Wednesday, December 8, 2010

UGANDA COUNTRY REPORT: A synthesis of the Four SAPRI Studies

the Four SAPRI Studies
September 2001
Prepared By
Kevin Akoyi Makokha
Member, Uganda Technical Team
We acknowledge the contribution of the members of the SAPRI Civil Society and National
Steering Committees and the staff of the Uganda National NGO Forum for their guidance and
review of the report at its various stages and all those who provided the information that went
into the report. In particular we would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions made
by the participants of the first National Forum, district outreach workshops, National Economic
Literacy workshop and the second National Forum. Special thanks go to the members of the
SAPRI Technical Team in Uganda and at the global level for their technical guidance
throughout the process. Also sincere thanks go to the independent consultants who carried
out the studies and the various individuals and groups with whom they generated the
qualitative information in the nine districts.
Kevin Akoyi Makokha, M.Sc.
Vredeseilanden-Coopibo Uganda
Box 7844
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ....................................................................................................................2
TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................................................................3
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.....................................................................................................................7
SECTION I: INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................8
BACKGROUND TO SAPRI........................................................................................................................8
THE UGANDAN CONTEXT .......................................................................................................................8
THE MACRO-ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK.................................................................................................10
General policy changes ................................................................................................................10
Sectoral lending operations of the World Bank ...........................................................................11
THE SAPRI PROCESS IN UGANDA ........................................................................................................14
Scope of the study........................................................................................................................15
Limitations of the studies .................................................................................................................15
SECTION II: MAJOR FINDINGS OF THE STUDIES....................................................................16
STUDY I: THE PRIVATISATION PROCESS AND ITS IMPACT ON SOCIETY ...............................................16
Hypotheses Tested .......................................................................................................................16
Findings and impact analysis ..........................................................................................................17
People’s understanding of the privatisation process ....................................................................17
Economic objectives ....................................................................................................................17
Fiscal objectives ...........................................................................................................................17
Socio-political objectives .............................................................................................................18
Management of the divestiture process........................................................................................19
Gender and socio-economic dimension.......................................................................................19
Stakeholders’ participation in policy formulation and implementation ......................................20
Cost-benefit analysis of privatisation (financial and social costs) ...............................................20
SERVICES: HEALTH AND EDUCATION. ..................................................................................................21
Findings and impact analysis ..........................................................................................................21
Trends in social spending.............................................................................................................21
Access to social services..............................................................................................................22
The health sector ......................................................................................................................22
The education sector ................................................................................................................23
Gender and socio-economic dimension.......................................................................................24
Major components of the liberalisation policy ................................................................................25
Findings and impact analysis ..........................................................................................................25
Agricultural production................................................................................................................25
Farmers’ income ..........................................................................................................................26
Food security...............................................................................................................................27
The gender and socio-economic dimension.................................................................................27
Stakeholders’ participation in policy formulation .......................................................................28
Background .................................................................................................................................29
Findings and impact analysis ..........................................................................................................30
Definition of poverty....................................................................................................................30
Conceptual and methodological differences in defining poverty ................................................30
Gender and socio-economic dimension.......................................................................................31
National alleviation policies.........................................................................................................32
SECTION III: RECOMMENDATIONS AND ALTERNATIVES .................................................33
STUDY I: THE PRIVATISATION PROCESS AND ITS IMPACT ON SOCIETY ................................................33
SERVICES: HEALTH AND EDUCATION ...................................................................................................33
STUDY IV:THE DIFFERENCES IN PERCEPTIONS OF POVERTY................................................................35
SECTION IV: CONCLUSIONS .........................................................................................................35
ASAC - Agricultural Sector Adjustment Credit
ASAP - Agricultural Sector Adjustment Programme
AWEPON - African Women’s Economic Policy Network
CAS - Country Assistance Strategy of the World Bank
CASA - Citizens Assessment of Structural Adjustment
CBOs - Community Based Organisations
CSOs - Civil Society Organisations
CMB - Coffee Marketing Board
CSSC - Civil Society Steering Committee of SAPRI Uganda
D-GAP - The Development Group on Alternative Policies
DRC - Democratic Republic of Congo
LC - Local Council
LMB - Lint Marketing Board
EDP - Enterprise Development Project
ERC - Economic Recovery Credit
ERP - Economic Recovery Programme
ESAF - Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility
FSAC - Financial Sector Adjustment Credit
FSAP - Financial Sector Adjustment Programme
GDP - Gross Domestic Product
GOU - Government of Uganda
HIPC - Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative of the WB/IMF
HIV/AIDS - Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
IDA - International Development Association
IFIs - International Financial Institutions
IMF - International Monetary Fund
IT - Information Technology
ITK - Indigenous Technical Knowledge
MFPED - Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development
NGOs - Non-Governmental Organisations
NRM - National Resistance Movement
NSC - National Steering Committee of SAPRI Uganda
NYTIL - Nyanza Textile Industries Ltd.
PAPSCA - Programme for Alleviation of Poverty and Social Costs of Adjustment
PEAP - Poverty Eradication Action Plan
PERD - Public Enterprise Reform and Divestiture
PHS - Primary Health Strategy
PPAs - Participatory Poverty Assessment
PMB - Produce Marketing Board (PMB) and
PRSP - Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
PWDs - People With Disability
SAC - Structural Adjustment Credit
SAF - Structural Adjustment Facility
SAPs - Structural Adjustment Programmes
SAPRI - Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Initiative
SAPRIN - Structural Adjustment Participatory Review International Network
SOEs - State Owned Enterprises
UCB - Uganda Commercial Bank
UCDA - Uganda Coffee Development Authority
UDB - Uganda Development Bank
UIA - Uganda Investment Authority
URA - Uganda Revenue Authority
UPE - Universal Primary Education
UPPAP - Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Project
USE - Uganda Stock Exchange
A review of the impact of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) in Uganda was undertaken on four
aspects, namely: The Impact of Privatisation on Society; The impact of Public Expenditure Reform and
Management on Social Services Delivery; The Impact of Liberalisation on Agricultural Production and
Food Security and a desk review on The Differences in Perceptions of Poverty.
The study on Privatisation also revealed that there were gains and loses. For example, Government
managed to achieve its fiscal objective of raising tax revenue from the privatised companies. There
was consensus that privatisation has led to an increase in product quality and range on the market.
In addition, there was an overall rise in employment. However, the same study demonstrates how
government had to inject a lot of money into some of the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) before they
could be sold. In addition government was unable to prevent asset stripping and under-valuation of
net-worth of SOEs resulting in a poor recovery of proceeds from their sale. Even when there was an
overall rise in employment, the greatest increase of jobs created was in the lower cadre with hardly
new opportunities created at top management levels for nationals. Many people were retrenched prior
to privatisation and the right for the employees to unionise was greatly weakened.
Some of the gains obtained from the public expenditure reforms include macroeconomic stability and
relative increase in spending on social services. The gains were however, negated by substantial
increases in the cost of delivery of the social services amidst institutional weaknesses that did not
ensure that increased allocations were also translated into increased access to services by the poor.
Another key factor among others, which negates the gains, is the disproportionate rise in salaries of
public servants compared to the cost of living.
From the findings, there is overwhelming evidence that the impact of SAPs takes a political economy
dimension, with some groups benefiting from the reforms and others being adversely affected by the
same reforms, especially the poor and vulnerable groups. For example, women and men’s roles in the
economic and social domains continue to reflect a fundamental imbalance in their access to and
control over resources and productive activities. Furthermore, the reforms have had the effect of
substituting government’s provision of services and increasing the responsibilities that have
disproportionately fallen on women. In addition, liberalisation has increased the burden of women in a
typical rural family who often carry the greater portion of workload. It has also worsened the food
security situation as households responded to price signals within limited resources and technological
base by increasing cash crop production at the expense of food crop production.
The findings also show that conceptual and methodological approaches to defining and measuring
poverty explain the discrepancy in the perceptions between measured and perceived poverty.
If poverty eradication is to remain central to these policies, some aspects of SAPs, which clearly have
not worked well for the poor, need to be modified, and those that cannot work at all for the poor need
to be discontinued. Therefore, a mechanism is needed to ensure effective and genuine participation
of all stakeholders in taking these policies further and developing alternatives that are acceptable to
Background to SAPRI
The Structural Adjustment Participatory Review Initiative (SAPRI), is a process that started in 1995 at
international level, when a network of international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs),
participated in a campaign over the effects on developing countries of over fifty years of lending by the
International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in light of escalating poverty. At that time, the NGOs
approached the World Bank President to express their concern about the impact of SAPs on Civil
Society, especially the poor. This meeting resulted into an agreement to carry out a joint review by the
World Bank, the implementing Governments and Civil Society, of the Structural Adjustment
Programmes (SAPs) that are based on policies that are part and parcel of the IFIs’ joint lending to
poor countries. A World Bank /NGOs/Civil Society technical committee was then formed to oversee
the process.
The committee selected a lead organisation, the Development Group on Alternative Policies (D-GAP),
set up criteria for selection of countries, held negotiations with various Governments, introduced the
SAPRI process in the selected countries and developed a standard operating procedure. The SAPRI
process was launched in June 1997 in Washington D.C., and has been going on for the last four years
in 8 countries. In four of the Countries the Civil Society, World Bank and Governments did not reach
an agreement to carry out a joint exercise. Nevertheless Civil Society went ahead to carry out similar
studies in what became known as the Citizens Assessment of Structural Adjustment (CASA). All the
Civil society Organisations (CSOs) participating in the SAPRI and CASA processes in various
countries organised themselves under the SAPRI Network (SAPRIN).
This report is a synthesis of four discrete studies carried out in Uganda, which provide detailed
information for reference. Two of the studies were on the policies of Privatisation and public
expenditure management. One study was on the impact of trade liberalisation on the Agricultural
Sector and the fourth a desk review on the differences in perceptions of poverty. The studies were
intended to generate information from members of society mostly affected by SAPs, in order to inform
policy makers at national and international levels. The studies were also intended to provide possible
insight into viable alternatives to SAPs. This was the key contribution by the SAPRI process to the
policy formulation process of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and reforming
economies. Since the launch of SAPRI, the World Bank and IMF have shifted their lending
requirements to poor countries through the introduction of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers
(PRSPs), which, among other things, emphasise broader civil society participation in the formulation of
national policies on which lending is based. The Uganda PRSP has already taken on board some of
the points raised in this study.
