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Uganda's ambitious infrastructure plan set to boost economy

Staff writer |
A ten-year, multibillion-dollar plan to upgrade Uganda's transportation network and power generation is poised to benefit the East African nation's citizens and those of neighboring countries, IMF economists said.

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In their regular review of the Ugandan economy, IMF staff said that the planned infrastructure overhaul—an $11 billion program over the next ten years through public investment and public-private-partnership arrangements—will have positive spillovers on agro-processing, manufacturing, and trade.

Upgrading the transportation network and electricity generating capacity is now Uganda's top economic priority. Over three fourths of Ugandans live in rural areas with most involved in agriculture, and only 14 percent of households use electricity.

A comprehensive road network and widespread access to electricity will connect farmers to trading centers, add value to production, and improve the population's welfare.

Upcoming oil production, expected to come on stream around 2021, requires new infrastructure that will be led by government investment with participation of the private sector, and will include the construction of roads, a crude oil pipeline, a small-scale refinery, and product pipelines.

Infrastructure improvements will also allow Uganda to maximize the benefits of regional integration with other East African Community partner states.

Uganda's expected electricity surplus will be exported to neighboring countries; and better roads, bridges, railways, and new pipelines will facilitate the movement of citizens across countries and the transportation of goods to seaports.

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