Improving Business...

Improving Business Competitiveness and Increasing Economic Growth in Uganda

The Role of Information and Communication Technologies
Celebrated as the ?Pearl of Africa,? Uganda is known for its rolling rural landscapes, Lake Victoria, one of the last reserves of wild gorillas, and the source of the Nile. But like the Nile, which defies the odds by flowing from South to North, Uganda is currently faced with the challenge of changing its economic course and moving its people from poverty to prosperity.

During the 1990s, Uganda experienced one of the highest rates of per capita income growth in the world with per capita income growth averaging 3.2% for the decade. This was, at least in part, a supply response to post-conflict rehabilitation, and to the implementation of sound macro and structural policies which have achieved and sustained macroeconomic stability, and a market-friendly business environment.

Uganda’s impressive pace of growth has slowdown in recent years. Much of this slowdown is explained by sharply deteriorating terms of trade and it is further constrained by a rapidly growing population.  Unlocking Uganda’s full potential in service exports, particularly in IT-enabled services (ITES), and stimulating high value and low bulk agro-processing for traditional and new markets, would seem to offer the greatest opportunities for success in terms of exports and growth. Both will involve tapping knowledge-rich markets, which will require a solid ICT network to underpin growth. By understanding the role of ICT in improving private sector competitiveness and economic growth in Uganda, the Government can take the necessary steps to create the appropriate enabling environment and address the skills gaps in the economy.

The study commissioned by infoDev, in close cooperation with the

Uganda map  

World Bank Group and other donors, addresses the challenges and opportunities facing Uganda in seeking to capture the opportunities for growth and competitiveness made possible by ICT. 

The study includes:

  • A review of the position of Uganda’s economy with in the international business environment and the growth opportunities and challenges in several sectors.
  • An assessment of priority actions to be taken with respect to the regulatory and institutional environment, ICT infrastructure, and other constraints facing entrepreneurs and firms in Uganda.
  • An in-depth firm-level survey and analysis of ICT use and its impact on productivity in Uganda, based on a representative sample of firms from key sectors and across the country.
  • Recommendations for appropriate actions to address constraints and to support the realization of Uganda’s growth potential in these emerging sectors, and in harnessing ICT for sustainable development.

The study can be downloaded below.

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