BY BANKERS REPOTER
Uganda needs to create sufficient and quality jobs by accelerating a sustainable and inclusive economic transformation to resume the path of inclusive growth and poverty reduction, according to the World Bank Group’s 2021 Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) Update for Uganda released today.
To achieve this, the SCD Update which builds on the analysis of the 2015 SCD, proposes five broad areas of priority over the next few years including: macro-fiscal stability; governance and service delivery; human development and women’s empowerment; green growth, sustainable urbanization, and resilience; agricultural commercialization and private sector competitiveness.
“It is imperative to invest in human capital so that the soon-to-be working age population will have the capacity, skills, and health necessary to be fully productive and contribute strongly to Uganda’s development,” said Mukami Kariuki, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
The Ugandan women and girls face significant barriers to access economic opportunities, a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, the SCD Update elevates women’s empowerment to a major priority area over the next five years, with a broader set of actions that include reducing gender-based violence and implementing laws and policies that enable women’s economic participation, entrepreneurship, and land ownership.
“The government can utilize the existing innovative solutions to address the underlying governance constraints, build strong coalitions focused on service delivery, and deliver results,” said Richard Walker, World Bank Senior Economist, and the Author of the SCD Update. “This includes developing institutional capacity of local government, enhancing citizen engagement, and leveraging digital technologies for better service delivery.”
The Performance and Learning Review (PLR) also launched today, assess performance of the CPF and adjusts the Uganda country program to remain relevant and effective as the Government responds to Covid-19 challenges and embraces opportunities for a stronger economic recovery. It also extends the term of the CPF to June 30, 2022, aligning it with ongoing World Bank Group support for human capital development, economic inclusion, social and physical resilience.
Multiple challenges have impacted the implementation of the CPF prompting the WBG to make frequent adjustments and leading to slower progress than envisaged in achieving the program’s objectives,” said Eva Lescrauwaet, Senior Operations Officer, and the Lead for the PLR.
The Performance and Learning Reviews (PLR) confirms the 3 focus areas: strengthening governance, accountability, service delivery; raising income in rural areas; and boosting inclusive growth in urban areas remain as key Country Partnership Framework (CPF) pillars and objectives to address Uganda’s development challenges.
The SCD Update and the PLR will inform and guide the development of the World Bank Group’s next CPF for Uganda from FY 2023 to 2028.
The World Bank will develop the new CPF in partnership with the government, it will carry out wide consultations with various sectors of Ugandan society — the private sector, parliament, the civil society, think Tanks, academia, media, trade unions, faith organizations, youth, and women groups.
The current CPF was aligned with Uganda’s Second National Development Plan (NDP II) while the upcoming one will be aligned with NDP III, whose goal is to increase average household incomes and improve the quality of life of Ugandans. These aspirations dovetail with the World Bank’s twin goals of reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity around the world by 2030.
The World Bank Group engagement with the countries is underpinned by the Systematic Country Diagnostic and a Country Partnership Framework through a four stage cycle: It starts with the SCD (that identifies key challenges and opportunities for a country to accelerate progress); preparation of a CPF (an integrated framework for WBG’s partnership with the country); the PLR (that takes stock of CPF implementation) and the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) (prepared when the CPF is complete to inform the next CPF).