The services sector plays a significant role in the growth and development of the Ugandan economy, contributing an estimated 52.35% of GDP in 2017, followed by agriculture and industry, contributing 24.5% and 23.2% of GDP respectively. Trade in goods and services also plays an important role in Uganda’s economic growth – contributing 44.42% to GDP in 2017. Much of Uganda’s export earnings are from commodities such as fish and fish products, tea, cotton, flowers, horticultural products and gold, and its major imports include capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum products, medical supplies and cereal.
The country’s economic performance remains strong with public infrastructure investment, recovery in manufacturing and construction and improvement in the services sector (mainly financial and banking, trade, transport and information technologies services) as the key drivers. Growth is expected to increase from 4% in 2017 up to 6% in 2019. On the other hand, inflation is expected to slightly decline from about 5 % in 2017 to approximately 4 % in 2019.
Uganda faces several internal risks such as reduced domestic revenue mobilisation and higher public spending, weak institutional capacity and governance and investment management system. However, with a population of 36.674 million in 2017 that is expected to grow up to 40.007 million in 2019, a GDP of US$26.349 billion in 2017, which is expected to increase to about US$29.690billion in 2019 and a GDP per capita income of US$669.41 in 2017, projected to rise to US$742.13 in 2019, Uganda provides a growing market for exporters and investors.
The country also holds opportunities for export diversification to neighbouring East African Community (EAC) countries, Africa, COMESA, the UK, the EU and the US market under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA). The country’s volume of imports of goods and services is expected to increase from about -0.13% in 2017 to approximately 16.312% in 2019, and the amount of exports of goods and services is expected to grow from about 37.67% in 2017 up to approximately 40.07% in 2019, indicating expansion in trade.
There is potential for investment in construction, tourism, hotel and catering, and infrastructure development.