Uganda’s Development Agenda in the 21st Century & Related Regional Issues

Europeans visited the areas that later became Uganda, they were amazed by the
variety of cultivated and wild foodstuffs and a wide range of manufacturing
activities. Surplus food and manufactured products were exchanged in local and
regional markets. Thus, pre-colonial comparative advantage served Uganda’s
needs very well.

visitors were also struck by the vitality, eagerness and intelligence of
Ugandans. Winston Churchill remarked that Ugandans were “different from
anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa”. He called Uganda
“the Pearl of Africa”.

developments since the start of the 20th century have undermined
Uganda’s development potential. Ugandans were compressed into producers of raw
materials according to colonial comparative advantage and the manufacturing sector
collapsed. Because foreign earnings from primary exports have not been enough,
Uganda has become dependent on foreign aid and remittances.

by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government since 1986 to build an
independent, integrated and self-sustaining middle income economy and society have
yet to produce tangible results. The ideology of mixed economy was replaced by
the Washington Consensus which called on Uganda to increase and diversify
agricultural exports, promote economic growth and private sector, control
inflation and increase savings, privatize public enterprises and liberalize the
economy. This model has bred inequality, food insecurity, de-industrialization,
environmental degradation and unemployment with serious social and cultural outcomes.

irreplaceable, the market mechanism has neither brain nor heart. Accordingly, state
intervention in strategic areas is unavoidable to correct free enterprise and
free market imperfections. A balance is needed between inflation control and
employment generation as well as economic growth, equity and environmental

publication, intended primarily for students, policy makers and development
partners, is also appropriate for a wider readership. It is also a modest
contribution to the debate about Uganda’s development agenda for the 21st century including relevant regional issues.

Publisher: Jones Harvest Publishing; Pub. Date: 2008; Format: Paperback, 592pp
ISBN: 978-1-60388-220-0 ISBN: 1-60388-220-0