Macroeconomic policy, inclusive growth and productive employment in Uganda

EMPLOYMENT Working Paper No. 244

This paper, authored by Elisa Van Waeyenberge and Hannah Bargawi, examines the main trends in growth, employment, poverty and inequality in Uganda over the last decade, pointing to, inter alia, a lack of absorption of workers into high productivity sectors, with resulting implications for conditions of employment, poverty and inequality. The authors argue that the limited structural transformation is a result insufficient expansion in productive capacities by the private sector, against the backdrop of a historically weak public investment programme and a persistently lop-sided integration in international trade circuits. The authors also argue that the macroeconomic policy agenda has restricted the scope for a fundamental transformation of the Ugandan economy necessary to support much-needed job creation and increases in the standard of living. The authors point to a need for a proemployment macroeconomic framework in Uganda, including appropriate sectoral policies, accelerating public spending complemented by efforts to mobilise domestic revenues and a rethink of monetary policy beyond inflation-targeting.