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National Services Policy Review - Uganda

Case study by UNCTAD, 2011

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This publication presents the results of the National Services Policy Review (NSPR) undertaken by the Government of Uganda in cooperation with UNCTAD

U N I T E D N AT I O N S C O N F E R E N C E O N T R A D E A N D D E V E L O P M E N T


U
G


AN
D


A


NATIONAL SERVICES
POLICY REVIEW




ii NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA


NOTE


The symbols of United Nations documents are composed of capital letters combined with figures. Mention of
such a symbol indicates a reference to a United Nations document.


The views expressed in this volume are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
United Nations Secretariat. The designations employed and the presentation of the material do not imply the
expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations Secretariat concerning the legal status of
any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries,
or regarding its economic system or degree of development.


Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, but acknowledgement is requested, together with
a reference to the document number. A copy of the publication containing the quotation or reprint should be sent
to the UNCTAD secretariat, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.


For further information on the Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch and its activities,
please contact:


Ms. Mina MASHAYEKHI
Head, Trade Negotiations and


Commercial Diplomacy Branch
Division of International Trade in Goods and


Services, and Commodities
Tel: +41 22 917 56 40
Fax: +41 22 917 00 44


E-mail: trade.negotiations@unctad.org
www.unctad.org/tradenegotiations


Copyright © United Nations, 2011
All rights reserved. Printed in Switzerland


UNCTAD/DITC/TNCD/2010/1




Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD


FOREWORD


For many years, UNCTAD has been emphasizing the importance of developing countries strengthening and
diversifying their services sector. Since 1990 the share of services in GDP in developed countries grew from 64
percent to 72 percent. By contrast, in developing countries the share of services in GDP grew from 46 percent
to 50 percent, with services accounting for only 35 percent of formal employment. These figures suggest a large
un-tapped potential for developing countries to advance the development of their services sectors.


The Accra Accord states that “The services economy is the new frontier for the expansion of trade, productivity
and competitiveness, and for the provision of essential services and universal access.” The Accord calls upon
UNCTAD to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to establish regulatory and
institutional frameworks and cooperative mechanisms to strengthen the capacity, efficiency and competitiveness
of their services sector, and to increase their participation in global services production and trade, including
by “providing support in national services assessment and policy reviews.” UNCTAD developed its tailor made
National Services Policy Reviews (NSPR) in response to the Accra Accord.


The services sector in Uganda is now the largest sector in the economy. The aggregate contribution of services to
GDP in 2008/09 was 51.2 percent with a growth rate of 9.4 percent, faster than the growth rates in the agriculture
and industrial sectors for the same year. The Uganda NSPR focused on four future growth areas within the
services sector, namely professional, insurance, accountancy and construction services.


In conducting the NSPR a national team of experts, with technical assistance from UNCTAD, engaged with a
broad group of stakeholders from government, industry, academia and civil society to identify challenges and
opportunities in the abovementioned services. The UNCTAD team worked closely with Cyprian Batala, Assistant
Commissioner, External Trade, Laurean Bategana, from the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry, Dr. Francis
Mangeni, Director of Trade, Customs and Monetary Affairs at the Secretariat of the Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa, George Walusimbi-Mpanga, who formed the national team, and His Excellency Ambassador
Arsene Balihuta and Mr. Elly Kamahungye, both of whom at the time were with the Permanent Mission of Uganda
to the UN offices in Geneva. The review process included an analysis of the current policy framework for
professional, insurance, accountancy and construction services; regulatory and institutional challenges inhibiting
sectoral development; national development objectives; prospective policy options to strengthen domestic supply
capacity and SMEs competitiveness; and the potential impacts of services and services trade liberalization on
sectoral FDI, SMEs, efficiency, employment, access to foreign markets and universal access to basic services.