This report is organised in three major parts: The introductory part which includes the country context,
the three parties in the tripartite arrangement for SAPRI, the methodology used, scope and limitations
of the study. The second part is comprised of the findings and impact analysis, including key issues
coming out of the four studies and the last section is on recommendations and alternatives for future
The Ugandan Context
Geographical Location and Environment: Uganda is situated in the Eastern part of Africa, bordered by
the Sudan to the North, Kenya to the East, Tanzania and Rwanda to the South and the Democratic
Republic of Congo to the West. Uganda has abundant natural resources, which, however, are under
serious threat from degradation due to poor management practices including and leading to
overgrazing, deforestation, siltation of water bodies, drying up of wet lands and poor agricultural
practices. Poverty, civil strife, wars, conflicting policies and poor enforcement of regulations
exacerbate these environmental problems.
The Government of Uganda (GOU): Uganda is currently governed under the movement system. The
National Resistance Movement (NRM) in 1986 introduced this system. Under this political system,
political parties are restricted. This is enshrined in the national constitution, promulgated in 1995. In
June 2000, Ugandans, voting in a referendum, chose to continue with the movement system of
Governance. Since then, however, more space has been opened up to political parties, allowing them
to operate their national offices. Under the movement system, representation in the Local Council (LC)
system, which is the political structure of the local government, is through electoral colleges, starting
from the village to the district. 30% of these seats are reserved for women, and 10% for People with
Disability (PWDs).
GOU has made institutional reforms to establish a decentralised system of Governance, with the
prime objective of devolving powers to the districts and sub-county levels. Currently, there are 56
districts, 167 counties and 893 Sub-counties and a total population estimated at 22 million people.
Although implementation of decentralisation started in 1997, internalisation of the system is yet to be
fully realised by the entire population and accepted by all Uganda’s development partners.
Civil Society: For purpose of SAPRI, Civil Society is used to refer to those institutions and individuals,
which are independent from the state and political parties but interact with and influence the state. It
comprises of a wide variety of organisations including: student associations, private media, trade
unions, diverse professional associations, producer groups, intellectuals, peasant associations,
informal networks, NGOs, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and individuals. With the
perception of an increasing space, civil society in Uganda today is growing in strength with the NGO
sub-sector being the more active category with their role in development acknowledged but constantly
changing. Although CSOs have concentrated on service delivery in the past, they are now
increasingly getting involved in policy dialogue with government and at international level.
Multi-lateral Institutions: Currently, a significantly bigger percentage of Uganda’s national budget
(roughly 52%) is dependent on external aid with the World Bank and IMF by far the biggest lenders to
Government. This gives these Development Partners a lot of influence on the type of polices that are
implemented by Government, especially economic reform policies. Uganda’s outstanding debt stock,
mainly owed to multi-lateral institutions stands at US $ 3.574 as at the end of June 2001. Debt
servicing costs remain high, although with the recent enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries
(HIPC) Initiative, it now accounts for 8% of export earnings. However, the level of external debt
remains a significant constraint to economic development.
Socio cultural Environment: Much as Uganda’s economic performance over the past decade has been
considerable, and national statistics indicate that absolute poverty has reduced, with the population
living below the poverty line moving from 56% in 1992 to 44% in 1997 to 35% in the year 2000, the
poverty situation is still bad. The gap between the rich and the poor has widened. The multiple faces
of poverty vary between districts and regions, and among different categories of the population.
Poverty remains more prevalent in the East and in the North where it is at 67%, and women are
proportionately poorer than their male counterparts. The situation is worsened by the HIV/AIDS
pandemic, which has had adverse effects on human and natural resources as well as household
incomes. According the UN agencies country assessment of Uganda, HIV prevalence in pregnant
women was as high as 9.5% by 1998.
Uganda enjoys a rich cultural heritage stemming from the country’s ethnic diversity. The 1995 Uganda
constitution identifies 56 ethnic groups. Although there has been Western and Asian cultural and
technological influence, Ugandans are bonded in ethnic groups by common cultural values, norms,
beliefs, attitudes, rituals, language, food, dress, music and the visual arts. While some of these values
are good, others, such as early marriages and female genital mutilation, are negative and are
retrogressive to development. Of specific significance is the gross gender imbalance that penetrates
all sections and levels of the Ugandan society and is skewed against women. Corruption is another
evil that erodes the Ugandan society and can be largely attributed to the degeneration of cultural
values as a direct consequence of years of lawlessness and turmoil. In the area of information
technology (IT), Uganda has not yet fully taken advantage of the global revolution. Lack of
appreciation of IT is exacerbated by illiteracy and ignorance among the population, low level of
technological development and poverty, which hampers affordability of IT.
The Macro-Economic Framework
Prior to 1986, the performance of the Uganda economy was characterised by high inflation running at
annual rate of 240 percent; high dependence on one export crop with coffee contributing 50% of tax
and 70% of export earnings; limited scope of external borrowing severely constraining government’s
ability to meet its obligations. In addition, the economy was characterised by a large public sector with
private sector predominantly subsistence; and public expenditure, exports and investment each
estimated at 9% of GDP.
Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) were first introduced in Uganda in 1981, but failed they to take
off. They were re-introduced in 1987 under the present National Resistance Movement (NRM)
Government. Active implementation, however, took effect from 1992 to the present time. SAPs
included a package of economic adjustment policies broadly divided into stabilisation and fiscal
policies, supported by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, respectively. These
policies are closely linked, their implementation overlap, and different components of the package
have multiple impact.
At an average economic growth rate of 6%, Uganda is considered one of the success stories in Sub-
Saharan Africa in respect of performance of SAPs. However, CSOs worldwide and in Uganda have
argued that SAPs have affected different categories of people differently, having had adverse effects,
particularly on the poorest sections of society. SAPs, they contend, have been imposed without
adequate consultation or participation of the population. SAPs have also failed to make proper use of
local Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK), and have been poorly designed, implemented, monitored
and evaluated. SAPRI studies therefore, were meant to examine the impact of SAPs, positive and
negative so as inform future policy formulation.
General policy changes
Since 1987, seven major structural adjustment reform processes have been under-taken by the
Government of Uganda comprising of two major parts: (i) The Economic Recovery and Structural
Adjustment Programme of the World Bank/IMF and (ii) Sectoral Lending Operations of the World
Bank. The objective of the first is outlined below. The overall objective of the second part was to
target specific sectors to compliment the adjustment programmes (details can be found in the SAPRI
information team report).
Major aspects of the macro-economic framework include:
1. Trade liberalisation and the creation of a conducive environment for investment.
2. Increasing domestic revenue mobilisation
3. Prioritisation of public expenditure by releasing all allocations for the high priority recurrent and
development expenditure.
4. Improved public sector management through civil service reform.
Within this framework, the various loans from the WB/IMF were used to achieve the intended
objectives as outlined below.
The economic recovery and structural adjustment programme of the World Bank/IMF
1. Economic Recovery Credit (ERC) I and II
2. Structural Adjustment Credits (SAC) I, II and III
3. Agricultural Sector Adjustment Credit (ASAC)
4. Financial Sector Adjustment Credit (FSAC)
5. Programme for Alleviation of Poverty and Social Costs of Adjustment (PAPSCA).
6. The Highly Indebted Poor Countries’ Initiative (HIPC)
7. The Country Assistance Strategies (CAS).
Sectoral lending operations of the World Bank
These were implemented as specific projects in the various sectors and included; the road sector
institutional support technical assistance project, Private sector competitiveness project,
Environment management capacity building project, Cotton sub-sector development project, and the
railways project. Fourth Education project, Fourth highway project, Small towns water and sanitation
project, Transport rehabilitation project, Agricultural sector management project, Agricultural
development project, Sugar rehabilitation project, Public enterprise project, Institutional capacity
building project and forestry rehabilitation project.
Key aspects of the seven programmes are summarised in the following table:
Program type Timefra
Amount in
USD$ millions
Main objectives
ERC 1 1986/7
253 · Financial stability
· Low inflation
· Balance of payments
· Improved capacity utilisation of existing industries
· Rehabilitation of infrastructure
· Improved pricing policies and improved resource allocation for enhanced
efficiency in the public sector
ERC II 1986/7
58 · Reduction of inflation (which was at 45%) to single figures
· Strengthening of balance of payments
· Maintain a growth rate of 5% and a rise in per capita income of 2%.
SAC 1&II 1991/4
125 · Develop the private sector by reforming the exchange rate and trade
policies; promoting the investment through the establishment of Uganda
Investment Authority; fostering investor confidence
· Improved public sector effectiveness through improved revenue
collection by creating Uganda Revenue Authority; Re-orienting public
expenditure to Priority Programme Areas (PPAs) – Health, education,
water and sanitation and agricultural extension services; civil service
ASAC 1991 to
106 · Promotion of agricultural growth and diversification through institutional,
price and tax reforms; strengthening agricultural research and extension
· Stabilisation of the coffee sector
· Balance of payment support for policy reform.
FSAC 1993/4
100 · Maintenance of a coherent macro-economic policy
· Positive rates of deposits and preferential credits
· Lowering non-preferential lending rates
· Reduction in directed credit programmes
· Promoting competition in the banking sector
· Development of money and capital markets
SAC III 1997/8
to 00/1
125 · Fiscal sustainability through expansion of revenue base
· Improvement of the management of public expenditure consistent with
decentralisation and reduction of fiscal burden of SOEs.
PAPSCA 1988 to
106 · Address urgent social concerns of Uganda’s vulnerable groups through
collaborative programmes between GOU, World Bank and NGOs.
