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With a per capita income of under US$170, Uganda today is one of the
poorest countries in the world; indeed, it is a living testament of the
havoc caused by the political turmoil and economic decline brought
about by more than a decade of despotic rule.…read more

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At independence (1962), Uganda had one of the most vigorous and promising economies in
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and the years following independence amply demonstrated this
economic potential.
· Favored with a good climate and fertile soil, the country was self sufficient in food, with the
agricultural sector being a large earner of foreign exchange. The manufacturing sector
supplied the economy with basic inputs and consumer goods and was also a source of foreign
exchange earnings through the export of textiles and copper. Export earnings not only financed
the country's import requirements but also resulted in a current account surplus.
· Fiscal and monetary management was sound and the domestic savings rate averaged about
15 percent of GDP, enough to finance a respectable level of investment. Uganda's system of
transportation was widely regarded as one of the best in SSA and included an effective network
of roads, railways, port and air transport.…read more

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Uganda's social indicators were comparable to, if not better than, most countries in Africa. The
country's health service had developed into one of Africa's best and pioneered many low cost
health and nutrition programs. There existed a highly organized network of vaccination centers,
and immunization programs reached as much as 70 percent of the population. Although school
enrollment was still low, Uganda's education system had developed a reputation for very high
quality.…read more

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The Amin regime radically reversed the economic and social progress attained since
independence, and the ensuing civil strife resulted in a tremendous loss of human life. It is
estimated that as many as 500,000 Ugandans lost their lives during Amin's eight-year
dictatorship and as many as one million more were internally displaced from their homes and
farms. A 1985 estimate by the U.S. Committee for Refugees concluded that in that year one out of
every fourteen Ugandans was either a refugee or was displaced; it was estimated that as many
as 200,000 Ugandans had fled the country and were living in exile.…read more

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Economic mismanagement accompanied the civil war and professional standards
deteriorated rapidly as skilled personnel fled the country. Between 1970 and 1980, Uganda's
GDP declined by about 25 percent, exports by 60 percent, and import volumes by close to 50
percent. With large increases in defense expenditures, the government budget became
increasingly untenable and was largely financed by bank borrowing which resulted in average
inflation rates well in excess of 70 percent. Economic mismanagement and abuse of human
rights on a massive scale continued during the Obote regime in the early 1980s. By 1985
government expenditure on education and health, in real terms, amounted to about 27 percent
and 9 percent respectively of the 1970s levels. When the National Resistance Movement (NRM)
Government assumed power in January 1986, it inherited a shattered economy whose social
indicators today paint a dismal picture of the quality of life of its citizens and are indicative of the
extent of poverty within the country.…read more

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