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Uganda, World Bank agree on pro-people dev’t agenda

(Last Updated On: 16 October 2023)

Kampala | After announcing they were halting further public funding to Uganda over anti-gay Law, the World Bank has not shut doors for talks with Uganda. 

The global Bank continues to engage Uganda as was earlier announced by Kampala some months ago.

After meeting the World Bank President Ajay Banga in Morocco, Ramathan Ggoobi, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury has this to say:

We’ve concluded the 2023 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Marrakech Morocco. Here are some of my key takeaways:

The new World Bank President is a man on a good mission; to reform the bank into a DFI of pace, efficiency, and simple processes.

Ajay Banga committed to the world to make the Bank simplify approvals, adjust internal review of projects, and ensure shorter timelines measured by impact, not reports on a shelf. For those of us directly interacting with the Bank regularly, this is BIG and timely.

World Bank
Ajay while in Morocco. Courtesy photo.

Equally heartwarming was the IMF’s commitment to support us to write a better story for the next 50 years. Words such as economic transformation & international cooperation used to be alien at the IMF. Indeed the future looks brighter however tough the present may seem.

Also read: Museveni stings World Bank, says talks continue over funding

Specifically:
a) We assured the WB that Uganda will continue to implement our pro-people development agenda in an inclusive manner as we’ve always done.

In a short time recently, we’ve expedited approval and/or commenced implementation of several projects worth $1.7 billion (Shs. 6.3 trillion) to revamp infrastructure in the city, mechanize agriculture, ease access to electricity and internet, and provide funding for exporting SMEs.

We’ve agreed with the WB to continue domesticating as much as possible the bank’s policies in our legal and procurement frameworks to facilitate the project/program approval processes and implementation.

The IMF approved a 3rd Chair for Sub-Saharan Africa. We also discussed the progress made with our Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Program. All structural benchmarks are on schedule while a couple of quantitative performance criteria (QPC) need to be revised ahead of time.

We held several fruitful meetings with portfolio investors and updated them about the state of Uganda’s economy, whose recovery pace & current performance sounded like a miracle for the multilaterals & investors.

Bottomline: the world needs a new mix of policies if we’re to succeed in the fight against climate change. The current subsidies-based policies are failing to deliver and scaling them up will explode public debt. Yet there was no sign of new money.

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