(later PEAP
revised /PRSP)
· Rapid economic growth and structural transformation
· Ensuring good governance and security
· Increasing incomes of the poor
· Improving the quality of life of the poor
HIPC 1 and II From
· Render debt obligations manageable by reducing debt-service to debt
stock ratio
· Enable Government to have resources to increase funding on basic
social services
The SAPRI Process in Uganda
In Uganda, the SAPRI process was introduced by the African Women’s Economic Policy Network
(AWEPON), a regional NGO working in East, central and Southern Africa. Initial mobilisation of
stakeholders within Uganda was done in 1997. A Civil Society Steering Committee (CSSC),
comprising of interested CSOs was formed. The Uganda National NGO Forum was selected as the
lead organisation, and later, a National Steering Committee (NSC), comprising of Government of
Uganda representatives from MFPED, the World Bank in Uganda and representatives of CSSC was
formed. A tripartite technical committee was also set up to provide technical back up to the steering
Working in partnership with Government and World Bank, Civil society led the whole process, which
involved, administration, mobilisation of stakeholders to participate, selection of SAP issues for study,
drafting the TOR for the studies, selection of independent local consultants and reviewing the reports
from the studies. Although in the initial stages there was full and high level participation, the
protracted nature of the process could not allow this to be sustained. However, civil society saw this
as a downplaying of the importance of the exercise on the part of Government and the World Bank.
SAPRI in Uganda was fundamentally a tripartite exercise led by Civil Society, involving the World
Bank and Government of Uganda. The research methodologies used combined the participatory,
political economy and gender approaches. This is the value SAPRI adds to the many studies that
have been conducted in the past to assess SAP impact using econometric approaches.
Due to the importance of the exercise and the wide ranging opinions involved, for it to be successful,
there was need for clarity of the methodologies used in order to ensure that researchers and
stakeholders contributed meaningfully to the process. This was done through methodological
workshops, which were organised at regional level for technical team members and at national level
for the research teams. Experts in the application of these methodologies in analysing SAPs
facilitated the workshops.
The participatory approach was used to ensure that the research process directly involved affected
groups. Civil society was mobilised through outreach workshops in 20 districts and at national level, in
a first national forum. This process resulted into the selection of priority SAP policy issues to be
studied and the hypotheses against which they would be studied.
A national economic literacy workshop was also held to equip civil society participating in the SAPRI
process with skills and knowledge to enable them to articulate their views in relation to the SAP
policies. At the same workshop, the researchers presented preliminary findings of the studies to the
district representatives, for debate and validation. In the field, information was generated using focus
group discussions and questionnaire administration. On completion of the studies, feedback was given
on the findings at a second national forum, to all those who participated in the information generation
in the various districts and stakeholders at national level. Gaps to be filled by the researcher were
pointed out and findings were validated once more.
The political economy approach was used to ensure that in carrying out the studies on each of the
SAP measures, impact of the policies on various categories of the Uganda population was analysed,
particularly in trying to understand who the losers and winners were, and why. This was done through
interviews with the various categories and the analysis of the information generated.
The gender approach: For purposes of the SAPRI methodology, gender was defined as socially
constructed relations, which lead to differences in roles, rights responsibilities and status, assigned to
men, women, boys and girls. The gender approach took into consideration the four main areas of
analysis, i.e. gender roles and responsibilities, position and condition of men and women, and access
to and control over resources. The impact of SAPs on the various categories of the Ugandan
population as far as their roles, rights, responsibilities, access to and control over resources and
benefits, and power in society is concerned were analysed. It also included an analysis in relation to
specific marginalised groups within society, in terms of gender, age, location and disability.
Scope of the study
SAPRI strategically combined qualitative information generated in the field and quantitative data
obtained from available literature. Fieldwork took place in the following nine districts, selected
according to agro-ecological classification: Kampala, Jinja, Kumi, Kabale, Masaka, Kapchorwa, Rakai,
Apac, and Masindi. Desk reviews of literature related to selected SAP policies and background
documents of the lending processes of the World Bank were reviewed by a SAPRI information team.
Each of the researchers, who conducted the studies, also carried out literature review in relation to the
specific studies. The results of the studies were then used to make recommendations for the way
Limitations of the studies
1. The tripartite arrangement necessitated a lot of effort for consensus building. For sensitive
issues like the impact of SAPs, such consensus was not always reached nor did it come easily.
2. A number of time-related constraints were experienced including:
· The period it took for the studies to be completed was long. This meant that a lot of
changes had to be made during the process, posing a problem of continuity and the setting
in of fatigue.
· There were delays resulting from changes in management experienced by the lead
organisation and the SAPRI process in general.
· More time pressure resulted from poor performance by some of the consultants, which then
led to change of consultants for some of the studies.
3. Government participation was limited only to representation from one ministry MFPED, and not
from the line ministries of the sectors studied (Agriculture, Education and Health). This is
because MFPED was the only ministry involved in initiating and negotiating SAPs. This limited
the amount of interaction by these ministries.
4. Due to limited funding, coverage of the studies was more limited than expected at the outset.
It also meant a lot of voluntary efforts in the process and this made the process slower than it
should have been.
5. Limited exchange of information among participation countries within the region and
Uganda chose to study two policy issues, one sectoral issue and a desk review on poverty. For all the
studies, the purpose was to assess the impact the various policies have had on different categories of
the population; to understand those who lost and gained; how the impact has improved or worsened
gender relations and the expression of the impact of SAPs by the people themselves. The studies
also sought to understand the level of participation by key stakeholders in the policy formulation
process and their understanding of these policies and how they affect them. The following is a
summary of the findings.
Study I: The Privatisation Process and its Impact on Society
In the pre-reform period, Uganda, like many developing countries created SOEs for many reasons
including the need to balance or replace weak private sectors; raising investment ratios to higher
levels and extraction of capital surplus for re-investment in the economy. Other reasons were to
transfer technology to strategic sectors; generation of employment; and making goods more readily
available at affordable costs. Although some SOEs have been productive and profitable, a large
number have been economically inefficient, incurring heavy financial losses, and absorbing
disproportionate shares of domestic credit. This is largely attributed to Uganda’s violent political
history and depressed economy.
Predictably therefore, one of the key features of SAPs has been privatisation, mainly focusing on
liquidation of former SOEs, contract management and change of ownership from Government to the
private sector. Uganda embarked on the privatisation of SOEs in 1993 and is still continuing with the
process with 34 of the 139 SOEs listed for privatisation still remaining to be privatised. Privatisation
was intended to result into fiscal benefits and equity-enhancing effects through income distribution
effects, reduction of inequalities in access to goods and services by limiting opportunities for
favouritism, corruption and differential fixing of rents that had penetrated the economy with extensive
state controls and subsidies.
There are persistent civil society concerns that privatisation has hurt the socio-economic welfare of the
majority. That benefit has gone almost entirely to the managers of the process. The perception is that
government has not facilitated adequate participation of the locals in the process. This resulted in the
feeling that locals have been robbed of national assets, which were built through accumulation of
taxpayers' contributions. Also there was a perception that the process had been poorly managed and
not properly sequenced. There was also no appropriate institutional framework to facilitate the
process. In addition a number of SOEs were undervalued and more money was spent on preparing
and restructuring the enterprises for divestiture than has been realised from the sales.
Purpose of the Study
The study therefore aimed at assessing the privatisation policy and its impact on society as a whole.
The study was also to specifically critically analyse the formulation of the policy, its implementation
and management.
Hypotheses Tested
The following hypotheses were identified:
¨ As a result of privatisation, employment in the affected sectors has declined leading to welfare
¨ Technical and economic efficiency as well as wages have improved, leading to welfare benefits.
¨ The privatisation process has increased the scope of corruption.
¨ The privatisation process has led to a decline in the country's net asset position.
¨ Privatisation has increased domestic violence, child labour, and early marriages and women’s
workload household responsibility.
¨ Privatisation has led to regional and ethnic imbalance in employment opportunities and benefits.
In the end, due to certain limitations the hypothesis concerning increased domestic violence, child
labour and early marriages for women was not tested.
Findings and impact analysis
People’s understanding of the privatisation process
· Large proportions of people interviewed (68%) were fairly well informed about the program,
however, they believe that the policy was not home-grown but foreign induced. According to
respondents, privatisation in Uganda has been initiated to enrich Government officials, give foreign
investors windfall profits and as a way of re-colonisation period.
Economic objectives
The economic objectives were: to increase the volume of goods and services; raise the overall
efficiency of the economy; generate revenue from the sale of SOEs; improve upon the quality of good
and services and; to stimulate private investment. The analysis shows that on average the
government attained about half of its economic objective.
· Product quality and diversification: There was consensus that privatisation has led to increased
supply of quality goods and services on the market especially essential commodities (sugar,
salt, soap, etc), which, prior to privatisation, were in short supply and a monopoly of SOEs in
their production and distribution. 62% of respondents felt that this part of the Government’s
economic objective was achieved.
· Capacity utilisation and profitability: According to study report, privatisation has led to
increased industrial capacity utilisation and profitability. This is evidenced by statistical
information indicating that capacity utilisation of the privatised firms has increased by 11% on
average. A remarkable growth has been in the beverages industry.
· Sales revenue: Majority of the respondents (83%) was of the view that Government did not
achieve its objective of raising money from the sale of SOEs. This is because most of the
SOEs that were sold were under-valued and besides, Government injected a lot of money prior
to divestiture. Examples to support this include Lake Victoria Hotel and Nile Hotel International
where large amounts of money were sank into them just before privatisation.
· Private investment: Majority of the respondents (71%) indicated that the privatisation process
has not stimulated private investment. The highest bidder method, which was largely used,
excluded those with little capital, majority of whom are Ugandans – the presumed owners of
the SOEs. Also the low proceeds obtained from the privatisation process have not enhanced
the indigenous private sector development because a big portion of the proceeds was
‘borrowed’ by individuals supposedly ‘well connected’ to powerful people in government.
· Foreign direct investment: This increased but as a result of a combination of factors such as a
more conducive business environment and political stability.
Fiscal objectives
These objectives were: raising tax revenue from the privatised firms; reducing subsidies to SOEs;
overcoming asset stripping in SOEs; and investing more in social services and infrastructure.
· Tax revenue: The findings the study are that Government managed to achieve part of its fiscal
objective of raising tax revenue from the privatised companies, and this is partly explained by the
increased capacity utilisation of the private firms.
· Reduction of subsidies: Although the majority of respondents (82%) believe that the government
has fulfilled its objective of reducing subsidies to SOEs, available statistical data indicates that the
level of subsidies has more or less remained constant for the period 1994 – 1998, fluctuating
between Uganda shillings 186 billion and 210 billion. This is besides the fact that government
injected a lot of money into some SOEs just before they were put for bids. This was the case with
Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB), where Uganda shillings 4 billion was spent on restructuring and
preparing it for sale. Others are Uganda Development Bank (UDB) and Lake Victoria Hotel.