The resulting wide-ranging but concrete recommendations from the NSPR are set out in detail in the body of this
report and include proposed measures to enhance the contributions of the professional, insurance, accountancy
and construction services to Uganda’s economy. In the professional services sector recommendations to leverage
Uganda’s large pool of medium and high skill workers and enhance professional services exports in the East
Africa Community was stressed. In the accountancy services sector the need for legislative reform to grant a
legal mandate to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda as a means of increasing professional
and ethical compliance was highlighted. In the insurance sector, the need for the proposed mandatory National
Health Insurance Scheme to provide medical insurance cover to the majority of the Ugandan population, largely
in the informal sector was considered important as was the need to create a body charged with the duty to advise
Government on appropriate risk management policies. In the construction services sector, stakeholders were of
the view that updating and adopting the draft National Construction Industry Policy would be key in addressing a
large number of policy, regulatory, institutional and capacity gaps.


I hope that the contents of this publication will contribute to providing a strategic vision for the development of
Uganda’s services sector, and assist the country to continue to derive development benefits from trade in services.


iiiFOREWORD




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


This publication presents the results of a National Services Policy Review (NSPR) undertaken by the Government
of Uganda in cooperation with UNCTAD.


Part I presents a report prepared by UNCTAD to support Uganda’s NSPR entitled "Strategies for Advancing
Development of the Services Sectors of Uganda". The UNCTAD Report was prepared by a team led by Mina
Mashayekhi, Head, Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch. Team members included Deepali
Fernandes and Robert Hamwey. Comments were provided by Alberto Gabriele and other TNCDB staff. The
report draws on the ongoing substantive work of UNCTAD in the services sector.


Part II presents the NSPR Report of Uganda. It was prepared by a national team of experts with guidance
and substantive support provided by UNCTAD. The national team included Francis Mangeni and George
Walusimbi-Mpanga. Francis Mangeni is Director of Trade, Customs and Monetary Affairs at the Secretariat of
the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, with the main responsibility of policy and implementation
of programmes on regional integration through trade and investment and on trade and economic relations
with the rest of the world. George Walusimbi-Mpanga is Executive Secretary of the Uganda Services Exporters
Association, Uganda’s National Enquiry Point on Trade in Services. He has also been a member of Uganda’s
Trade Negotiating Team at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and other regional and bilateral organizations as
well as a member of the High-Level Task Force that negotiated the Protocol to establish the Common Market of
the East African Community. Inputs were also made by Cyprian Batala, Assistant Commissioner, External Trade,
Uganda's Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry and Laurean Bategana, Senior Commercial Officer, Ministry of
Tourism, Trade and Industry, who served as the national focal point for the NSPR.


Part III provides a brief report of the Meeting on National Services Policy Reviews convened in Geneva on
16 March 2010 and other annexes. UNCTAD convened this meeting to provide an opportunity for national
teams from the Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal and Uganda to present their NSPR reports to each other, UNCTAD,
Geneva-based United Nations delegates and trade negotiators, and the Department for International Development
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Government
of Uganda or those of UNCTAD.


The Uganda NSPR project was made possible through financial support provided by the Department for
International Development.


Laura Moresino prepared the cover page and Paula Genoud-Villegas performed the text editing and formatting
for this publication.


iv NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




CONTENTS


Note ........................................................................................................................................................................ ii


Foreword ............................................................................................................................................................... iii


Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................................................... iv


PART I. STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT
OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA ........................................................................................... 1


A. Background ........................................................................................................................................... 2


B. Economic Panorama ............................................................................................................................. 2


C. Enhancing Growth and Performance in the Services Sector ............................................................. 9


1. Building a Master Plan .......................................................................................................................................9


2. Strengthening Existing Services Sectors .........................................................................................................10


3. Maturing the New Emerging Services Sectors ................................................................................................17


4. National Trade Policies for the Expansion of Key Services Sectors ................................................................26


D. Recommendations for National Consultations ................................................................................. 32


PART II. INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING AND CONSTRUCTION
AND ENGINEERING SERVICES .......................................................................................................... 33


A. Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 34


1. Methodology ....................................................................................................................................................34


