Uganda Economic and Health Problems

The government has the ambitious goal of further increasing Uganda’s economic success: With Vision 2040, the economy should become competitive and the people should achieve a middle income. The implementation is running within the framework of the National Development Plan (NDP), the so-called NDP III covers the period from 2020/21 to 2024/25.

The poverty problem

According to ethnicityology, Uganda currently has a good chance of reducing poverty, after all, the country is on the verge of producing its own oil and would like to build its own refinery. However, problems are already foreseeable, e.g. B. the question of the compensation for the land that is needed for infrastructure such as roads, and also for the refinery.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other donors are rewarding Uganda’s development efforts with extensive new commitments to support the country in fighting poverty.

In the 1990’s, Uganda was considered a donor favorite. The Museveni government reacted very quickly to the new World Bank policy and was the first country to submit a complete Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in March 2000. In April of the same year Uganda reached the completion point for inclusion in the HIPC-II debt relief program.

As part of the implementation of Vision 2040 or the hope of oil production soon, Uganda’s debts are increasing again. The expansion of the infrastructure is financed, this leads to a significant improvement in the traffic situation, but also programs for improving the daily life of the rural population, such as access to water or electricity, are part of it. However, if oil production continues to be delayed or the oil price falls, there is a risk of a debt crisis. In 2018, Uganda’s debt was 41 percent of gross domestic product.

In the Uganda Debt Network, non-governmental organizations, institutions and individuals have come together to achieve a long-term reduction of the debt burden and an effective use of national resources for the benefit of the people in Uganda.

Natural resources in Karamoja and now also in other regions

For centuries, the semi-nomads of Karamojas lived primarily on their cows. Diseases, droughts and the growing pressure of the population mean that many people only have a few animals. Tens of thousands began to dig for gold in the dry river bed, winners of which are often middlemen, and sometimes the gold diggers are only paid with local gin.

The presence of the soldiers and the government’s disarmament programs mean that Karamoja is now relatively peaceful. Now the international mine operators are coming to dig for limestone, marble, iron ore and of course gold. Whether it is a blessing or a curse for the Karimajong remains to be seen.

In the meantime, the gold rush has spread to other regions. Mining the expensive metal doesn’t just bring benefits, as the government likes to see. It is proud of the first gold refinery in East Africa, which opened in Entebbe. However, it is assumed that gold from the crisis regions of Africa is also processed here. Gold mining also poses many problems. The region around the small town of Busitema is already criss-crossed by craters that threaten to collapse when it rains, the land for growing agricultural products has disappeared, and the meager proceeds from gold are not enough for most families to survive. Children work in the mines and stay away from school.

Palm oil production on the Ssese Islands


Despite the poverty, Ugandans strive for hygiene. However, food that is openly offered should be consumed with caution, especially on the go.

Malaria is widespread, so think about proper prevention. Before you leave, you should seek advice on tropical medicine from a doctor. The travel medical information service and the Federal Foreign Office provide information on your preventive health care. Also, find out about medical and dental care in Uganda.

Diseases such as AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, meningitis, cholera or hepatitis should also be considered. From August 2018, there was an outbreak of the highly contagious Ebola fever in the neighboring country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Beni region. The disease was introduced to Kasese for the first time in June 2019. On June 25, 2020, the disease was declared defeated by the WHO. There have been isolated outbreaks of the Marburg virus in recent times, most recently in eastern Uganda at the end of 2017.

A yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Uganda. According to the WHO, the vaccination is valid for life and does not need to be refreshed. Yellow fever is extremely rare in Uganda; few cases were detected in the west of the country in 2016. Lately vaccination passports have been checked at the airport even after a stopover in an African country and the electronic visa can only be obtained with proof of a yellow fever vaccination.

On March 7th, 2020 Uganda was one of the first countries that had prescribed a two-week mandatory quarantine for travelers from Corona risk areas, including Germany (this will no longer apply from October 1st, 2020, but a negative corona test must be no older than 72 hours, to be presented). At the time, Uganda had no proven case of the lung disease COVID 19. Cases are now known and the government is taking drastic measures. There is a night curfew between 9:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. The minimum distance between people is two meters. Mask requirements apply in all public spaces, including on public transport. The situation is being monitored. Tests for COVID 19 are mainly carried out at the Virus Research Institute performed in Entebbe. However, mobile test centers have meanwhile also been installed at the external borders. All incoming truck drivers are tested and if the result is positive, they are sent back.