Country Listing

Uganda Table of Contents


Regional Cooperation

In addition to sporadic attempts to revive the defunct East African Community, composed of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, Uganda participated in four regional economic organizations. These included the PTA, the Lomé Convention, the Kagera Basin Organization, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD). The PTA, with fifteen member states in east, central, and southern Africa, aimed to create a regional common market, liberalize trade, and encourage cooperation in industry, agriculture, transport, and communications. The progressive liberalization of intra-PTA trade began on July 1, 1984, with the adoption of a common list of 209 items of trade. A multilateral clearing facility was established in Harare in February 1984. It handled transactions worth US$10 million in 1985 and twice that amount in 1987. A PTA monetary unit of account (the uapta), was made equivalent to the SDR and used to settle interstate debts every two months. Outstanding balances were payable in United States dollars. The practical effect of the PTA was constrained by rules, known as "rules of origin," which allowed preferential treatment only for goods produced by companies in which citizens of the member state managed their operations and held at least 51 percent of the equity in the company.

The Lomé Convention, a trade and aid agreement between the EEC and sixty-six African, Caribbean, and Pacific nations, including forty-five African countries, guaranteed duty-free entry to the EEC for specific commodities from these countries. Uganda has benefited from this agreement and assistance from the European Development Fund, which disbursed aid to member countries.

In 1981 Uganda joined the Kagera Basin Organization, which was established by Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi in 1977. The organization's major goal was to develop 60,000 square kilometers of the Kagera River Basin, which extended into all four countries. Areas of interest to the organization included transport, agriculture, power, mining, hydroelectricity, and external finance, but by the late 1980s its programs were slowed by funding constraints.

Six East African countries established IGADD in 1986. IGADD members included Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda. The organization's aim was to coordinate and channel funding into key regional programs addressing the issues of drought, desertification, and agricultural development. IGADD received approximately US$70 million in aid in 1987 but by 1989 had not yet completed any of its development and environmental projects.

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Authoritative information on the Ugandan economy can be found in the Background to the Budget, which is published annually by Uganda's Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. Two Ugandan newspapers are also useful--the government publication, New Vision, and Financial Times, which specializes in economic reporting. Economic statistics are available through the publications of the major international financial institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The best secondary sources on Uganda, widely available in the United States, are the publications of the Economist Intelligence Unit, including the annual Country Profile: Uganda and quarterly Country Report: Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, and monthly reports of Africa Research Bulletin, Economic Series. For information on Uganda's early economic development, see the three-volume History of East Africa published by Oxford University. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of December 1990