East Africa

Uganda Economy Overview

ECONOMY: INDUSTRY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Industry, while employing just 4.2% of the active population, participates for over 25% in the formation of the national product (2008). The industrial apparatus operates above all in the transformation of local agricultural products: breweries, tobacco factories, oil mills, sugar refineries, cotton mills, etc.; There are also some cement factories and a plant that produces fertilizers in the country. § Thanks to the investments of some foreign companies, mining has grown significantly since the late 1990s. The main mineral resource is copper from whose slag good quantities of cobalt are obtained; other minerals include tungsten, tantalite, cassiterite (from which tin is obtained) and asbestos. A gold field has been found in the Karamojong region which is estimated to be the second largest in the world. Electricity is almost entirely of water origin and supplied by the large Owen Falls power plant, built on the Nile, near Jinja.

ECONOMY: TRADE, COMMUNICATIONS AND TOURISM

According to Businesscarriers, internal trade is very scarce given the country’s poverty and the general low standard of living of the population; that with foreign countries has the typical structure of trade in underdeveloped countries: it is based, that is, on the export of raw materials (coffee for about two thirds, therefore cotton, tea, gold) and on the import of machinery and equipment of transport, various kinds of products and foodstuffs. The trade balance is negative. Trade takes place mostly with the European Union (Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany) for exports, and Kenya, United Arab Emirates and Far Eastern countries for imports. § The lines of communication, despite the fact that in the first decade of the 2000s they went through a phase of modernization, they are on the whole inadequate and constitute a delay in the development of the Ugandan economy. The backbone of the system is still the railway line, an extension of Mombasa-Nairobi, which enters Uganda at Tororo; here it splits into two sections: one turns N, touching Lira and Gulu and reaching the border with Zaire, the other heads W, passing through Jinja and Kampala, up to Kasese. The roads in 2003 were developed for almost 80,000 km, but only minimally asphalted (16,000 km) and not entirely passable throughout the year. Inland navigation plays a certain role; boats operate regular services on Lake Victoria; aerial communications connect a dozen major centers and report to extension of Mombasa-Nairobi, which enters Uganda at Tororo; here it splits into two sections: one turns N, touching Lira and Gulu and reaching the border with Zaire, the other heads W, passing through Jinja and Kampala, up to Kasese. The roads in 2003 were developed for almost 80,000 km, but only minimally asphalted (16,000 km) and not entirely passable throughout the year. Inland navigation plays a certain role; boats operate regular services on Lake Victoria; aerial communications connect a dozen major centers and report to extension of Mombasa-Nairobi, which enters Uganda at Tororo; here it splits into two sections: one turns N, touching Lira and Gulu and reaching the border with Zaire, the other heads W, passing through Jinja and Kampala, up to Kasese. The roads in 2003 were developed for almost 80,000 km, but only minimally asphalted (16,000 km) and not entirely passable throughout the year. Inland navigation plays a certain role; boats operate regular services on Lake Victoria; aerial communications connect a dozen major centers and report to The roads in 2003 were developed for almost 80,000 km, but only minimally asphalted (16,000 km) and not entirely passable throughout the year. Inland navigation plays a certain role; boats operate regular services on Lake Victoria; aerial communications connect a dozen major centers and report to The roads in 2003 were developed for almost 80,000 km, but only minimally asphalted (16,000 km) and not entirely passable throughout the year. Inland navigation plays a certain role; boats operate regular services on Lake Victoria; aerial communications connect a dozen major centers and report to Entebbe (approx. 40 km from Kampala), where the international airport is located. § The tourism sector, despite the huge damage suffered by Amin Dada’s policy, is in a recovery phase. Uganda is today an important tourist destination in East Africa: it recorded 468,000 entries in 2005; the authorities have preferred, with a view to preserving the natural beauties of which the country is rich, to favor ecotourism over mass tourism.

Uganda Economy