Uganda: the resource picture

This briefing paper analyses a variety of resources flows to and within Uganda – which include humanitarian and other types of aid, domestic government resources, foreign direct investment and remittances. The context of this analysis is how the country addresses humanitarian crises, vulnerability and poverty.

Uganda’s politics of development have changed significantly in recent years, moving away from a donor-driven poverty agenda towards a focus on growth and structural transformation. It has a fast-growing economy, with an average growth rate of around 7.9%, which is a significant shift for what was one of the world’s poorest countries. Oil exportation offers tremendous opportunities for Uganda, with the discovery of reserves in the Lake Albertine region in 2007.

It has made impressive progress in terms of poverty reduction, despite its population nearly doubling between the early 1990s and 2010. Less than a quarter of the population now lives below the national poverty line, down from just under a third in 2006.

However, not everyone has benefited from Uganda’s development. Over seven and a half million people still live in absolute poverty and levels in the north are twice that of the rest of the country. Life expectancy at birth is only 54.1 years and the under-five mortality rate is 128 out of 1000 live births.

The government faces a number of challenges in addressing regional disparities in basic services and economic development in the north, as well as economic volatility and increasing frequency of natural disasters.