By Max Patrick Ocaido
A 2019 report has revealed that despite the fact that Uganda’s economy will continue to grow, there will be no new jobs created for thousands of graduates who finish university every year.
This is contained in the PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) report that highlights on Uganda’s Economic Outlook for year 2019.
The report says that the economic outlook for 2019 is very positive thanks to a recovery in the agriculture sector, the sustained growth in services, and the continued huge investment by the government into public infrastructure.
Although the economy is growing, it is not creating enough jobs, according to the report.
“The Ugandan economy is now on a path of rapid and sustained growth, however, the number of new jobs arising from this growth has been disappointingly low. Sustained growth of the economy was expected to create jobs, drive poverty reduction and make growth more inclusive,” the report says.
Uganda’s recent high economic growth rates have not been accompanied by high growth in jobs. This lack of growth in jobs has retarded poverty reduction in the country, according to the report. For example, although the economy grew by an average of 4.5% year on year between FY15/16 and FY17/18, the number of people living in poverty increased in the same period from 19.7% in FY15/16 to 21.4% in FY17/18.
“This means that whereas the economy is growing, this growth has not been inclusive enough as it has not translated into job creation, poverty reduction and significant wealth creation for Ugandans,” it reads.
"During the last ten years the economy (measured at current market prices) has nearly trebled in size from Shs35,065 billion in FY08/09 to Shs100,531 billion in FY17/18. However in that same period, average GDP per capita at current prices has increased by only 23% from USD 650 in FY08/09 to USD 799 in FY2017/18,” the report says.
The report further states that one of the main reasons why the growth in the economy has not translated in massive growth in jobs is because in the past ten years the growth has been originating mainly from investments in public infrastructure as well as the mining and oil and gas capital intensive sectors, rather than in traditional labor intensive sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.
The report also observed that external debt of the country is expected to rise as the government continues to borrow to fund the construction of strategic infrastructure.