Current Status of Uganda's Development
Uganda is listed as one of the lowest developed countries in the world as it currently stands at a .483 HDI which is ranked 163 out of 188 countries("Human Development Reports."). It is also listed as one of the more corrupt countries being ranked 151 out of 188 with a score of 25 on a scale of 1 to 100 with 1 being the most corrupt. (Transparency International.)
Statistic break down:
Population breakdown - 48.26% of population 0-14 years old
Dependency ratio - 102.3% (97.3% youth)(5% elderly)
Growth rate - 3.22% (5th highest in world)
Major infectious disease risk - very high
Literacy in ages 15 and over - 78.4% (85.3% of males,71.5% of females)
Unemployment rate - 9.4% (2013 est. most recent)
Child labor ages 5-14 - 25% of child population
Population below poverty line - 19.7% (2013 est. most recent)
These statistics show that this country has a very young population, which has been known to be a trade mark for counties struggling to develop. Also, this country is suffering from what is known as the resource curse, some of it's resources include including fertile soils, regular rainfall, small deposits of copper, gold and they have recently discovered oil. This has lead to agriculture (which accounts for 71.2 percent of land use) being Uganda’s most important economic sector yet it still suffers from underinvestment and lack of technology (The World Factbook).
Causes of Under Development
Uganda’s economy is currently suffering from limited industrial growth due to high-cost from poor infrastructure, which has lead to depreciation of the Ugandan shilling, and low levels of private investment (The World Factbook). They are also suffering from a civil war against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who have committed a large amount of human rights violations including the kidnapping, rape and murder of Ugandan men, women and children (Pike, John). Another challenge being faced by Uganda is domestic violations of freedom regarding association. The current president (Yoweri Museveni) has been given another five year term after having police arrest opposing presidential candidates and beating journalists attempting to broadcast how long opposing presidential candidates have been on house arrest (Uganda.).
Other challenges being faced by Uganda include education which has increased in the quantity of children attending school but has about a 20 percent completion rate of the seven year program due to poor quality. Safe drinking water which is available to about 68 percent of Ugandans but if the data is broken down North Uganda is receiving about 80 percent of the safe water, while South Uganda is only receiving about 10 percent. Lastly, HIV has had a major impact on Uganda as it has effected as much as 18 percent of the adult population in the past (1990’s), but has since been lowered to 6.4 percent. However, with new medication it is no longer as lethal and the number has been stagnant over the past couple years causing concern (Kavuma, Richard M).
History of Development Attempts
Foreign aid has been a major factor in Ugandas development as it was previously one of the top aid recipients from 2003 to 2012 receiving more then $16 billion, which is equivalent to a little more than 20 percent of the governments revenue (Kavuma, Richard M.). Uganda was also the first country receiving foreign aid to conduct an evaluation on how the aid was being used, which described a significant drop in poverty, but according to the UN this has only taken place in the south and west side of the country. However, when some countries found that a portion of the aid being received by Uganda was being spent on defense instead of balancing budgets they ceased their funding. But overall, the aid is needed due to Uganda’s inability to compete in the world market because of unfavorable private company conditions, poor education and high corruption. (Has Foreign Aid Led to Economic Growth in Uganda? - GRI.).
Three policies that I believe would need to be incorporated in order to encourage development would be the replacement of the government, incentives that would help farmers compete in the global market and providing incentives to help promote private businesses.
First the UN or a greater power must step in to help over throw the Ugandan government which is filled with corruption in order for a new system to be put in place.
Secondly, I would increase investment in agriculture which is currently Uganda’s greatest asset and largest economic sector. To do this I would provide subsidies to the farmers so they would be able to compete in the global market as well as creating lucrative trade barriers to promote domestic growth, but the trade barriers would be only until the economy has reach a set goal.
Lastly to promote privately owned businesses, I would provide tax breaks as well as providing incentives for exporting their goods and investing back into the Ugandan economy.