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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Museveni Trashes World Bank Figures, Insists Uganda is a Middle Income Country

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni is convinced the country he has led since 1986 has already attained the middle income status and not even the World Bank’s contrary opinion will stop him from making all and sundry join him in celebrating this milestone. 

Last month, Museveni wondered why his finance minister Matia Kasaija was shy to tell the country and the world that Kampala had sailed through to the middle income status, an achievement that would be attributed to his economic policies and investment in infrastructure and security.

Addressing the nation on the state of the economy last month, Museveni told Ugandans: “The Ugandan economy, by the budget time in the next few days, will be standing at US$ 45.7billion by the exchange rate method and at US$131.6bn by the PPP method. This means that the GDP per capita is now $1046. You remember, the entrance point for the lower-middle-income status is US$1036. We have now passed that figure. Congratulations.”

Museveni even expressed confidence that Kampala would sustain the GDP per capital of $1046 for three consecutive years to cement her position in the middle income class of nations.

But the President’s claim was dismissed by the World Bank whose data shows that Uganda is still a little far away from the middle income status. According to the 19th State of the Economy Update of the World Bank, Uganda’s per capita income has not grown as alleged by Museveni since more economic growth was accompanied by more population growth.

The year 2022’s projections even seem to be worse news for Museveni. The World Bank projects that the economy will grow at about 3.7 per cent, which is far below the six per cent rate of the pre-pandemic times. As such, the Bank estimates that the country’s per capita income is at around $850, meaning that Uganda is below the required threshold by a considerable margin of $196 per capita.

It is on this basis that the World Bank thinks that Uganda is far away from the middle income status. According to the Bank, unless a miracle of accelerated economic growth happens in the next few years, talk of middle income status would just remain wishful.

But the 77-year-old Ugandan General has insisted that according to the figures by his government, the impoverished but naturally endowed East African country is a middle class nation.

On July 13, Museveni told those attending the launch of Apex, a Public Policy Executive Oversight Forum set up to fasttrack the implementation of presidential guidelines that the economy was growing and that Uganda was through to middle income despite World Bank’s protestations.

“The other day I heard some arguments about whether we have gone to middle income or not. I do not know where the World Bank is getting their data from but our data about our country is that we are now at GDP per capita of $1,046 (Shs3.9m) and that is already in the middle income. We need to stay there for three more years or go up to be declared officially,” said Museveni.

LOUD & CLEAR: Museveni Delivers Clear Message to World Bank

Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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