IMF Chief Roots for Inclusion, Oil Revenue Accountability in Uganda

IMF Boss, Christine Lagarde

Ms. Christine Lagarde, look Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), site has expressed optimism about Uganda’s commitment to inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.

This was contained in a statement issued Saturday in Kampala at the conclusion of her visit to Uganda.

“I commend Uganda for its growth and poverty reduction achievements over the past three decades. These achievements have been underwritten by strong macroeconomic policies, and a reliance on the private sector as the engine of growth,” said Lagarde.

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“Looking ahead, I welcome the government’s sense of urgency and emphasis on promoting inclusive growth which is needed to make further progress on poverty reduction and create jobs for the fast-growing population.”

Uganda continues to grapple with high levels of unemployment, low productivity and acute poverty.

Lagarde’s trip came against the backdrop of growing concerns over Uganda’s absorption capacity as it continues to borrow heavily for infrastructure projects.

In Uganda, Lagarde met with President Museveni, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Matia Kasaija and Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile and other senior officials.

The IMF boss said Uganda has appropriately embarked on a strategy of scaled-up infrastructure investment in the energy and transport sectors to relieve key growth bottlenecks and enhance regional linkages.

“The government’s focus on overcoming implementation challenges, including through strengthening public investment management, should help ensure that these investments yield the desired outcomes in terms of higher growth and job creation,” she cautioned.

During her discussions with Ugandan officials, Lagarde emphasized that lifting growth will also require complementary reforms that reduce income inequality and support gender equality. She commended the government’s achievements in financial inclusion, including the rapid growth of mobile banking.

Under the Policy Support Instrument which Uganda has agreed with the IMF, said Lagarde, the government monitors the level of social spending to ensure that sufficient resources are available.

“Uganda is set to benefit from deeper economic integration within the East African Community and the advent of oil production in a few years,” she added.

“We agreed that strong institutions and a favorable business environment are essential for seizing these opportunities.”

The IMF boss further reminded Uganda about the need to be more accountable when oil starts flowing.

“With regards to managing future oil revenue in particular, I was encouraged by the government’s commitment to transparency and developing a fiscal framework that allows for a sustainable use of the resource,” she noted.

“More generally, I commended the government and the Bank of Uganda for their prudent approach to fiscal and monetary policy. Continued progress on domestic revenue mobilization will help keep government debt on a sustainable path. Uganda’s inflation targeting framework is serving the country well.

Lagarde said she was impressed by Uganda’s integrative approach to refugees by giving them access to public services and providing them with the means for being economically active.

“I call on the international community to continue supporting Uganda in this area,” she observed.


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