Industry, Debt & Trade

The Economy of Uganda

30 years ago Uganda was known as 'the pearl of Africa', a beautiful country with a booming economy and food in abundance; then one dictator after another, each with an army to feed and pay, took over the country for some 25 years.

What effect did this have on the economy? Large numbers of males joined the army; leaving the rest of the population to resort to subsistence farming. People farmed only enough to supply their own needs, so the economy suffered and the National Debt in Uganda increased drastically.
Today agriculture is the predominant industry in the country. This, however, is very labour intensive and the development of other sources of income through foreign exchange are being sought by the government. These include re-establishing the copper and cobalt industry and developing the tourist trade.

Uganda is a very poor country, the fourteenth poorest in the world, with a huge National Debt. Governments in this situation have a dilemma in that money has to be spent in order to generate new income. For example, in the Kampala region, the government has spent money refurbishing the Sheraton Hotel, to turn it into a five star hotel. This may seem out of place in a very poor country but it does bring in hard currency.

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