Further analysis suggests that while it is true that the overall level of subsidies is not less, that of
cash subsidies coming directly from the budget is less. Since it is these subsidies, which affect
most immediately other programmes, privatisation did have some effect of freeing up some
resources for other programmes.
· Asset stripping and corruption: Majority of the respondents (77%), indicated that Government did
not achieve the objective of minimising asset stripping from the SOEs, by both management and
employees. A case in point is the Uganda Airlines Corporation, which was systematically stripped
of its assets including ground-handling services. An investigation of this case by Parliament
revealed influence peddling, underhand dealings and corruption, which were largely perpetrated by
Government officials.
· Although the utilisation of the divestiture proceeds has been provided publicly, there is discontent
about valuation of net-worth of SOEs privatised and collection of the proceeds. For example, by
the end of 1993, only 28 out of 55 enterprises sold, (51%), had been fully paid for. 83% of the
respondents felt that Government failed to raise money from the SOEs.
Socio-political objectives
These included broadening of private ownership of the enterprises, minimising the role of Government
in the economy, creating more jobs, setting up a property owning middle class and fight corruption and
abuse of public office.
· The performance of the government on this objective has been very poor, rated at 32% by
· Ownership structure: The majority of respondents (82%) are of the view that most enterprises are
owned by foreigners. This, however, is true if it is the value of assets considered. In terms of
numbers, the figures obtained from the privatisation unit, as of 31 December 1999, only 22% of the
63 SOEs sold belonged to foreign investors. This is based on the fact that most Ugandans are
constrained by lack of capital to purchase high value SOEs, and the problem is compounded by
absence of a stock market. Besides, there is no credit program to enable local private
entrepreneurs purchase the SOEs.
· The role of the state: Majority of the respondents (95 %) believe that the privatisation program has
reduced the involvement of government in the economy, hence weakening the state.
· Job Creation: Employees indicated that although additional jobs may have been created the
majority were low cadre jobs. 77% of respondents were of the view that privatisation resulted in
total increase in employment. However, in almost all SOEs that have been restructured, the laying
off of employees has always been an inevitable aspect of the reform. Examples include Nyanza
Textile Industries Ltd. (NYTIL) and Coffee Marketing Board (CMB), Produce Marketing Board
(PMB) and Lint Marketing Board (LMB). In some SOEs the fallout far exceeded the new jobs
created. Besides, hardly any job opportunities were created at top management levels. Other
concerns were lack of job security and lack of the guarantee to claim one’s right.
· Property owning middle class: 82% of the respondents revealed that the objective of creating a
property owning middle class has not been achieved because the few Ugandans who bought the
privatised SOEs constitute a very small proportion of the entire population and have a negligible
impact on the well being of the majority.
· Corruption: An overwhelming majority of the respondents (93%) were of the view that the
privatisation program has done very little to reduce corruption and the abuse of public office. They
feel that the Public Enterprise Reform and Divestiture (PERD) unit was not transparent when
negotiating with investors. For instance, not all potential bidders were aware when an enterprise
was due for sale.
· However, the study pointed out that in the SOEs that have been sold, corruption and abuse of
office have substantially reduced.
Management of the divestiture process
· Respondents (86%) expressed dissatisfaction with the management of the divestiture process due
to unclear institutional mechanisms and bureaucratic decision-making procedures. Besides, the
fact that the Ugandan public was not provided with enough information on the privatisation
process, for example a directory of investment opportunities like in other countries, people’s
confidence in the fairness of the process could not have been enhanced. People were also not
aware of the modes of privatisation e.g. sale of shares, repossession, debt equity swap, lease,
management contracts and creditors’ liquidation. All they knew was the sale of assets.
· Divestiture was embarked on in 1992, without the enactment of the PERD statute and this led to
the suspension of the process in 1993 by the National Resistance Council NRC – the then
equivalent of a parliament) and the enactment of the PERD statute No.9 of 1993.
· The criteria for classifying SOEs that were to be privatised were not well defined and the number
of SOEs in the five categories kept on changing with time.
· Utilisation of the divestiture proceeds: There has been public concern as to where the divestiture
funds go. The proceeds are broken down into divestiture proceeds, liabilities assumed by the
buyers and net sale proceeds. People were not informed nor were they convinced that proceeds
from SOEs were used to pay terminal benefits of workers, parastatal debt, professional fees and
statutory expenses and public enterprise caretaker loans and costs.
Gender and socio-economic dimension
· Privatisation was more costly to former female workers in SOEs because of their initial positions
within the companies in which they were mostly in low or non-specialised jobs and thus forming
the highest proportion of the laid off labour force.
· Post privatisation shows female workers as having increasingly gained employment in privatised
enterprises particularly in the service sector, especially the food industry. However, this not
perceived to be an outcome of privatisation but rather influence by the overall reform in the
economic and social systems.
· There is a general feeling that Government did not achieve its objective of increased resources to
social service with savings from the SOEs. Instead they feel that the resources that Government
used in the area of social services and infrastructure came from donors and not SOEs, e.g.
Universal Primary Education (UPE).
· Privatisation has worsened the demand for non-specialised skilled labour, and since this is the
category where the majority of the poor and women fall, it means such categories lost out.
· Remuneration levels, wages and working conditions of employees: Employees interviewed
reported an improvement in working conditions. Including improved earnings, better fringe benefits
(e.g. medical insurance coverage and loan facilities), greater opportunities for career
enhancement, no discrimination between women and men in terms of payments, introduction of
new technology and better conditions in the production process.
· Unfortunately, the improved benefits have come at a cost of increased workload and in several
cases, job insecurity.
· Those who were laid off during the privatisation process expressed discontentment due to
inadequate payment, which were never in time. They specifically mentioned failure to support their
families and educate their children following being laid off even where they had been paid terminal
· The laid off also felt that they were never empowered with new skills for survival in a different
· According to many, no provisions, were put in place for an employee preference scheme to
increase opportunity to acquire ownership on favourable terms whether in form of shares,
purchase of physical assets or 100 percent buy-out.
· There is a perception that privatisation might have led to exploitation of consumers through pricing
mechanisms by the private entrepreneurs, even though the move was towards rational pricing
following removal of subsidies.
· There is a perception that the removal of subsidies could have worsened income inequality. The
low-income category is more likely to have been hurt by this adjustment.
· Employees complained about wide income discrepancies between the low income and top
management cadres, during the privatisation process. Besides a salary of Uganda Shillings 2m
that members of top management receive per month, there are a number of fringe benefits, which
are not enjoyed by the low and middle, income cadres.
Stakeholders’ participation in policy formulation and implementation
· In most of the SOEs, workers hardly participated in the formulation and implementation of policy
changes. However, in three companies namely Uganda Hardware, Uganda Motors Ltd., and the
Central Government Purchasing Corporation Ltd., workers participated in the process and
eventually purchased the SOEs. In the rest of the SOEs, workers were only invited to discussions
regarding their terminal benefits.
Cost-benefit analysis of privatisation (financial and social costs)
· Financial cost: The financial resources used to set up PERD programs were mobilised from the
International Development Association (IDA). Loans amounting to US$ 15.4m were used for the
Enterprise Development Project (EDP), of this 62 per cent went into the financing of recurrent
costs (Administrative expenses).
· Social costs : Private enterprises are motivated by maximisation of profits. The emphasis on cost
efficiency and market responsiveness inevitably leads to the dismantling of a greater part of the
former SOEs’ labour forces (a kind of shock resulting from restructuring and lay offs) not
withstanding the overall increase in total employment.
· Impact on households: At household level, although most of them appreciate the increased range
of products and services, respondents indicated that many of them couldn’t support their families
unless they receive some support from well-to-do relatives (transfers). This is attributed to the
extended family social system that obliges the better-off families to cater for the poor in anticipation
of future freedom. This seems to have minimised the impact of the poverty on the rural poor. In
urban areas, however, SAPs have impacted on the urban more negatively because such people
are expected not to get support from anybody but instead to give support. The urban people do not
get any remittances and the consequence is that some of these families have failed to raise school
fees for children; meet their daily meal requirements, and even attend to health care”.
Study II: The Impact of Public Expenditure Management under SAPs on the Basic Social
Services: Health and Education.
The goal of SAPs as regards fiscal operations and public expenditure management in Uganda was to
reduce government expenditures as a major instrument for the control of inflation. In 1990/91 after
some years of implementing SAPs, fiscal crisis was experienced resulting in dramatic increase in
inflation and reduction in per capita growth rate to 2 percent. To contain the fiscal crisis, the
Government in 1992 embarked on spending cuts and control by keeping expenditures within available
revenue (Cash Budget) and raising revenue through a combination of institutional changes. During
this period, social spending, through a core budget system, focused on priority areas, which included
primary education, primary health care, water and sanitation, agricultural research and extension, and
roads. On the part of Government and the World Bank/IMF, the belief was that public expenditure
reforms would lead to the restoration of price stability and improvement in the cost-effectiveness of the
provision of social services.
Civil Society however, believes that the freeze on the salaries and wages in the civil service and stateowned
enterprises has led to a decline in real wages of public service providers, a factor that is
blamed for the resultant poor social services. It further argues that whereas Government is
implementing a well-intentioned policy of UPE, the quality has deteriorated remarkably with teacher to
pupil ratio currently at 1:100, the school infrastructure has remained inadequate and the future
prospects are not very clear. In the health sector the civil society acknowledges that whereas
government is struggling to implement a Primary Health Strategy (PHS), it is built on a very weak
health system and is coming too late. The burden of disease is still very high, compounded by
poverty, a very low doctor to patient ratio and uncoordinated research.
Hypotheses Tested
The following four hypotheses were selected:
1. As a result of the public expenditure management reforms, expenditure on social services has
declined leading to poorer social services, particularly health and education at lower levels.
2. Policy reforms have not improved access to basic social services for all sectors of the
population that require them.
3. There is a gender differential impact under SAPs.
4. Public expenditure management, which has been characterised by inadequate provision of
development funds to districts, has resulted in poor financial management, decline and unequitable
distribution of social services.
