Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The World Bank has said Uganda should ask hard questions on why the country is growing but not creating enough jobs and people incomes remain stagnant.
In the Economic update for Uganda launched on Thursday, the international lender said Uganda’s level of per capita income – that is money earned by each individual per year– was, by 2018, still behind its neighbours.
The report notes that progress against poverty remains fragile, especially in rural areas.
This is even when industry sector has grown its contribution to Uganda’s economy to at least 30% from just 22%. Services sector’s contribution fell to below 50% while agriculture rose slightly.
Richard Walker, the chief economist for World Bank Uganda, said industry where the manufacturing of different goods fall, is supposed to produce more quality jobs but it looks like it is not the case for Uganda.
The report indicated that with higher population growth expected over the next 10 years, low productivity and a failure to shift to higher productivity activities that are resilient to shocks and can generate and sustain high growth rates means more Ugandans will remain poor.
Uganda also needs to create about 660,000 new jobs per year to cater for the young people leaving the education system.
The country will need at least 1 million jobs each year in 2030, the World Bank Uganda country director Antony Thompson said.
Currently, Uganda can only create 75, 000 new jobs each year, according to the 2020/21 financial year budget strategy. This is far below what is needed.
Walker also said it is possible that sub-sectors like construction are creating poor quality jobs where people are paid peanuts and they can’t improve their well-being.
The report says that manufacturing sub-sector, which also falls under industry, was dominated by processed and preserved meat, grain mill and starch products, and furniture.
The jobs from these activities are not enough.