Country Report Uganda March 2011


Outlook for 2011-12

  • The president, Yoweri Museveni, and his National Resistance Movement (NRM), have ruled Uganda since 1986 and will continue to dominate the political scene following a resounding victory in the February elections.
  • There may be some limited outbreaks of civil unrest in 2011-12, but Mr Museveni has total control of the Ugandan army and has strengthened his grip on the police force, which makes wider political instability unlikely.
  • The opposition will now enter a prolonged period of soul-searching as it attempts to rebuild itself for the next polls, in 2016.
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that real GDP growth will quicken to 6.3% in 2011 and 7% in 2012, owing to a pick-up in investment and external demand, but poor transport and energy infrastructure will limit expansion.
  • Inflation is forecast to accelerate in 2011, owing to higher global food and fuel prices, and to remain high in 2012 because of looser fiscal policy.
  • The fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP is forecast to narrow to 2.1% in 2010/11, owing to a one-off capital gains tax haul, before widening to 3.2% in 2011/12 as a result of weak domestic revenue growth.
  • External imbalances will widen as import growth picks up, and we forecast a current-account deficit of 4.3% of GDP in 2011 and 6.1% of GDP in 2012.

Monthly review

  • Mr Museveni won a comfortable election victory on February 18th, to secure his fifth term as president.
  • The president won 68% of the vote, compared with just 26% for his nearest rival, Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change candidate.
  • Election day passed peacefully, with few reported incidents of violence or intimidation, and the observer groups monitoring the process were in general agreement that it was free and transparent.
  • Observer groups criticised the unfairness of the campaign period, judging that the advantages of incumbency created an unfair playing field.
  • The IMF did not complete the first review under the policy support instrument because of a USh600bn (US$262m) supplementary budget passed in January, which it said was "inconsistent" with the programme.
  • The governor of the Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, has forecast real GDP growth of 7% in financial year 2010/11 (July-June).
  • Inflation has continued to rise; annual headline inflation reached 5% in January, the third successive month that it has increased.
© 2011 The Economist lntelligence Unit Ltd. All rights reserved
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