Findings and impact analysis
Trends in social spending
· Public expenditure increased during SAP, financed partly by extra local revenue and aid and thus
availing additional resources for provision of social services and other needs. Expenditure in
education rose from Shs. 1,475 million (1988/89) to Shs. 3,694 million (1997/98) while per capita
expenditure on health rose from Shs. 515 in 1988/89 to Shs. 1215 in 1997/98 (1990/91 base).
· The rise in social expenditures was a result of improvement in the composition of aggregate
expenditure towards social sectors (through cash budget and specific projects); and increase in
government spending as a share of GDP. At the start of SAP, government spending as share of
GDP was too low. Increase in real per capita spending in social sector was not only a result of
policy choice but also partly a result of the politics of affirmative action.
· While greater aggregate public expenditure on health and education was advocated for and
realised later during SAP period (1997), pertinent issues that would guarantee actual improvement
in social indicators were not addressed. These included improving allocations within the sectors
and efficiency use of resources as well as motivation of employees.
· Per capita increase in social spending was outweighed by negative increase in relative prices of
health and education. Costs in the two sectors rose more than overall costs implying that less was
bought/provided from increased in social spending.
· Although resources are available to hire personnel, staff levels at facilities (schools and health
centres) in some areas and districts of the country remain low for effective provision of services.
The local constraints include lack of incentives such as housing.
· It is acknowledged that with decentralisation, there has been improvement in flow of resources to
the districts and accountability is improving however, the resources are still too inadequate to
ensure proper delivery of social services.
· Participation in policy formulation at local government is still very low. This means technical
people at the centre design and develop policies for implementation by the people at local level but
only based on their imagination.
· Public spending in health is skewed towards curative services with preventive and public health
measures receiving a small proportion. The poor have limited access to public facilities (hospitals)
where much of the curative care is provided. Moreover, it is in these facilities where cost-sharing
requirements are most prohibitive to the detriment of the poor. Most premature deaths in Uganda
are from preventable diseases.
· For many people, health services did not improve despite increased spending during the SAP
· Poor nutrition is one of the main cause of ill health and stunting in children.
· Direct measures of health status of the population were less satisfactory. The proportion of
children malnourished on various measures showed no improvement.
· Up to 1997, much of the public spending on primary education did not reach the beneficiary.
About 36% of resources reached schools. This has improved to about 70% in recent years as a
result of decentralisation. There is also an improvement in transparency in resource disbursement
to local governments.
Access to social services
The health sector
· Immunisation coverage has continued to improve and these see, to be the only preventive
services that the poor are benefiting from. Proportion of children receiving full immunisation rose
by 60% (from a coverage of 31% to one of 49%) in 1998.
· Although there was increase in the number of health facilities but their utilisation remains limited by
lack of complementary inputs like drugs, staff and recurrent funds. Despite improvements in social
spending, social indicators especially in the health sector remain poor. The implication here is that
access did not improve.
· Although there were minimal increases in wages out of the increases in public expenditure. The
increase were a little above annual inflation rates and inadequate to provide a living wage. This
meant low morale and poor quality services for the people.
· In spite of increased spending in health and introduction of cost sharing, services have not
improved. Another impediment to access is poor Patient-Staff relations.
· A significant number of people receive health services outside public, and thus not benefiting from
the increase in public health spending during SAP. In 1990/96, 25% of lowest income reported
receiving no medical attention either in public or private clinics. More patients reported are more
likely to select private or non-governmental facility in seeking for medical care.
· Poor and the rich make equal use of outpatient health facilities implying that benefits from
subsidies benefit the rich.
· Maternal services are limited for a majority of the rural women. Even where Government policy
made a provision for free services for maternal care, this was not implemented in the rural
hospitals, where the services were costed, especially delivery.
· Health facilities serving the poor experience persistent and long periods of drug stock out, which
subsequently acts as disincentive to access public health services.
· In the absence of public measures to curb stock shortages, cost-sharing funds were introduced to
drug shortage gaps and provide additional resources for staff welfare and motivation in the face of
low salaries/wages in most health facilities. Cost-sharing however, works against the poor who
rely on public health services.
· Recruitment of specialised health workers (i.e. laboratory technicians, Dental Assistants) as
required at lower health facilities is problematic due to poor and low remuneration and other
facilities offered in rural areas compared to urban areas. In addition, such specialised workers
have access to private clinics in urban areas where they can receive additional pay during out of
work time. They thus opt to work in urban areas.
· There is no special consideration for HIV/AIDS patients to access free medication. HIV/AIDS
further exacerbates the health and nutritional problems in Uganda.
The education sector
In the education sector, it is important to note here that there was no systematic increase in share of
education in recurrent budget until 1997 following introduction of UPE, which substantially increased
public spending especially on primary education. This was a result of a political decision not a SAP
· Prices of providing education service rose substantially relative to other prices by about 68
· Available enrolment statistics for primary level show that for period 1987 to 1996, enrolment was
stagnant at around 2.5 million; increasing to over 5 million after introduction of UPE. Besides, there
has been improvement in number of teachers, classroom and textbooks since 1997; out of the
additional public resources. However, the increases continue to be overwhelmed by upsurge of
enrolled numbers following implementation of UPE, resulting in poor input/pupil indicators. These
measures will, of necessity, take time to arrest the drop in quality of education and the production
of pupils that are able to remain literate and numerate after seven years of limited transfer of those
· Besides, the subject range taught in schools even after UPE are not practical and applicable in the
society in a manner that would create employment. Uganda education is exam oriented.
· Level of education service provision remained poor prior to 1997. Since 1997, primary education
service provision has continued to be overwhelmed by the surge of students following the
implementation of UPE.
· Public spending on education prior to 1997 was inefficiently allocated and targeted: Government
spending per student is skewed towards beneficiaries at the upper levels of education.
· Prior to 1997 poorest sections of the population benefited less than the richest, with disparities
between the poor and rich worsening with increasing level of education. Burden of the cost of
education was borne by parents to the detriment of poor. While UPE reduced this burden, it still
exists at secondary and tertiary levels of education. Other studies have shown that there is a
marked drop out of girls after seven years of primary education.
· Role of communities is currently not well defined, leading to many conflicting policy statements.
· Studies carried out by UNEB in 1999 show that after six years of UPE, 52.9% of pupils in towns
and 97.7% of pupils in village cannot read and write.
Gender and socio-economic dimension
· The health expenditure was skewed towards curative care; ignoring the preventive care, where
most the poor especially the women and the children would benefit.
· The poor especially women are unable to afford health services under the cost-sharing
arrangements either forego medical care or resort to home care treatment, suggesting the need to
strengthen the community health services.
· There is a gender-differentiated impact of HIV/AIDS, especially given that women provide nursing
care for the household and the fact they cannot afford medicare.
· Maternal health services are reported inadequate by the rural women; and the available access is
further restrained by the cost sharing.
· In education, the girl child and the handicapped did not benefit until recently when UPE was
introduced but there are still cultural constraints that still prevent their full access to primary
· Participation rates by the girls decline at higher levels of education.
· A number of the disadvantaged are still outside the formal education system even with UPE in
· Although reduction in the size of the public sector through retrenchment of public servants and
privatisation was achieved, the savings from these reductions did not translate into the intended
rise of salaries to a living wage level for those retained. As a result public employees are unable to
afford the services.
· Social costs of adjustment of retrenched civil servants were severe. The situation was worsened
by delays in payment of severance package coupled with low pensions, which reduced the
capacity of the families to access and afford the services. Besides that, families had to relocate
into cheaper accommodation. This had a direct impact on the education of the children and
families’ access to health services.
· During SAP implementation, liberalisation benefited only the richer categories of the society who
could take advantage of the increased prices and available markets. The rural poor therefore, lost
out, and yet the worsening terms of trade and insurgency in parts of North, East and Western
Uganda worsened the situation. All these factors negatively affected the income levels of the poor
and therefore their ability to access and afford social services.
Study III: The Impact of Liberalisation on Agricultural Production and Food Security.
One of the key structural reforms that the Government of Uganda implemented in the early 1990s,
with support of World Bank, was the liberalisation of price and market of both internal and external
trade. Internal trade reforms entailed the abolition of marketing monopolies, de-regulation of price
controls and free movement of produce and other goods. External trade liberalisation included
liberalisation of foreign exchange management, removal of trade license restrictions, abolition of the
requirement to relinquish foreign exchange earning to government, through the Central Bank, and
abolition of export taxes. A specific interest was taken by SAPRI to stuffy the impact of this SAP
policy on the agricultural sector, which is the most important in the Ugandan economy.
According to Government and the World Bank, such reforms were aimed at increasing the volume of
trade, attracting foreign exchange inflows, increasing efficiency in marketing, and improving the
producer incentives of farmers. They further argue that this has been one of the most successful
policies under SAPs and has led to a dramatic improvement in the terms of trade for farmers,
especially cash crop farmers.
Civil Society however, contends that much as the liberalisation policy has resulted into increased
inflow of foreign exchange, the terms of trade for the agricultural sector, which employs 80% of the
labour force, have deteriorated. Besides, liberalisation of trade has exposed the farmers to ill advice
from non-professional traders who assume the role of agricultural extension workers. Even though
agricultural production may have increased the liberalisation policy has led to an adverse situation of
food insecurity instead.
Purpose of the study
The objective of the study was to establish the extent to which liberalisation policies had led to
increased agricultural production and better incomes as assumed by the policy makers. In addition,
the study examined the kinds of socio-economic and gender differentiation that arose, and whether or
not liberalisation has led to better food security both at household and national levels.
Hypotheses tested
Four hypotheses were selected for testing.
1. As a result of the liberalisation policies, there has been a shift in the crop mix and other
elements of food security leading to food insecurity.
2. As a result of the liberalisation policies, there has been extra burden on women, who have the
responsibility of feeding their families, because food crops have become cash crops.
3. The liberalisation policy has led to deterioration in the agricultural terms of trade.
4. As a result of liberalisation policies, incomes and incentives have improved for some farmers,
but the benefits have been concentrated in certain sectors, leading to a worsening in
conditions for many small-scale farmers and rural labourers.
