Executive Directors Consultation Mission to Uganda
A group of nine Executive Directors undertook a consultation mission to Uganda from 22 to 28 February 2012. The mission held meetings with the minister for finance, planning and economic development; sector ministers; the speaker of the National Assembly; chairpersons of five parliamentary committees, development partners and representatives of the private sector and civil society.
The visit culminated in a meeting with the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni. The director of the AfDB’s East Africa region and the resident representative in Uganda accompanied the mission.
The Executive Directors also toured three AfDB-projects. They included the Bujagali Hydropower Project, financed by the private sector window and the associated 71km transmission line financed by the African Development Fund (ADF). The second was the ADF-financed Markets and Agriculture Improvement Program which supports the construction of seven large markets. One of these markets was Jinja Market, which the mission visited. Thirdly, the delegation visited the Jinja Vocational Training School, which is part of the Education III Project.
The Executive Directors took note of the satisfactory performance of the Bank-financed portfolio In Uganda. However, they called for concerted efforts from the Bank and the government in constraints that were hindering smooth project implementation. In this respect, the Executive Directors concurred with the government’s position in seeking urgent support from development partners to enhance its weak capacity in the preparation, design and implementation of projects.
During the frank and candid dialogue, the Executive Directors encouraged the government to effectively tackle issues identified as major constraints to the transformation of Uganda into a Middle Income Country by 2015. The issues discussed were prudent macro-economic management, especially in managing inflation and exchange rate fluctuation; adequate legal framework and transparency in the management and investment of oil revenues; a low tax base; investment in priority infrastructure projects such as roads, railway and energy without creating an expansionist budget; increases in agricultural production and productivity, high unemployment and skills development.
The Executive Directors welcomed the assurance by the Ugandan president that oil revenues would be invested in strategic and priority infrastructure projects with an impact on regional integration.
The government and the Bank agreed on the necessity to bridge the information gap with other stakeholders, such as parliamentary committees and civil society, through an effective communication strategy and upstream consultation during project preparation, design and implementation.