Gabazira's blog

The Effectiveness-Lab

Uganda 2020: steering towards middle-income-country status – effective thinking?

Every time we visit home, Uganda, we recall what we have been told was and perhaps still is the potential of our country versus its status-quo and future.

I was in Uganda last weekend, and while having breakfast at one of Kampala’s hotels, I was given for my breakfast reading a copy of ‘The Sunday Vision’ newspaper.  It didn’t take me long before landing on a subject that fascinates us at the Effectiveness lab – the effectiveness or not, of what Ugandans spend their productive hours doing, and whether all the energy they expend working, provides them a safety-net both during their working time and retirement

Apparently, Uganda shall become a middle-income country (MIC) by 2020.  In effect,  every Ugandan should by 2020 earn between Ugandan Shillings 3.6 to 44.1 million at today’s $/UGX rate.

Well – the photo gallery below and accompanying captions, ‘cut’ directly from the The Sunday Vision newspaper, reflects what a cross-section of Ugandans believe shall be their direct contribution towards Uganda’s 2020 MIC milestone.  Is this enough?

Uganda's wish for MIC status
Uganda’s wish for MIC status
Uganda’s per capita gross income – ready by 2020?

img_6627 img_6628 img_6629 img_6630 img_6631 img_6632 img_6633 img_6634 img_6635 img_6624 img_6637

Shall Ugandans propel the country to MIC status by doing the above?  Is the State carrying its weight? Is the State banking on oil revenue to provide a fillip to this MIC journey? Has the time finally come for Uganda to fulfill its potential? What has changed this time?

We can only wait and judge in four years time – but on the above evidence, we suspect that it will be tougher than we anticipate, to turn Uganda into MIC status by 2020

We hope that Uganda is ‘not painting in the dark’ – however, since the jury is still out on the viability of the 2020 MIC roadmap, we leave you with reading from our earlier blog series ‘painting in the dark’.

Perhaps a combination of all the above, the government’s good will, and thinking like ours at the Effectivenesss lab, may bring MIC status to Uganda by 2020


We are painting in the dark Series 3

We are painting in the dark Series 4

For now, it’s fair to all that we take a rain check on this one, and return to hear the final verdict in 2020. See you then!






2 responses to “Uganda 2020: steering towards middle-income-country status – effective thinking?”

  1. ABG this is a very interesting subject to discuss; Uganda is a predominantly agricultural country and thus agriculture is a key sector. But one can ask; what is Uganda’s investment in this key sector? To attain MIC status, Uganda needs really huge and realistic investments in this sector both in the midterm and the long term! such required investments may include provision of improved high yielding varieties of seed, improving bulking and value addition systems etc.

    But also there is this demographic time bomb Uganda is sitting on (I pray to God it doesn’t explode in my life tenure). About 70% of Uganda’s population is below 24 years of age ( actually about 50% is below age 15. This puts Uganda’s youth dependency level at almost 100%. I’m one of the people who believe a country needs more people to provide an internal market to internally produced goods and services, but look; it needs a larger share of working age people who work to save and invest. As a country, we definitely need to have this population growth trend reversed and now! if we are to attain a sustainable MIC status – I think.

    Do you remember Rev. Malthus of the Malthusian theory 1798; argued that an increase in population growth will reduce per capita income? I do think that this 15 year old population will affect Uganda’s ability to attain MIC status.

    I have looked at it from a macro level perspective, there are also other micro bottle necks that need to be addressed before 2020. We shall talk about these when you come over during the December holiday!


    1. Dear SO – brilliant macro level analysis and thanks for reading the blog; the blog title ended with a question: ‘effective thinking?’ You seem to be telling us in your analysis above that we may not have gotten the thinking and planning right – or just as yet.

      I am indeed worried when we say things like ‘achieving MIC status in just under five years’……I go back to your very narrative – if we are to achieve MIC status, and not using oil money which I know can’t sustain MIC long term (even Saudia is trying to run away from oil dependence), it has to be via improving the economic fortunes of our people – my Nakabugu village kinship…..and I am not sure we have the right foundation for that…

      More during our Xmas meet Sebbo!!!


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About Me

Apollo B. Gabazira is an Ugandan OD. junkie fascinated by matters that render organisations/individuals effective or not. He blogs on effective leadership and management. He is a devoted green-farmer and breeds the Ayrshire cow at Nakabugu, Luuka district, Uganda. Apollo is quite effective at what he chooses to do.


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