Uganda chokes on debt

A new study shows that Uganda’s debt burden has doubled over the past four years.

The study commissioned by the Uganda Debt Network indicates that the country’s external debt now stands at 4.7bn US dollars.

Out of this amount 2.8bn dollars is outstanding debt, while 1.9bn dollars is committed to but not yet disbursed.

Addressing the media today, one of people who conducted the research, Gabriel Wasswa of Makerere university’s department of economics revealed that an equivalent of 699m shillings of the new loans were approved by parliament, increasing the country’s foreign debt exposure to 5.4bn dollars- the highest in Uganda’s history.

He also noted poor absorption of loans by various government departments where projects for which money is borrowed are abandoned after disbursement.

He also calls for controlled borrowing, saying the country will soon have no funds to service loans.

The research was carried out between August and September this year.

Story by Patricia Osman