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Country Reports

Uganda Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

President Yoweri Museveni is highly likely to run for a sixth term in 2021. He is likely to seek re-nomination at the 2019 National Resistance Movement (NRM) ruling party delegates' conference. Museveni is unlikely to be challenged successfully from within the NRM or by the opposition. Inward investors, especially those investing in the power, mining, and infrastructure sectors, can expect political assistance and favourable tax arrangements, but established investors who fail to meet production, progress, and price targets face having their tax arrangements and contracts reviewed or revoked. Additionally, the government is likely to push for greater value-addition (e.g. local processing of minerals) when (re)negotiating agreements or concessions. Oil sector contract alteration is less likely due to the disruptive impact this could have on the commencement of oil production, which the government aims to achieve in 2021. We assess that actual production is unlikely before 2023 despite Museveni viewing it as a key part of his legacy. Sustained or disruptive protests are unlikely. Where protests do occur, including in Kampala, the security forces will respond swiftly with force. Western intelligence co-operation in countering external threats and a lack of local affiliates mitigate the risk of attack by the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab, but rising violent crime indicates deteriorating police effectiveness. A successful coup attempt in Uganda is unlikely. With improving fundamentals in the private sector and a brighter outlook for business confidence, we expect GDP growth of 6.0% in 2018 and 6.1% in 2019. Further investment spending in energy infrastructure will lead growth in 2018 and 2019, with the government's spending focus being on road maintenance rather than new project development. Export growth performance will continue to depend on key global agricultural price developments, but volatile export patterns are likely as a result of political instability in Uganda's key trading partners. © 2018, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Last update: November 30, 2018

Operational Outlook

Corruption and crippling bureaucracy remain endemic problems in Uganda, with the embezzlement of public funds and solicitation of bribes widespread, including at top government levels. Poor infrastructure constrains the development of business in the country. Some obstacles, such as power generation and transport infrastructure, are also priority areas for development. However, the government will likely continue to struggle to fully meet its funding commitments in joint projects. In July 2016, the Competitiveness and Investment Climate Strategy Secretariat claimed that state regulatory requirements and burdens cost the private sector over USD200 million annually.

Last update: November 27, 2018

Terrorism

Elevated

The same under-funding, corruption, and politicisation that has impaired the Ugandan police in combating increasing violent crime has likely also undermined past-improvements to counter-terrorism efforts. Western intelligence co-operation and a lack of local Islamist affiliates contribute to keeping successful large IED attacks utilising unlikely, although Uganda remains an aspirational target for Al-Shabaab. Since its July 2010 attacks in Kampala, Al-Shabaab and its proxies have focused their attacks on neighbouring Kenya. There is an increased risk of attacks on security forces by 'traditional kingdom' militants in the southwest, and of armed raids into western Uganda by DRC-based militants, facilitated by growing co-operation with Ugandan criminal networks.

Last update: November 27, 2018

War Risks

Military conflict with neighbouring states is unlikely. Sporadic violent incidents along the DRC-Uganda border (particularly Lakes Albert and Edward) are probable, but are unlikely to escalate into wider conflict. Rwanda-Uganda relations deteriorated during 2017 but will likely improve following Rwanda's October reshuffles that marginalised anti-Uganda officials. The risk of even localised fighting between Ugandan and Rwandan forces will remain very low as long as they are not both deployed into eastern DRC. A successful coup attempt in Uganda is unlikely, but security services cohesion and efficacy are slowly worsening, affected by President Museveni's strategy of fostering security-services rivalries to prevent threats to his rule emerging.

Last update: November 27, 2018

Social Stability

High

The likelihood of new mass anti-government demonstrations along the lines of the 2011 "Walk to Work" protests has decreased with the failure of independent MP Robert Kyagulanyi (alias "Bobi Wine") and his People Power movement to harness popular discontent and unify the opposition. Consequently, smaller protests that occur will likely be quickly suppressed by security forces, entailing only minor cargo and travel disruption, and with major property damage remaining unlikely. Protests are most likely in Kampala's Kamwokya (home of Bobi Wine), Kiseka Market, Namirembe, and Katwe neighbourhoods, and outlying areas; nearby Wakiso and Mpisi districts; and other towns.

Last update: November 27, 2018

Health Risk

Severe

Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: November 27, 2013

Natural Risks

Very high

Much of the country is vulnerable to flooding during the two rainy seasons (normally from March to May and October to November). The northeast of the country is particularly susceptible to flooding and there is a high risk of landslides in Bulecheke sub-county of Bududa district.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

Elevated

Road infrastructure in the country is often in a state of disrepair and the country reports high rates of traffic fatalities. Never travel by car at night, except on the Kampala-Entebbe road (e.g. to the airport), and exercise caution when doing so during the day. There is a risk of being violently attacked by surrounding crowds following a road accident; after a collision, remain in your vehicle and drive to a police station to report the incident.

Police checkpoints are common and may be used to extort bribes.

Public transportation should be avoided, including Matatu minibus taxis and Boda Boda motorcycle taxis, which are frequently involved in serious, and often fatal, road collisions. Foreigners have frequently been mugged while using Boda Bodas.

In the past several years, there have been several fatal ferry accidents on Lake Albert and Lake Victoria. Travelers are advised to ensure that they are using a reputable ferry company and to not board a ferry that seems overloaded or unseaworthy.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

Uganda is located in a tropical zone but its climate is relatively temperate due to its high elevation. The hot season lasts from December until January, with temperatures higher in the north than in the south. There are two rainy seasons, from March until May and again from October until December.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +256
Police: 999, 0414 342 222 or 0414 342 223
Fire Dept.: 999, 0414 342 222 or 0414 342 223
Ambulance: 999, 0414 342 222 or 0414 342 223

Electricity

Voltage: 240 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: January 31, 2014