Uganda Economy


Kampala is the capital of Uganda, a landlocked nation in Eastern Africa. The country shares international borders with Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. It ranks 81 in the world in terms of total land area. Uganda largely has a plateau-based terrain, with smaller mountains towards the south. According to the 2009 estimates, the country has a population in excess of 32 million, of which nearly 35% survive below the international poverty line. Uganda’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture and the growing service sector.

Uganda Economy: Introduction

Ugandan economy is largely state-controlled, with a mushrooming private sector. The country does not have market-friendly foreign investment policies. However, it attracts considerable foreign capital from both China and India.


Traditionally, the Ugandan economy was entirely dependent on agriculture. After gaining freedom from British colonial reign, the nation suffered from internal conflicts and political instability. This hampered industrial and infrastructural growth in, making Uganda one of the poorest countries in the world. However, after 2005, the country began with a series of economic reforms, which were reflected in a scaling growth pattern.


According to the 2009 statistics, Uganda has an average annual GDP of US$42.18 billion and GDP per capita of US$1,300.


The economic reforms also helped sustain a favorable inflation rate, as compared to the other east African economies, who suffer from hyperinflation. However, the inflation reached a double digit figure in 2009 due to the political crisis and subsequent elections.


Uganda Economy: Major Statistics 

The following table contains the major data related to the Uganda economy:


Labor force

15.01 million (2009 est.)

Labor force in agriculture


Budget revenues

$2.007 billion

Budget expenditures

$2.508 billion

Industrial production growth rate

5.3% (2009 est.)

Current account balance

-$829 million (2009 est.)


$3.151 billion (2009 est.)


$4.106 billion (2009 est.)

Foreign exchange reserve

$2.296 billion (December 2009 est.)

External debt

$2.05 billion (2009 est.)

                                                                                    (Source: CIA World Factbook)


Uganda has considerable mineral deposits, particularly of cobalt and copper. It also has untapped reserves of natural gas and crude oil. These are sufficient to propel the nation’s economy to greater heights. However, fund embezzlement and political instability tend to threaten economic progress.