Sub-Saharan Africa is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis that threatens to throw the region off its stride, reversing the encouraging development progress of recent years. Furthermore, by exacting a heavy human toll, upending livelihoods, and damaging business and government balance sheets, the crisis threatens to retard the region’s growth prospects in the years to come. Previous crises tended to impact affect countries in the region differentially, but no country will be spared this time.
The IMF Research Bulletin includes listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes. The research summaries in this issue are “Explaining the Recent Slump in Investment” (Mathieu Bussiere, Laurent Ferrara, and Juliana Milovich) and “The Quest for Stability in the Housing Markets” (Hites Ahir). The Q&A column reviews “Seven Questions on Estimating Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Low-Income Countries” (Bin Grace Li, Christopher Adam, and Andrew Berg). Also included in this issue are updates on the IMF’s official journal, the IMF Economic Review, and recommended readings from IMF Publications.
This paper discusses Uganda’s Fifth Review Under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) and Request for Waiver of an Assessment Criterion and Modification of Assessment Criteria. The economy of Uganda has fared well in a difficult environment. Program performance under the PSI was generally positive. All end-June and continuous quantitative assessment criteria were observed, with one exception, and so were most indicative targets. Inflation remained within the bands of the consultation clause. An unprecedented increase in tax revenue was a key achievement. However, further progress on structural reforms is needed. The authorities are rightly adjusting the policy mix. The IMF staff recommends completing the fifth review under the PSI.
This Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper on Uganda discusses that the National Development Plan (NDP), Uganda’s current Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, was introduced in 2010/11 and originally intended to cover five fiscal years, until 2014/15. The NDP emphasises the need to accelerate economic growth to create jobs, increase average income and provide the financial resources required to expand public investment and service delivery. However, several macroeconomic and implementation challenges have reduced infrastructure investment, economic growth and job creation below the levels targeted by the plan. The key strategic objectives of the plan will be maintained over the next two years, with focus placed on strengthening public investment management, creating fiscal space for infrastructure projects and enhancing the development of practical skills among the labour force. The recalibrated macroeconomic framework outlined in Section IV will help guide fiscal policy and economic management as the next National Development Plan is being finalised. NDP II will be launched before the 2016/17 fiscal year and will guide budgetary priorities and programmes over the medium term.
This paper discusses key findings of the Sixth Review for Uganda Under the Policy Support Instrument. Structural rigidities continue to pose challenges to macroeconomic management in Uganda. Persistent weaknesses in project implementation coupled with rigidities in domestic financial markets limited the scope for fiscal and monetary stimulus in 2008/09. Progress with structural reforms has been uneven and may not have kept pace with the needs raised by the public investment drive. Macroeconomic policies will continue to aim at overcoming infrastructure bottlenecks while mitigating the impact of external shocks on domestic activity.
Mrs. Teresa Ter-Minassian, Richard Hughes, and Alejandro Hajdenberg
A common dilemma facing governments around the world is how to meet the sizeable fiscal costs of providing and maintaining infrastructure networks. Over the past decade, developed and developing countries have looked to fiscal rules, budgetary reforms, tax policy and administration measures, public-private partnerships and other innovative financial instruments to raise additional finance for infrastructure investment. This paper looks at the range of options for raising the financing to meet Tanzania's infrastructure needs. It begins with a brief survey of the evidence on the relationship between infrastructure, public investment, and economic growth, and then goes on to consider the case for additional infrastructure investment in Tanzania. The second part of the paper looks at five broad options for mobilizing additional resources to meet Tanzania's infrastructure needs: (i) direct private investment and PPPs, (ii) expenditure reprioritization and efficiency, (iii) domestic revenue mobilization, (iv) external grants and concessional financing, and (v) sovereign borrowing on domestic or international credit markets. The paper concludes with some general recommendations on what combination of the above approaches might be suitable for Tanzania.
This Selected Issues paper for Kenya, Uganda, and United Republic of Tanzania highlights their private sector credit markets, identifies their main obstacles in promoting credit to the private sector, and suggests a reform strategy. If the East African Community (EAC) countries decide to pursue a coordinated approach to investment incentives, one possible solution would be to agree on a Code of Conduct for Investment Incentives and Company Income Taxation. A transparent tax system with a broad base would reduce the demand by investors for tax holidays.
Uganda has registered one of the most impressive economic turnarounds of recent decades. The amelioration of conflict and wide ranging economic reforms kick-started rapid economic growth that has now been sustained for some 20 years. But there is a strong sense in policy making circles that despite macroeconomic stability and reasonably well functioning markets, economic growth has not translated into significant structural transformation. This paper considers (i) Uganda's record of economic transformation relative to the high growth Asian countries and (ii) the contending explanations as to why more transformation and higher growth has proved elusive.
This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that an acute electricity crisis threatens Uganda’s macroeconomic performance. The regional drought in 2005/06 reduced Uganda’s already inadequate hydropower-generating capacity, resulting in a production gap of nearly one-half of demand. The authorities have requested a new three-year policy support instrument in support of their near- and medium-term policies. The authorities’ main objectives are to sustain macroeconomic stability while tackling the ongoing electricity crisis and addressing other infrastructure deficiencies to alleviate existing constraints on growth.