Uganda's Competitiveness Position Globally Drops

Kampala — LOW pay and productivity of labour, costly telecommunication, a high level of market dominance and limited electricity supply have caused Uganda's global growth competitiveness rank to drop from 79 in 2004 to 87 in 2005, the 2005/2006 Global Competitiveness Survey has revealed.

Out of 117 countries surveyed by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, Tanzania had the best growth competitiveness index in East Africa.

Tanzania was ranked 71 from 82 in 2004, while Kenya was ranked 92 after dropping from 78.

South Africa at 42, Botswana at 48 and Mauritius at 52 led African countries while Finland, US and Sweden respectively were the best.

Dr. Deluis Asiimwe, a senior research fellow at Makerere University Institute of Social Research who presented the survey report at Hotel Africana in Kampala, said the survey measures the growth potential of countries.

"This shows that Uganda's growth prospects are worsening. This survey looked at the factors, policies and institutions, which determine the level of productivity. So far, Uganda still has a lot of work to do in areas like technology, public institutions, macro-economic environment and business competitiveness," Asiimwe said.

Uganda's biggest undoing was in areas like pay and productivity where it ranked second last at 116, telephone lines 115, market dominance 113 and quality of electricity supply at 112.

Asiimwe said Uganda performed favourably in real effective exchange rates ranking 14 and foreign direct investment and technology transfer ranking 15th worldwide.

In technology, Uganda was ranked 82nd.

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