Despite the year on year GDP growth, approved http://cosmopolitan.taconeras.net/wp-includes/text/diff.php Uganda’s economic growth is increasingly creating a wide gap between the rich and the poor according to a new report released by Oxfam International on Wednesday.
The report indicates that Uganda has seen ‘growth with exclusion’ with relatively fewer people benefiting from economic gains.
According to findings, the richest 10% of Uganda’s population enjoy 35.7% of the national income while the poorest 10% claim a meager 2.5% and the poorest 20% have only 5.8% of the total GDP.
The growth trend, the report states, points to increased poverty levels for those at the bottom while the few rich continue to get wealthier.
“Inequality cuts across generations. The children of wealthier people have access to greater opportunities and will themselves be richer.
“The incidence of poverty remains far higher in rural areas, at 22.8% of the population compared with 9.3% in urban locations. Geographically, development has been skewed towards the central and western regions and towards urban centers, and poverty levels remain,” the report states.
Northern and north eastern Uganda recorded the highest rates of inequality in the country mainly attributed to the long armed conflict that ravaged the region. The central region ranked far better.
Although agriculture contributes a big share (24,6%) to Uganda’s GDP and employs the largest portion of the population, the Oxfam report points out persistent barriers like unequal distribution of land and meager budgetary appropriation to the sector.
Prof. Augustus Nuwagaba an economist and researcher who presented the findings said; “Much as we need foreign direct investment, but we cannot wish away a sector like agriculture that employs 76% of Ugandans. Government must do serious investment in agriculture through; financing, insurance and land tenure system”.
In her remarks, Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga who officially launched the report at an event held at Kampala Serena Hotel stressed the need to create an agriculture bank saying commercial loans aren’t viable for most Ugandans.
She warned Ministry of Finance against its efforts to have the certificate of gender and equity under the Public Finance and Management Act repealed saying; “It took us 11 years to have this section of law passed so as to deal with issues of inequality and I won’t let them repeal it.”
Outside agriculture, Oxfam recommends increased funding to improve quality of the education and health sectors and minimizing tax exemptions.