Owing to devastating economic policies and political instability, Uganda remains one of poorest countries in the world for decades. The country has a taken a turn for the better thanks to the implementation of reforms and swift economic growth over the recent years. The country in fact, grew at the rate of 12% in 2008 regardless of the instability in the region and economic glut. GDP growth (real) in the financial year 2013-14 was 4.5% which definitely lesser than the projected 5.7%, the reason being poor public investment and depressed exports.
The economy was expected to grow at a rate of about 5.6% from 2014-15. Experts allege that the growth could very well maintain an upward trajectory in the years to come. Oil investments and lined up infrastructure programmes are expected to drive growth in the economy. Agriculture, a main source of income in Uganda however, is not expected to contribute majorly to this growth. The main reasons being supply restraints, inadequate utilisation of improved inputs and lack of mechanisation. The Central and Western regions are more developed than the rest of the country. In essence, development in Uganda is skewed. Other factors hindering development are unpredictable power supply, poor transport facilities and rampant corruption. Coming to imports, Uganda ranks 130th in imports in the world. The country imported goods worth $4.714 million and $4.512 million in 2014 and 2013, respectively.
The country’s top import partners in 2013 were Kenya (19.4%), UAE (14.1%), India (12.2%) and China 10.7% (2013). 2014 saw the country’s import bill surge by 2.8%, i.e. about US$ 1,275.2 million compared to US$ 1,240.7 in 2013. Further, statistics indicate that the country imports more than it exports. In terms of exports the country ranks 133th. We list the top imports of the country:
Animal and vegetable by-products – The country imported animal and vegetable by-products worth $249 million. Top products include palm oil ($207 million), stearic acid ($20.5 million), and margarine ($8.75 million) among 14 others.
Vegetable products – The nation spent about $166 million to import vegetable products. Top among which were wheat ($57.7 million), rice ($52.3 million) and tea ($14.9 million) among 65 others.
Animal products – About $12.8 million was spent by the nation to import animal products including concentrated milk ($2.68 million), poultry ($1.8 million) and milk ($1.29 million) among 31 others.
Foodstuffs – The import value of foodstuffs imported by Uganda is placed at $268 million. This encompasses raw sugar ($ 97.8 million), alcohol ($32.5 million) and beer ($20.1 million).
Wood products – The value of wood products imported by Uganda is approximately about $6.71 million. The top products among 18 others are wood fiberboard ($1.84 million), wood carpentry ($1.01 million) and plywood ($1.01 million).
Other top imports include refined petroleum (20.64%), packaged medicaments (3.8%), cars (3.51%), coated flat iron (1.33%) and broadcasting equipment (3.06%).