A United Nations (UN) report on worldwide human development has recognised Uganda among the six fastest growing countries in the world, owing to high diversification and performance in the agriculture-based economy.
The Report titled; The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, was launched in Uganda on Friday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), having been officially launched on March 14 in Mexico City.
The report attributes the country’s steady growth performance to “an upsurge in trade, investment and development cooperation with emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India that have succeeded in pulling millions out of poverty.
“Between 1992 and 2011, for instance, China’s trade with sub-Saharan Africa rose from $1 billion to more than $140 billion. Countries in Africa have also increased their involvement with other partners from a diverse set of regions, such as funds based in the Arab region and Latin American firms,” part of the report says.
Life expectancy rises
The UN also notes that 70 per cent of the world’s population will be leaving the developing world-Africa being at the top of the list, by the year 2040. Life expectancy in Sub- Saharan Africa has also risen from 50 years, as was noted in the year 2000, to 55 years as noted last year. This, the UN says, is attributed to “targeted investments in the health sector”.
“Many African success stories are themselves reshaping ideas and strategies on how to attain higher levels of human development,” the report says, arguing that the advances are best achieved in countries with strong leadership, openness to trade and a focus on innovative social policies.
Despite the steady growth, Uganda remains below average globally in many other aspects of human development. The UN also notes that close to 70 per cent of the country’s population is below the age of 20. This population, however, is not adequately prepared to meet the new and growing developmental challenges the world may present to Uganda in the future.
Other nations applauded
Other countries recognised for high agro-based economic growth include Rwanda, Angola, Ethiopia and Mauritius.
The Human Development Index (HDI) report also shows Africa as having the second highest growth after South Asia over the past 10 years. “Completing existing relationships with bilateral partners, these connections have helped boost exports, create jobs and finance needed infrastructure on the continent, while many African nations have tapped into new funding, technology, markets and know-how to invigorate their economies,” the Report notes.
The UN also says new lessons and experiences from outside Africa and from within the region itself, have been used to generate new opportunities for the poor. “For example, Asian-built mobile phones have made cellular banking cheaper and easier, while leading by small farmers in Kenya, Niger and Uganda has increased. Affordable medicines and medical equipment from Brazil, South Africa and Indian as well as Chinese investments in hospitals have led to considerable improvements in the health sector,” the report says.