Major components of the liberalisation policy
a) Liberalisation of exchange rate: This was intended to allow the exchange rate to be dynamic
and determined by forces of supply and demand so that foreign traders can find it cheap to buy
Uganda’s agricultural products, which would the result into increased export earnings. In
addition more money would be passed down as income to the farmer.
b) ‘Rolling back the state’ and ‘getting prices of agricultural inputs and commodities right’ through
the market mechanism. This was intended to remove the role of the parastatal marketing
boards (CMB, LMB and PMB), which were corrupt and inefficient, and yet were committing
another sin of not paying farmers on time.
c) A tight control over inflation so that the real value of agricultural products was passed on to
farmers. This meant correcting some of the ‘mistakes’ the state used to make such as printing
money and over-borrowing from banks.
The expected outcomes of this liberalisation policy package in the agricultural sector would be
increased agricultural production and incomes to farmers and better food security.
Findings and impact analysis
Agricultural production
· Broadly liberalisation has led to increased production of some crops such as coffee when the
prices were higher than the cost of production. However, the real decisive factors responsible
for increases have been non-price factors such government and NGO interventions, the
presence or absence of domestic and regional conflicts, disease, existence of transport
infrastructure, forms of land tenure, availability of labour.
· Production of non-traditional export crops has benefited from the abolition of taxes,
improvement of the transport infrastructure and political stability. The main limitation is fierce
competition on the international market and high freight costs. There is also competition
between traditional artisan fishing competes with more sophisticated commercial fishing
trawlers. The fishermen reported that this commercialisation of fish has led to the depletion of
fish stock in most of the water bodies in the country.
· The other problem, which is directly related to stiff competition, is the illegal fishing methods
employed by the fishermen. These fishermen started using finer-mesh fishnets, and others
resorted to fish poisoning, in an attempt to beat the competition. All this worsened by lack of
enforcement of the regulations by the fisheries officers.
· The fortunes of the fish export sector which came with liberalisation have faced several set
backs as a result of several bans on the ground of epidemics such as cholera.
· Likewise, it is purported that the fish fillet factories have contributed a lot to increasing pollution
of the lakes especially, Lake Victoria.
· Although livestock production generally declined due to civil strife, additional constraints in the
liberalisation era resulted from increase in the costs of veterinary drugs, shrinking consumption
of meat and dairy products as a result of retrenchment and the restructuring of the labour
market as well as currency devaluations that reduced the real value of the shilling. Part of the
response to this has been a dramatic shift towards poultry rearing and consumption.
· It is recognised that coffee farmers in the post liberalisation period get a higher percentage of
world market prices. However, the results of the study show that where poor farmers have tried
to respond to market forces, they have done so in distress by selling green coffee, selling
raw/unprocessed food in gardens at bottom-low harvest prices benefiting traders and rich
farmers who purchase and store such produce to sell when they fetch better prices. The
assumption that liberalisation would benefit farmers equally was in total disregard of power
relations and the reproduction of inequality and class divisions in agricultural production.
· Farmers in Kapchorwa indicated that during the liberalisation era, there has been declining
agricultural extension services and this has affected production. This is contrary to the preliberalisation
era when government used to provide cattle dips, spraying chemicals and
guidance on pruning coffee trees.
· The study indicates that there is rampant land tenure insecurity in the country. The 1998 Land
Act simply left the struggle to a stalemate between tenants that cannot be evicted but tied to
the limited acreage at their disposal and landlords that can limit the expansion of tenancy but
not evict them altogether. This cannot promote agricultural growth and development as the
case of Kabale and Masaka demonstrate. Farmers cannot increase acreage, even if they
would have wished, nor can they plant trees to control wind and soil erosion, among other
innovations that could be mentioned. The situation is worse for the women since they do not
own land and yet depend heavily on it.
· Much as decentralisation was considered to be an institutional reform to support the SAP
implementation, capacity for proper management of programmes is a real problem, especially
under-staffing, lack financial resources and logistics like transport to enable continuous
gathering and proper storage of such data. There is evidence from field officers to the effect
that since districts decentralised, there has been no data collection. However data is very
important for effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the trends in agriculture
and food security matters in the country considering the changing policy environment under
Farmers’ income
· The findings indicate that liberalisation cannot work under the present underdeveloped
scientific and technological conditions in Uganda. Where it has been successful, the developed
north, liberalisation has found developed technological, socio-economic and political
infrastructure to ensure success. In Kumi farmers indicated limited market information and the
high costs of transportation plus poor roads deter any ambition of trying to follow alternative
· Although the nominal returns to farmers have improved because of liberalisation, this does not
· lead to tangible improvements because farmers produce very little quantities and some do not
have enough resources to take advantage of the positive aspects of liberalisation. The
findings also show that the costs of transport, fertilizers, hoes, herbicides and the overall cost
of living went up during the era of liberalisation. This means that even where producer price
increments have occurred and some farmers have benefited from higher prices, this has in
most of the cases not transformed into better welfare for the majority of farmers.
· Most poor farmers lack storage facilities and this makes exploitation of farmers by the traders
in a liberalised market a very easy thing because they cannot store their produce in order to
sell as and when prices are optimised. As it were, most of the poor sell food immediately after
harvest fetching low prices. Lack of food storage facilities also curtails saving food for seed and
domestic consumption undermining food security and production.
· Whereas liberalisation has attained relative success in opening up Uganda’s economy there
has been no corresponding liberalisation of markets of developed countries to the bulk of
Uganda’s agricultural exports. Developed countries maintain strict tariff regimes that are
protective of their farmers at the expense of farmers in developing countries. This is further
compounded by the fact that same produce is promoted in various countries e.g. the case of
clonal coffee highly promoted in East Asia notably, in Indonesia, on massive scale. What
comparative advantage does Uganda have by becoming another mass producer of clonal
Food security
· The assumption that all farmers benefit from higher produce prices and therefore, develop the
capacity to resort to the market during periods of food shortages cannot be taken for granted.
Liberalisation has simply accentuated rural and urban social differentiation in access to food,
with the consequence that a few rich farmers and traders benefit from the higher prices at the
cost of the poor. This is because poor farmers are structurally limited by resources and hence
poor response to price increases as in the case of Kyanakase village in Masaka where
liberalisation has tended to worsen the food security situation by diverting the little resources to
export production.
· Even in other areas where peasants have access to bigger pieces of land adoption of highly
priced crops under the same technological base leads to a cut back in the production of other
crops, usually food crops.
· Sometimes because of school fees or sickness they sell their food harvests at low prices only
to buy it back or carry out wage labour to get food in the scarcity period.
· Food security has also suffered as a consequence as hitherto protein reserves (milk, eggs,
vegetables, etc) and other foodstuffs have increasingly ended up in markets as costs of living
increased under liberalisation.
· There is evidence that liberalisation has hurt food security and led to food insecurity among
sections of Ugandan society. The concern here ranges from the fear that increasingly, more
food crops such as maize, beans and millet are being marketed and promoted as exports
under liberalisation. This has resulted in reduced food reserves and food insecurity particularly
among poor households in regions where these are staple foodstuffs.
The gender and socio-economic dimension
· During liberalisation, the situation of gender division of labour has worsened the workload of
women, especially in poor households. In the richer households, the role of both remains
supervisory. Increase in crops grown for the market without changing to superior technology
causes strain on the available labour. The women are often be required to contribute to the
growing of cash crops and also ensure the food security of the home. This is besides the fact
that she has to continue performing her triple roles.
· There has also been a general tendency for men to take over production and marketing of
traditionally female crops (non-traditional cash crops) further entrenching the poverty and
powerlessness of women.
· Even where family income has increased with liberalisation, the resulting gender relations are
mediated by culture and the position of the women may be weakened further instead it being
strengthened. In some cases, the men have only acquired more wives and un-leashed
competition among them, and this includes handing over the income from farming to him!
· Women have faced additional burdens in their role to ensure food security in the liberalisation
era. The situation is worse for widows, whose number has increased because of the HIV/AIDS
pandemic. Some widows do not have land because it was grabbed by either their own elder
children or by the relatives of their late husbands. When they access land, then they may lack
the tools like hoes and pangas for farming.
· Liberalisation has had differential impact in regional, socio-economic and gender terms.
Farmers have unequal access to productive resources and, therefore, higher prices tend to
build on the inequalities.
· Regional imbalances in development, which persist, hamper benefits of liberalisation.
Infrastructure, for example is highly developed in the cash crop growing areas and poorly
developed in northern Uganda and Karamoja. People in such areas were unable to take
advantage of the liberalisation policies.
· Without peace the benefits of liberalisation can never be realised. some areas in Teso, Kitgum,
and Gulu have never tasted peace and security during the liberalisation period and so
liberalisation has promoted some regions and left behind other areas. This clearly attests to the
fact that the assumption of liberalisation that the benefits of ‘getting the price right’ benefits all
regions is not true. The problem of regional uneven development requires more than the
market to bring them up; it also requires affirmative action through politics.
· Rural areas are characterised by inequalities as a result of differential access to productive
resources, roads, markets, etc. As a result the amount a family can farm is dependent on the
amount of productive resources available to it. There are categories of farmers who have not
grown tradable because they do not have resources to do so. Therefore, such families will not
benefit from price increases for crops, e.g. farmers of Kyanakase village in Masaka, who are
limited by land.
· Liberalisation has mainly benefited farmers who have access to agricultural and veterinary
extension services, who are the richer ones and the minority. The quality and quantity of rural
extension services, which would reach the poor has been on the decline in the recent years
mainly because of poor remuneration and incentives to technical staff to work up-country.
Hence extension workers have neglected farmers in marginal parts within districts and the
country as a whole with adverse effects on agriculture productivity. Under this state of affairs
few farmers are capable of tapping the standards demanded by the export – led agriculture
growth that liberalisation seeks to promote in Uganda.
Stakeholders’ participation in policy formulation
· Farmers did not know how the policy came to be although they are happy with certain aspects
of it like availability of market for their produce. However, they also understand that the traders
exploit them due to other factors such lack of market information and poor infrastructure, as
expressed by a farmer in Kapchorwa.
Study IV: The Differences in Perceptions of Poverty (A Desk Review)
Despite the dismal economic performance of the Ugandan economy in the Pre-SAP period, and a
sharp drop in the general standard of living, in the first year of the NRM government, the new
government was reluctant to accept IMF and World Bank-inspired programmes of adjustment.
Determined to build "an independent, integrated and self sustaining national economy, the
government experimented with various economic measures to lift the country out of its economic
slump, including barter trade arrangements. By 1992, Uganda was implementing full package of
SAPs, summarised in section one of this report.
