Business in Uganda

Dear Mr President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. With the Supreme Court Judgment out of the way and the chest-thumping victory party over, I guess it is time for serious business. It is time to get down and ‘dirty’.

As you get ready for your swearing in a few weeks, here is your report card on the economy:

Between May 12th 2011 when you swore in as president and today, you may want to know that the shilling has depreciated by 41.4% against the US Dollar from UGX2387 in Jan 2010 to UGX3374.45 in March 31st 2016. That means that Ugandan traders will need 41.4% more shillings to import goods today, than they did in May 2011. For a country that relies on imports, you know what that means for prices and us the consumers.

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Average prime lending interest rates have risen from 19% to 25.2% (although in reality this goes as high as 35% in some banks) as of February 2016. Someone has to be a thief or deal n drugs to borrow at an average 25%, return a profit margin of 20% for their shareholders, pay all the taxes and to reinvest in the growth of the business.

This must be the reason why the rate of non-performing loans to total gross loans has swelled from 2.47% to 5.29%. It is thus no wonder that the Business Confidence Index as measured by Bank of Uganda is too low- at 52.98% compared to 62% in July 2012 and as usual, access to credit scores the worst at 34.5%.

As a result of this sad situation, exports- the lifeline of Uganda’s economy, have only grown by 5% from USD2.519 billion in 2011 to USD2.6bn- only 5%. For your own information, you may want to know that between 2006 to 2011- export earnings grew by 75% from USD1.187 billion to USD2.519billion!!!

Mr President, the time for politicking is over. You really need to fix this economy- like real fast!!



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