A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


altVi core Ugandan member, the Makerere University Business School, under the leadership of lecturer Timothy Esemu, has completed a local adaptation of the Vi teaching material on Competitiveness and Development.

The localization was developed in order to incorporate the Vi material into several undergraduate and post-graduate programmes, in classes such as the Environment of International Business, or Trade Policy Analysis and Competitiveness.

The adaptation covers the four modules of the material, and includes discussion questions and exercises applied to various sectors in Uganda as well as a review of the literature on the subject. 
The first module introduces the concept of competitiveness, describes the policy framework for national competitiveness in Uganda since 1994, and explains the long term vision of the country's Integrated Industrial Policy for Sustainable Industrial Development and Competitiveness strategy. The impact of liberalization on competitiveness is illustrated by a case study on the Ugandan telecommunications industry.

In the second module, two significant examples illustrate Michael Porter's theory on the competitive advantage of nations. The study on the flower export sector in Uganda highlights the importance of comparing competitiveness between sectors, as well as the challenges faced in getting comparable data across sectors in different countries. The example of the cotton sub-sector shows the fragility of the sector, proposing a two-pronged development strategy targeting the primary production and the secondary ginning segment of the sector.
Module 3 provides an illustration of indicators assessing competitiveness of Uganda. These include the foreign exchange rate developments in Uganda for the past decade, the Trade Performance Index developed by ITC , the Global Competitiveness Report prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as well as the UNIDO competitive industrial performance index for Uganda. It concludes that despite the general improvement in the ranking of Uganda’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) index, the country is still way behind in terms of industrial development and competitiveness.
The last module includes a set of specific exercises, discussion and review questions on the determinants of competitiveness at the private-sector and national levels in Uganda. It also includes an annotated list of locally relevant reading materials and sources of data for the purpose of analyzing the determinants of competitiveness in the Ugandan context. 
The localization material is available to Virtual Institute university members only .