The Ugandan economy has registered impressive macro-economic success in recent years, achieving
one of the highest economic growth rates in the sub-region. It is generally acknowledged that this is
owed to the numerous economic reforms the country has implemented under the umbrella of SAPs,
widely supported by the World Bank, IMF and bilateral donors. This success notwithstanding, civil
society contends the poverty situation of many Ugandans has worsened due to SAP implementation,
as indicated by some of the human development indicators provided mainly in United nations Human
Development Reports both international and Uganda country specific. The World Bank and
Government argue that contrary to the contention of civil society, poverty has reduced among the
Uganda population, and the percentage the population living below the poverty line has reduced from
56% in the early nineties to 35% in the 2000 (Uganda Poverty Status Report). The issue therefore is
the difference in perceptions of poverty.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the desk review was to assess the differences in perceptions of poverty arising from
the quantitative statistical analyses and the qualitative view of civil society. Specifically, this study
highlighted arguments and apparent contradictions put by civil society that poverty situation is still
worsening despite the good economic indicators.
Hypotheses Tested
Four hypotheses were tested:
1. As a result of SAPs, poverty situation has worsened.
2. There is a gender differential in the perception and impact of poverty under SAPs.
3. There is a regional differential in the perception and impact of poverty under SAPs.
4. There is a differential in the perception and impact of poverty by various categories of society
(men, women, youth, rural, urban, PWDs)
Limitations of this Study
A desk review is not a participatory process and therefore contains certain limitations inherent in its
nature. Not being part of the research process necessarily entails over-reliance on the available data,
which sometimes raises more questions than answers. The researcher relied on Government
documents for data on statistical evidence of growth, as well as research reports on the views and
perceptions of the poor. That macro-economic data can be constructed means that most figures must
be treated as provisional at best. Similarly, reports on the expressed view and perceptions of poverty
by individuals/communities often contain the in-built biases that may not constitute a representative
view and cannot be verified.
Findings and impact analysis
Definition of poverty
· The way poverty is understood affects the way it is tackled-design of interventions, targeting,
expected and actual impact, and how it is measured.
· Absolute poverty is considered to be a situation where individuals or households are unable to
meet their basic needs - food, shelter or clothing. In addition, they are unable to meet survival
needs such as education, health care and self-determination leading to feelings of
powerlessness and vulnerability (UPPAP report, 2000).
· Relative poverty, on the other hand, concerns individual deprivation measured relative to
others in society. When individuals cannot access goods and services enjoyed by fellow
citizens it is unacceptable but it is not deemed to be a life threatening condition as absolute
poverty. In addition to the deprivations cited, poverty encompasses a wide range of wants that
cannot be easily quantified, such as powerlessness and social exclusion. Vulnerability and
powerlessness as real factors that contribute to poverty are not easily subjected to statistical
measurements (UPPAP report, 2000).
· Vulnerability and powerlessness as real factors that contribute to poverty are not easily
subjected to statistical measurements.
· Whereas both men and women tend to define poverty in terms of some "lack" or deficiency",
men's definition places more emphasis on material possessions whereas those of women tend
to focus on non-material aspects of well being. The difference in the definition of poverty
between men and women is attributed to their social status in society, their relationship with
men, lack of ownership and access to productive assets, limited participation in decisionmaking
and heavy workload.
Conceptual and methodological differences in defining poverty
· Statistical evidence suggests that in five years, beginning in 1992, Uganda had attained a 21%
drop in poverty (head count index), while real GDP growth has averaged over 7% in the last
decade and underlying inflation has averaged 6%. The method employed to arrive at those
statistics was the head count measure of poverty, that provides information on the number of
people living below a given poverty line, but not on the degree of poverty of those living below
the poverty line
· Although statistical information prior to 1997 demonstrate that the economic growth brought
about by adjustment policies did not widen income inequalities but led to reductions in both
absolute and hard core poverty, recent surveys indicate that income inequalities have widened
between 1997 and the year 2000. The method used and the figures obtained demonstrated
that the incidence of poverty at the national level fell by 11.5% points between 1992/93 and in
1997/98, from 55.5% to 44%. The share of the population living below the hard-core poverty
line fell by 10.7% points from 35.8% to 25.1% in the same period.
· The above proposition suggests that while the figures on poverty indicate that the number of
those living below the hard core poverty line decreased and that adjustment policies did not
widen the inequality gap, there were losers and winners in the course of adjustment.
· According to the Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Project (UPPAP, 2000) report,
there is consensus that poverty goes beyond the lack of income and material assets to include;
the absence of social aspects that support life, including; the absence of social support
creating a felling of isolation and exclusion, powerlessness, deprivation of basic human rights
and a feeling of helplessness to influence the conditions around oneself. It also confirms that
people’s perspective of poverty is that it s not uniform but is complex multi-dimensional, cyclic
and seasonal. Its definition also differs based on people’s age, gender and location.
· Large donor in-flows have increased Uganda's debt stock and repayment burden raises
questions concerning the sustainability of a donor driven growth and its implications for poverty
and poverty alleviation strategies, particularly since government revenues for funding for social
services remain very limited.
· The reliance on quantifiable measurements of poverty (income, expenditure, and consumption)
at the expense of qualitative evidence of poverty that provide insights about the nature of
impoverishment, or poverty processes can lead to different interpretations of the data available
on growth rates and the poor as a percentage of the growth.
Gender and socio-economic dimension
· Gender related differences: Women and men's roles in the economic and social domains
continue to reflect a fundamental imbalance in men and women's access to resources and
productive activities. Furthermore the increasing responsibilities of substituting government
provision of services, has disproportionately fallen on women, thus whilst several measures
have been designed to address this gender imbalance such remedial initiatives though
necessary are not sufficient.
· Gender division of labour: Gender division of labour in Uganda indicates that different roles
and tasks are assigned to women, men, and children. Men tend to perform managerial roles,
while women on the other are expected to assume the responsibilities for the family's
subsistence. The roles of women do not often involve a share of the power and responsibility
for decisions within households over the use, ownership, and benefits from the farm labour
activities especially those that earn more income and are less backbreaking, hence they are a
poorer section of the society.
· In response to reform in the agricultural sector and liberalisation, production of vanilla has been
promoted as a high value export crop, which is easily grown with other crops. However, its
cultivation, is done almost exclusively by women and girls, and is labour intensive.
· Political power: Women perceive poverty as lack of opportunity to make decisions about
allocation and use of resources, and this is based on societal ascribed rules that allocate
production resources, (especially land) and the extent to which it is difficult to change such
cultural set up. As powerfully put, “differences in power relations between women and men are
used to formulate rules, norms and values, which determine the allocation of resources. When
women perceive poverty as lack of opportunity to make decisions about allocation and use of
resources, it therefore evident that is based on societal ascribed rules that allocate production
resources, (especially land) and the extent to which it is difficult to change such cultural set
· Location dimension: Urban and rural poverty differ. The main features of urban poverty include
lack of employment, poorly paid jobs, low incomes compared to the high cost of living, and the
lack of social capital safety nets.
· People with disability; Poverty among people living with disabilities is defined at the individual
level, dictated by the physical inability to participate in activities that can generate income to
improve on their status (UPPAP 2000:19). Perceptions of poverty among this group focuses
on their social exclusion and lack of access to productive assets. The continued need to rely
on people's good will makes them particularly vulnerable to changes in the general well being
of society and hence the capacity of individuals in society to continue underwriting their very
· The lack of services and infrastructure: The findings of this study suggest that poor
infrastructure, lack of access to vital services - health, education, sanitation, lack of credit and
extension facilities, all contribute to community and household poverty.
· The lack of “voice”; The findings of this study reveal that despite extensive government policies
to promote participation in decision making, lack of information on key issues and the lack of
accountability and transparency of leaders act as barriers to the full participation of some
citizens (UPPAP 2000).
· Despite these findings from the statistical analyses, SAPs had winners and losers. The
wealthier sections of society with better education and access to physical and financial assets
were better placed than the poor to take advantage of the expansion of income earning
opportunities provided by economic growth and market liberalisation.
· About 90% of Ugandans live in rural areas, with the majority of them (approximately 80%)
dependent on agriculture as smallholder subsistence farmers. While a central assumption of
the economic reform programme was that liberalisation of crop marketing combined with
increased producer prices, would primarily benefit these small holders, most notably, coffee
farmers, but also producers of other export crops, the reality, however, is that the benefits of
economic reforms were unevenly distributed. The primary beneficiaries in the agricultural
sector were those producing tradable rather than farmers producing mainly food crops who are
among the poorest section of the rural population.
· Low levels of productivity and hence income resulting from a range of supply side constraints
facing poor small-holder farmers explains the persistent pervasive poverty among food crop
farmers. Notable constraints that impinged on the capacity of small food crop farmers included,
the use of rudimentary farm technology, land degradation, ill health of farmers, lack of access
to credit facilities, and lack of accessibility to markets due to poor transport infrastructure.
· Social Capital; Social relations and networks are one of the strongest resources possessed by
the poor. The findings of this study reveal that these social networks have been undermined in
important ways during the adjustment period.
National alleviation policies
· In response to the multi-faceted nature of poverty, the Government of Uganda has instituted
various policies within the overall framework of PEAP. They include: the national gender policy,
the plan for modernisation of agriculture, the land Act., the decentralisation policy, the energy
policy, the Universal primary education and the Functional Adult Literacy Programme. It is
noted that there is a general weakness in the policy framework because it lacks an
enforceability element in terms of law, and there is limited coherence among the various
The following recommendations are drawn directly from the findings of the studies:
Study I: The Privatisation Process and its Impact on Society
· Sequencing of the privatisation policy: In order for the program to be beneficial there should be
proper timing and sequencing of the policy. Proper sequencing allows for corrective measures to
be undertaken where reforms are not having expected impact on poverty. Also, proper
sequencing could have showed the glaring gaps that result from ‘rolling back’ the state without a
proper handing over of many of its social responsibilities to the private sector. Again, proper
sequencing should go hand in hand with sensitisation and economic literacy so that people are
better able to participate in determining the benefits of the process to them.
