6 Develop a global partnership for development

Where we are?

  • In the MDG report for 2013, Uganda is listed as one of the best performing countries for MGD 8.
  • Uganda’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) has been steadily reducing since 1990.
  • Between 2010 and 2011, Uganda has the highest percentage (38 per cent) increase in the number of fixed telephone lines
  • The use of mobile phone has also increased especially with the introduction of mobile money transfers. The service is used to pay utility bills like water, electricity even school fees; mobile banking among others.
  • Increased use of the sms services and “apps” to effect social change for example students use the app “Not in my country” to report corruption cases at universities.
  • In 2011 Uganda registered about 15 cellular subscribers per 100 people, and a little over 10 internet users per 100 people.

While the Government of Uganda is vigorously working its way out of aid dependence, it still acknowledges the vital role that aid has to play in financing and technical assistance. With over half the population living below the poverty line in the early 1990s and many basic public services lacking, the need for large amounts of aid targeted at social sectors was very clear.  The Government is therefore keen to see more of its development partners’ direct large amounts of their ODA to sectors that are critical for its ability to address its strategic objectives of employment creation and socioeconomic transformation.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) per capita is expected to increase from just over US$ 22 in 2008/2009 to US$ 39 in 2011/2012 only to fall back to USD35 in 2014/15. This is significantly below the 12% share of ODA to GDP that the Millennium Project estimated that Uganda would need on average over the period 2005- 2015 in order to finance programmes that would enable the country to meet the MDGs. It is also contrary to the pledges made by the leaders of the G8 group of nations at their summit in Gleneagles in Scotland in 2005. The MDG Africa Steering Group has estimated that the global commitments to increase ODA to sub-Saharan Africa as pledged at Gleneagles would correspond to a level of ODA of USD85 per capita in each country. On this basis it is easy to compute the ‘Gleneagles gap’ in Uganda as the difference between projected ODA from 2010/11 and the USD85 per capita pledged at Gleneagles. This gap ranges between USD46-50 per capita over the planning period 2010/11-2014/15. The total gap is US$ 1.7 billion in the first year and US$ 1.87 billion in the final year of the NDP. The share of bilateral ODA remains significant in total ODA to Uganda. It is in steady decline, though, having fallen from 53.8% in 2006/2007 to 40.2% in 2009/2010. Considering that there has not been a significant increase in ODA disbursements to Uganda, this reflects, on the one hand, the growing preference among development partners to channel their assistance through multi-lateral institutions and arrangements and, on the other hand, their waning attachment to their own commitments.

The amount of savings Uganda has benefited from as a result of the various debt relief initiatives has generally been significant, especially given the poverty sensitivity of the programmes financed by these savings. Debt relief savings over the period 2005/2006 and 2009/2010 amounted to an annual average of US$ 118 million. With Uganda’s foreign earnings from the export of goods and services now standing at US$ 2.8 billion, the country’s debt service payments are an increasingly smaller share of its export earnings. Hence, the Government may increase its external borrowing in order to make the strategic productive investments identified in the country’s National Development Plan 2010/11–2014/15. Nevertheless, the Government remains committed to contracting its debt under concessional terms as much as possible in order to avoid sliding back to the unsustainable debt levels experienced before the debt relief initiatives.

The final set of indicators under MDG 8 relates to the availability of information and communications technology, which are considered important enablers of development and for actively participating in the global partnership. It is also an area where Uganda‘s liberalized economy has supported private sector development and rapid expansion of the availability of new technologies, with substantial increases in the percentage of people having cellular or fixed-line telephones and internet access. Information and communication have greatly improved, especially with the introduction of competition in the telecommunications industry. While the number of fixed-line telephones per 100 people rose from 0.3 to 0.5 between 2004 and 2008, the expansion in cell phone subscribers per 100 people increased more than six-fold, from 4.5 to 28.9. The increase in the number of internet users per 100 people has been even faster over the same relatively short period, rising from 1.1 in 2004 to 8.4 in 2008.

UNDP's work in Uganda

  • Promoting the teaching of Human Development (HD) paradigm in the education curriculum is key to addressing some of the impediments to the achievement of the MDGs (Photo by UNDP Uganda)

    Infusing the Human Development Paradigm in Education

    UNDP is promoting the teaching of the Human Development (HD) paradigm through introduction of a course in some universities in the country. This is creating amore

Targets for MDG8
  1. Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
    • Developing countries gain greater access to the markets of developed countries
    • Least developed countries benefit most from tariff reductions, especially on their agricultural products
  2. Address the special needs of least developed countries
    • Net Official development assistance (ODA), total and to the least developed countries, as percentage of OECD/DAC donors' gross national income
    • Proportion of total bilateral, sector-allocable ODA of OECD/DAC donors to basic social services (basic education, primary health care, nutrition, safe water and sanitation)
    • Proportion of bilateral official development assistance of OECD/DAC donors that is untied
    • Market access
    • Debt sustainability
  3. Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
    • Official development assistance (ODA) received in landlocked developing countries as a proportion of their gross national income
    • ODA received in small island developing States as a proportion of their gross national incomes
    • Proportion of bilateral official development assistance of OECD/DAC donors that is untied
    • Market access
    • Debt sustainability
  4. Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries
    • Total number of countries that have reached their HIPC decision points and number that have reached their HIPC completion points (cumulative)
    • Debt relief committed under HIPC and MDRI Initiatives
    • Debt service as a percentage of exports of goods and services
  5. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries
    • Proportion of population with access to affordable essential drugs on a sustainable basis
  6. In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications
    • Telephone lines per 100 population
    • Cellular subscribers per 100 population
    • Internet users per 100 population