Uganda to post solid growth in 2020 - World Bank

Monday January 13 2020

Infrastructure. Sustained expenditure on

Infrastructure. Sustained expenditure on infrastructure and private sector activity is expected to help Uganda post strong growth. FILE PHOTO  

By MARTIN LUTHER OKETCH

The World Bank Global Economic Prospect for 2020 has placed Uganda among some of the countries in Sub Saharan Africa that will register relatively strong growth this year.

The growth, the World Bank notes, will be supported by sustained infrastructure spending, combined with increased private sector activity.

In its economic prospect report titled Slow growth policy challenge, the World Bank said among exporters of agricultural commodities in Sub Saharan Africa growth rates have been more robust, notwithstanding some mild slowdowns.

“Among the region’s exporters of agricultural commodities, sustained strong public infrastructure spending, combined with increased private sector activity in Uganda, Madagascar and Rwanda … [will see] growth edge up to 6 per cent,” the report said, noting that the West African Economic and Monetary Union growth is expected to hold steady at 6.4 per cent.

In Uganda, the Central Bank has already indicated that growth will experience moderation and will either be at 5.5 per cent or 6 per cent.

This will be lower than the 6.5 per cent that had been projected.

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At regional level, the World Bank said, Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to pick up to 2.9 per cent in 2020 that is if investor confidence improves in some large economies.

The World Bank also noted that the projected 2.9 per cent will be as a result of a pickup in oil production to support falling commodity prices that the region depends on for its exports.

However, on the other hand the World Bank pointed out that the forecast is weaker than previously expected, reflecting softer demand from key trading partners, lower commodity prices and adverse domestic developments in several countries.

Against EAC spirit

The World Bank also said that in South Africa, growth is expected to pick up to 0.9 per cent on the back of administrative reforms, waning policy uncertainty and gradual recovery of investment.
In Nigeria, the World Bank said growth is expected to edge up to 2.1 per cent as the macroeconomic framework, characterised by multiple exchange rates, foreign exchange restrictions, high persistent inflation and a central bank targeting manifold objectives, is not conducive for economic confidence.

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