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84% Unhappy with Uganda’s Economic Management – Survey

At least 5 out of 6 citizens are unhappy with the way the current government is managing the economy.

The same economic concerns are evident in citizens’ levels of satisfaction in the direction Uganda is heading, research shows.

According to Twaweza’s new ‘Sauti za Wananchi’ survey, a nationally-representative, high-frequency mobile phone panel study, 84 percent of the population is dissatisfied with the country’s economic management.

13 percent of the population says completely or somewhat satisfied while 3 percent don’t know.

While government has reassured on its commitment to address several challenges to the economy including abuse of resources and failure to widen the tax revenue base, the survey findings show a lot needs to be done to build confidence among the people.

Uganda’s economy has grown at a slower pace recently, thus reducing its impact on poverty.

Average annual growth was 4.5 percent in the five years to Financial Year 2016, compared to the 7 percent achieved during the 1990s and early 2000s.

The slowdown was mainly driven by adverse weather, unrest in South Sudan, private sector credit constraints, and the poor execution of public projects.

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Amidst these, and as a reflection of an unrealized fiscal stimulus, growth slowed further to 3.5 percent in 2016/17.

The World Bank recently said the economy may recover to above 6 percent in 2018/19, if weather conditions improve, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows accelerate, the banking system stabilizes, and budgeted, capital spending is executed without delays.

The Sauti survey showed there were also high levels of dissatisfaction with the country’s trends on corruption (80 percent) and employment (71 percent.

However, the report indicated that a majority (62 percent) are satisfied with the country’s progress on improving security.

The research conducted between October 6-13, 2017 indicated that half of citizens have gone without food for a day in the past three months.

“One out of two citizens (49 percent) have, in the three months before the survey, gone a whole day without eating due to a lack of money or other resources,” said Twaweza in a report released on Tuesday.

Even larger numbers have experienced difficulties with food security over the same period. Five out of six (85 percent) have been worried that they would run out of food, and three out of four (75 percent) had to skip a meal.

Twaweza said data was collected from 1,925 respondents in the first round of calls to the Sauti za Wananchi panel, conducted between 6 and 13 October, 2017

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