Crisis, Adjustment and Growth in Uganda: A Study of by Arne Bigsten

By Arne Bigsten

Uganda within the Nineteen Seventies and early Eighties was once one in every of Africa's extra tragic financial tales. rising from civil conflict, it needed to embark on reform within the early to mid-1980s from a place of serious political weak spot. within the research, the results of financial coverage on the combination point are mentioned intimately, yet 'snapshot' empirical analyses of responses on the loved ones point, either city and rural, also are offered. Uganda was once for a few years thought of to be Africa's 'worst case'; its contemporary restoration therefore offers desire for related international locations within the region.

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Between 1971 and 1975public-sector employment increased at an annual rate of 11 per cent, from 134,030to 209,300, while other formal employment fell from 190,500 to 161,900. Economic imbalances emerged early in Amin's regime, but instead of attempting to correct them via normal stabilisation policies, the government chose to use administrative controls instead. In 1972 import restrictions were introduced on a range of products, and exchange control regulations were tightened. Licences were introduced for importers and exporters, as well as advance cash deposits for imported goods.

Various sugar allocation mechanisms were then devised in a bid to halt the escalation of prices, but this only increased the sugar scarcity. Thus, though price controls were sometimes brutally enforced, they failed to improve supply or to correct the resulting imbalances. In 1973, to provide Amin's close friends with highly visible positions and to get potential rivals out of the barracks, the administrative structure of the country was re-organised into 24 Crisis, Adjustment and Growth in Uganda provinces - led by powerful governors - parallel structures to the central administration, but with little local participation in decisionmaking.

Soon after taking power, Amin included a number of top academics in his government - the key word at the time was efficiency - and he had quickly moved to reverse Obote's 'socialism' by reducing to 49 per cent the 60 per cent state participation in major businesses, which had been declared in the Nakivubo Pronouncements of May, 1970. This assuaged the apprehension of the large, mostly Asian-owned companies and the multinationals, but the respite was short-lived. Amin was in a populist mood, blaming Obote (Uganda, 1972a)for 'over-concentration on politics, at the expense of taking care of our economic life'.

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