KAMPALA, March 5, 2020 – The World Bank Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem today concluded a two-day visit to Uganda and commended the significant progress made by the government and the people of Uganda. This was Ghanem’s first visit to Uganda.
“Uganda has made great strides in reducing poverty, and the World Bank stands ready to support the country’s development priorities,” said Ghanem. “We see the private sector as a critical partner in Uganda’s continued progress, helping to create better jobs and empower women and young people for more inclusive and sustainable growth.”
While in Uganda, Ghanem met with President Yoweri Museveni and discussed how the World Bank can best support the Government’s emerging priorities in the next national development plan, including efforts to improve infrastructure and invest in human capital particularly through women empowerment. The Bank will also continue to support Uganda’s progressive refugee policies and practices as well as strengthen its response to pandemic outbreaks such as Ebola and COVID-19 and shocks such as the recent locust invasion.
With 1.39 million, Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa and the third largest in the world. The World Bank through the Sub Window for Host Communities and Refugees of the International Development Association has provided up to $500 million in grants to improve infrastructure, economic opportunities and access to better social services for refugees and the communities hosting them. During his visit Ghanem met with refugees and Hilary Onek, the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister, which is responsible for refugee management and coordinates the national refugee response.
Ghanem also met with the Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, the Minister for Health, Dr Jane Aceng, and other senior government officials including the National Planning Authority, development partners, and representatives from the private sector, civil society, women and youth.
The World Bank in Uganda
Uganda has been a member of the World Bank Group since September 1963 and has received more than $10 billion to finance over 100 development projects across all major sectors. As of February 2020, total commitments from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and IDA were at $2.9 billion for 24 projects. Two thirds of the Bank’s investment are in infrastructure. The International Finance Corporation’s investments stand at $175 million while the committed exposure for the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency amounts to $428 million.
The World Bank’s program in Uganda is governed by the Country Partnership Strategy for FY2016-2021 with three strategic focus areas of engagement: strengthening governance, accountability and service delivery; raising incomes in rural areas; and boosting inclusive growth in urban areas.