September 11, 2018

UK joins World Bank to back Uganda planning with $12m

July 9, 2018—The British government and World Bank Group have jointly come up with $12 million for the financially strapped National Planning Authority (NPA) who have the main job of charting Uganda’s path to middle-income status and future sustainable prosperity.

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With Barugh looking on, Malmberg Calvo (third right) said the latest donor support will try and help find solutions for the gaps in Uganda’s revenue collection and service delivery among other problems.

The country is presently implementing the second phase (NDPII) of the National Development Plan and this is part of a series of six five-year Plans aimed at achieving the Uganda Vision 2040.

The goal is to propel the country towards middle income status by 2020 through strengthening the country’s competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth.

“This partnership between DfID, Government and the World Bank provides an opportunity to close the gaps in revenue collection and service delivery, which will help Uganda get a better return on its public investments.  The Trust Fund will support  the government to strengthen management of public investments so that the right investments are selected, competitively procured and supervised, implemented on time, and subsequently maintained to deliver the intended impact on economic growth and poverty reduction,” Christina Malmberg Calvo, the World Bank Country Manager said in a statement.

Together with the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), the World Bank is providing $12 million (some UGX46 billion) to be channeled in a multi-donor Trust Fund to support and strengthen implementation of the NDP.

Dr. Joseph Muvawala, the NDP Executive Director said Uganda’s returns on public investments remain low as is the situation with revenue collection. He said the new fund will be helpful in building the government’s capacity to mobilize more revenue domestically.

“In the next NDP, our efforts are going to be on making sure that we select and priorities projects that are socially and economically viable and can bring in returns. We thank the World Bank and the British government for this contribution and believe it will go a long way in improving the capacity of Ugandans,” he said.

The Trust Fund will run for three and a half years, and will enable the government to carry out research and move forward with reforms to raise more domestic revenues, improve public investment management, including attracting new private sector capital to finance infrastructure, and to support governance and anti-corruption efforts.

Head of DfID in Uganda, Jennie Barugh said, the Fund is in line with the UK’s commitment to help Uganda improve transparency as well as overcome its demographic challenges.

“Our contribution to this World Bank Trust Fund, aimed at improving public investment management and raising domestic revenues, with more transparency, reconfirms the UK commitment to support the delivery of the NDPII.  Currently, Uganda gets low returns from public investments and raises less in revenue than other East African countries.  Addressing these issues will improve economic growth rates and assist Uganda realize the aspiration to become a middle-income country,” she said.

A Joint Advisory Committee will oversee the Trust Fund, and is comprised of the heads of the World Bank and DfID, and government representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, NPA and the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Fund has a rapid response window that will enable the World Bank to provide quick policy advice, technical assistance, and any other interventions, as need may arise. This is the second such partnership between DfID and the World Bank. The first Fund, also totaling $12 million, supported the government to successfully implement the first phase of the NDP from financial year 2010/11 to 2014/15.

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