· A Developed Financial and Capital Market: A functional stock market should have been put in
place before the privatisation process using part of the money which was invested in setting up of
the PERD unit. Creating and broadening capital markets expands the choices available for
privatisation. Capital markets should be developed to mobilise savings and enable popular
participation. It is highly recommended that for the rest of SOEs, their privatisation should be
through the sale of shares in order to broaden share ownership. For this to succeed there is a
need for USE to actively engage in educating masses about the importance and activities of the
· Transparency in the privatisation process: to make the divestiture program more popular, the
government must be transparent. Transparency can be ensured through clear and simple criteria
for evaluating bids, clearly defined competitive bidding procedures, disclosure of purchase price
and buyer, well-defined institutional responsibilities, and adequate monitoring and supervision of
the program.
· Government Commitment to Reforms: The success of privatisation depends to a certain extent
on government commitment but that commitment must involve both the executive and parliament
in order to provide for checks and balances. In Uganda Parliament still needs to be strengthened
to enable it play the role expected of it.
· Civil Society Participation: There is need for bottom-up approach to increase in participation
from the grass roots level. This ensures ownership of the process and guards against the desire
for obstruction, asset stripping, and delay of the program.
Study II: The Impact of Public Expenditure Management Under SAPs on the Basic Social
Services; Health and Education
· Stakeholder participation in policy formulation: Policy dialogue in health and education
should embrace participation from more stakeholders including civil society with focus on
implementation constraints especially at local government levels; and examining policy options
to increase access of the poor and effectiveness of available resources.
· The civil society should be strengthened to play an effective role in promoting transparency,
monitoring and public awareness in area of public expenditure management to enhance the
effectiveness and efficiency of public expenditure.
· Undertake analytical work to identify constraints to and experiences of segments of the
population on SAP. Encourage dialogue with a view to analysing SAP based on country
specific experiences.
· Rationalisation of public spending: Public spending in secondary and tertiary levels of
education needs urgent attention to increase the access of the poor. In particular, the cost
sharing now in place needs urgent review to address difficulties experienced by the poor to
access these levels of education.
· There is need to enhance effectiveness of complementary inputs already provided and take
advantage of existing financial resources for more manpower.
· Public spending in health sector needs to be restructured and skewed towards primary and
preventive health care to increase access of the poor, especially women. Maternal health care
services deserve more attention.
· Staffing at facility levels (schools and health centres) should be given attention.
· Current constraints to staff recruitment in some areas need to be addressed.
· Revisit the issue of cost sharing to accommodate the concerns of the poor and promote equity.
· HIV/AIDS: This condition should be treated like any other disease at the work place. Persons
affected and/or infected should not be discriminated against in the work place.
· Gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS should be recognised.
Study III: The Impact of Liberalisation on Agricultural Production and Food Security
· Improve the technological base: Uganda needs improved rural transport and communication
systems to ensure knowledge and access to markets, which are also poorly developed particularly
in rural areas.
· Improve Quality and Quantity of Extension Services; Quality extension services to rural areas
are necessary to ensure that farmers are guided on the optimisation of yields and processing
produce for the market.
· Safety Nets for the Poor:. Since the findings of the study show that poor lose out in many ways
during the liberalisation process, it is important for Government to establish effective safety nets for
the poor farmer, the majority women, in the names of subsidised inputs, credit, skills, improved
rural transport and communication access to markets and information.
· Resolve Land Tenure Impasse: The rampant land tenure insecurity in the country calls for
concrete land tenure reform that will empower women and poor farmers´ control over land.
· Address Problems of Food Storage: Investing in food storage technologies and enforcing rules
to this effect, as in colonial times, would go a long way in improving food security and agriculture
production in rural areas.
· Invest in Processing Technologies Complimentary to food storage is the need to invest in agroprocessing
technologies in order to add value to farm products. For example, oil press
technologies have enabled farmers in Northern Uganda to sell oil as opposed to simsim seed
adding value to their incomes. Even at national level it is still not clear why there is a preference
for relying on the policy of importing food whenever there is famine as opposed to constructing
silos to store food stocks. Or inviting traders in the name of investors to export unprocessed
agricultural produce instead of investing in agro-processing. If Government cannot find private
investors in the area of Agricultural Processing, it should take lead.
· Open-up Markets of Developed countries: Fair trade issues between developing and
developed countries have to be addressed if liberalisation is to work for the poor. Protectionism
practised by the developed countries to the detriment of the poor farmers in the South must end.
· Facilitate and enforce development of District Databases: We recommend that local
authorities should be encouraged to do research, monitor and evaluate production and marketing
trends in the respective districts as used to be done in the past. Forms like the Agriculture Form 3
should be re-introduced and enforced to guide agriculture officers in recording this important data.
Likewise, livestock and other agricultural production trends are very important and need to be
monitored and reported on a regular basis.
· Research and Development: In order for developing countries to address strategic issues of
concern for their own development, there is need to invest in research and development.
Study IV: The Differences in Perceptions of Poverty
· A call for genuine and effective participation; Interventions designed to address various
aspects of poverty should always take into consideration the heterogeneity of the poor and should
involve them at all stages, right from design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and
Development of alternative is a complex process, which requires a total commitment of all key players
and involvement of multiplicity of disciplines that are able to put economic policy formulation in a
context, and take into consideration peculiarities, which exist in society.
Deducing from the findings, three lines of conclusions emerge: The first conclusion is that there are
certain aspects of SAPs that have worked for all categories of people and these should be continued
and strengthened. The second one is that there are aspects of SAPs that have not worked that well
and need modification. The third is that certain aspects of SAPs in fact have to be discontinued
because they cannot work, especially for the poor.
From the findings, there is overwhelming evidence and consensus that SAPs impact different
categories of people differently. In the main, SAPs have had adverse impact on the poorest sections
of civil society, on women and vulnerable groups. These are people who lack what it takes to
participate effectively in the making of such key policies. They also lack effective power to influence
the way these policies are implemented. It is therefore not surprising that those who speak on behalf
of the poor advocate for total dis-continuation of SAPs, not just as a matter of ideology but based on
real experiences of the poor people.
There needs to be a mechanism therefore, that will look into the above issues with the effective and
genuine participation of all stakeholders in order to develop alternatives that are acceptable to all. The
PRSPs, especially when based on a Government-led process like the Uganda PEAP is a good start
but needs to be made even more participatory than it currently is if it is to provide that mechanism.
And while it is time for the debate to shift away from a focus on reform versus no reform, it remains
important to note that if those aspects of SAPs that need reform are not reformed and those
that need to be discarded are not discarded, those who speak on behalf of the poor are likely
to continue their resentment and total rejection of SAPs and a consequent rejection of the
PRSPs by their association with SAPs.
The studies also make it clear that for SAP-type policies to have a chance of success, certain preconditions
are necessary. The public sector had certain social responsibilities that the current
framework has pushed it out of but without “a proper handing over” to the private sector. The
assumption and hope were that the market would fill the gap left by the retreating state. Clearly this
has not happened. There is therefore need for Government either to retain certain key social sectors,
or only hand them over to the private sector only when the latter is ready to effectively take them over.
Clearly non-profit making aspects of social responsibility cannot and do not get taken over by the
private sector. For poverty to be reduced there are certain social responsibilities or even whole sectors
that can only effectively be handled by the public sector. Welfare systems and subsidies to farmers in
the developed world attest to the need for the retention of these key areas by the public sector.
Therefore a policy that proscribes such a hand-over must also ensure that it is done in a verifiable
manner so that the private sector can be held to account. Civil society has in the past tried to fill the
gap but this has been done in an ad hoc manner.
According to Uganda’s PEAP, in which Uganda’s first PRSP is grounded, the priority should be
improving the quality of life of the poor and the rest of the pillars should become a means of achieving
this. The entire macro-economic framework should be subject to open discussion by all stakeholders
as more people are empowered to participate effectively.
In order for developing countries to address strategic issues of concern for their own development,
there is need to invest in research and development. The studies have shown how the reduction of the
role of the state in the economy has led to dramatic decrease in research and development, including
basic aspects like a systematic collection of data to facilitate effective planning, monitoring and
evaluation of key policies. This needs to be re-dressed.
Genuine ownership of policies is key for their success. The case of UPE illustrates well the power of
ownership of policy. Initially, the UPE policy, presented as a political decision by the President was
not readily accepted by the development partners but today, it has being embraced by all of them. All
that is being emphasised now, is the need to improve quality. The home grown policy is currently the
most popular one, compared to those pushed by the development partners.
The current framework puts emphasis on the supply side of things and overlooks the demand side
completely. Even in cases where there were nominal increases in prices of produce, for example in
the case of coffee, the increases in the prices of inputs outstripped these apparent benefits, leaving
the farmer poorer than ever before. The framework therefore, should shift emphasis to value adding
and making the markets of the developed world to play by the same rules based on equity in the
liberalised market. The World Development report 2000/2001, illustrates the degree of inequity and
loss that the developing countries incur because of export subsidies in the North and tariff barriers. In
the European Union, tariffs on meat products, for example, are as high as 826%. Such barriers lead
to annual welfare losses of an amount equivalent to 40% of the official development assistance to
developing countries.
A major weakness of SAPs, which is carried into PRSPs, is the focus on individual countries and yet
all the countries are affected by these policies, applied elsewhere. It is important therefore that
context issues are seriously taken care of, in the design of policies.
Lastly, SAPRI was conducted as a tripartite arrangement, with participation of Civil Society
representatives, Government and World Bank Staff. This kind of arrangement is relatively new,
especially, when it is civil society-led. The World Bank and Government need to continue to learn
about how to participate effectively in CSO-led processes, and to accept the validity of the process
and the outcome.
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Services: Health and Education
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Frank, Mabirizi, (2000), A desk review of SAP related literature in Uganda.
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Government of Uganda (2000), The Uganda Poverty Eradication Action Plan.
Government of Uganda (2000), Budget Speech.
Government of Uganda (2000), National Household survey.
Government of Uganda (2000), Poverty Status Report 2000/2001.
Nansozi, Muwanga, (2000), The Differences in Perceptions of poverty. A desk review.
SAPRI Uganda Civil Society Steering Committee, (2000), Report of the National Economic Literacy
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SAPRI Uganda National Steering Committee, (1998), Report of the First National Forum.
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Supported Structural Adjustment Programme in Uganda.
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