Few Quality Jobs in Uganda Despite Impressive Economic Performance

Few Quality Jobs in Uganda Despite Impressive Economic Performance

The World Bank Group, through a two-part series, is analyzing Uganda’s economic stance and outlook. A recent update from the global finance organization suggests that the country focus on drooping unemployment opportunities that don’t quite correlate with the nation’s economic performance. According to a report by The Independent, Uganda is in need of quality jobs — lots more than those currently available.

Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi attributes unstabilized employment to low domestic savings, low agricultural production, high youth unemployment as well as the informal sector and trade deficit, which are larger than average.

“In 2010, value added per worker in Ugandan agriculture was only US $200 per year, in contrast to Brazil’s US $4,183 per worker per year (in Uganda it increased by only 10 percent over two decades compared to an increase of 20 times in Brazil ion the same period),” Amama said in the report.

The Independent noted that Uganda’s economy has grown tremendously over the last decade, still, a chunk of the country’s population is unaffected by the positive change, Philippe Dongier, World Bank’s country director for Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi said.

Officials have questioned whether a shortage of jobs — or potential employees’ lack of skills — is the root of the unemployment problem. According to The Independent, improvement will come by way of government’s infrastructural rehabilitation. While select sectors are taking off and continuously growing, others that aren’t doing so well are not being singled out and put on track to progress.

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The agriculture sector, for example, is at risk of being affected by Dutch disease and an under-allocation of oil resources, which directly effects Uganda’s competitive exports markets, The Independent reported.

Overpopulation is and has been a factor that’s contributing to Uganda’s unemployment rate — which according to The Independent is just below 5 percent. With the guidance of the World Bank, economist Maria Kiwanuka, says that the government must “handle the population question without stepping on individual’s personal liberties.”

“The national Identification project is a must for employment creation. It will help government to incentivize for instance employers to take on apprentices, who without IDs will not be planned for,” Kiwanuka continued.

Uganda’s future oil reserve leverage — and their connection to the country’s job creation agenda will next be examined by the World Bank.