry sectors in the country are agro-processing oriented, made up mostly of fish processing, sugar, tea, cooking oil, dairy processing, breweries and soft drinks. The manufacturing of textiles, paper products and tobacco also takes place.
With the discovery of commercially viable quantities of oil and their subsequent development, the oil and gas sector is expected to become a leading driving force for economic development both through direct revenue and spill-over effects. Oil production in Uganda is expected in late 2010/ early 2011.
Growing impact of East African regional integration:
The East African Community comprises a market of over 130m consumers and total GDP of $40bn. Intra community tariffs are gradually being reduced:
- Common external Tariff on all goods imported into the region.
- Zero duty on most goods originating and traded within East Africa.
- Zero duty on most capital goods, agricultural inputs, medicines and medical equipment, raw materials and chemicals.
- Tax incentives for producers of goods for exports through various export schemes covering export processing zones, manufacturing under
- bond, duty drawback for manufacturers of goods for export, inward processing.
Uganda’s socioeconomic profile:
Population: 31m (2009)
Population growth rate: 3.3%
GDP per capita: $453
Uganda is a democratic presidential republic. It is a multi-party parliamentary system with universal suffrage of all citizens over the age of 18 years. The ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has been in power since 1986. The President, HE Mr Y K Museveni has been in office throughout this time. The next presidential and parliamentary elections are due in March 2011.
The government with a relatively stable polity and a pro-business oriented president continues to attract foreign investment and promote both regional and international trade.