2. Sectoral Coverage ...........................................................................................................................................34


B. Economic Overview of Uganda’s Services Sector ........................................................................... 35


1. Background ......................................................................................................................................................35


2. Professional Services .......................................................................................................................................37


C. Accounting Services Sector ............................................................................................................... 39


1. Trend Analysis ..................................................................................................................................................39


2. Regulation in the Accounting Services Sector .................................................................................................39


3. Uganda’s Accounting Services Sector – Regional Status ...............................................................................40


4. Accounting Services and Professional Development .....................................................................................40


5. Trade Liberalization in Uganda’s Accounting Services Sector ........................................................................42


6. Uganda’s Accounting Services Sector: an Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities
and Threats ......................................................................................................................................................43


D. Insurance Services Sector ................................................................................................................. 45


1. Trend Analysis ..................................................................................................................................................45


2. Uganda’s Insurance Services and the Millennium Development Goals .........................................................45


vCONTENTS




3. Trade Liberalization in Uganda’s Insurance Services Sector ...........................................................................47


4. Regulation of Insurance Services in Uganda ...................................................................................................49


5. Uganda’s Insurance Sector: an Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats .................51


E. Legal Services Sector ......................................................................................................................... 55


1. Trend Analysis ..................................................................................................................................................55


2. Regulation in the Legal Services Sector ..........................................................................................................55


3. Regulation Challenges in the Legal Services Sector .......................................................................................56


4. Trade Liberalization in Uganda’s Legal Services Sector ..................................................................................60


5. Legal Services Sector: an Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats ...........................62


F. Construction and Engineering Services Sector ................................................................................. 63


1. Trend Analysis ..................................................................................................................................................63


2. Regulation in the Construction and Engineering Services Sector ...................................................................64


3. Construction and Engineering Services and the Millennium Development Goals ..........................................66


4. Trade Liberalization in the Construction and Engineering Services Sector .....................................................67


5. Uganda’s Construction and Engineering Services Sector: an Analysis of Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats .........................................................................................................69


G. Recommendations .............................................................................................................................. 74


1. Accounting Services ........................................................................................................................................74


2. Insurance Services ...........................................................................................................................................75


3. Legal Services ..................................................................................................................................................76


4. Construction and Engineering Services ...........................................................................................................77


References ...........................................................................................................................................................79


PART III. ANNEXES AND NOTES ........................................................................................................ 81


Annex 1. Report on the Meeting on National Services Policy Reviews, Geneva, 16 March 2010 .......................82


Annex 2. Interview Guide......................................................................................................................................85


Annex 3. Key Respondents ..................................................................................................................................86


Annex 4. Agenda: First UNCTAD-Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry Uganda National
Stakeholder Workshop on Services Kampala, Uganda, 8–12 September 2008 ..................................87


Annex 5. List of participants: First UNCTAD/Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry Uganda
National Stakeholder Wokshop on Services - Kampala, Uganda, 8–12 September 2008 ..................91


Annex 6. Agenda - Second UNCTAD-Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry National
Stakeholder Workshop on Services- Kampala, Uganda, 18-19 November 2009 ................................93


Annex 7. List of Participants: Second UNCTAD-Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry
National Stakeholder Workshop on Services- Kampala, Uganda, 18–19 November 2009 .................94


Notes ....................................................................................................................................................................95


vi NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Boxes


Box I.1. Tourism Sector: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats ...................................................15


Box I.2. Telecommunication Sector: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats .................................17


Box I.3. Information Technology Services Sector: Strengths,Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats .............21


Box I.4. Insurance Services Sector: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats ..................................23


Box I.5. Construction and Engineering Services Sector: Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats ......................................................................................................................25


Figures


Figure I.1. Structure of The Ugandan Economy in 1987 and 2005 .......................................................................4


Figure I.2. Sectoral Composition of Uganda’s GDP in 2005 .................................................................................5


Figure I.3. Relative Performance of Uganda’s Services and Merchandise Exports
Over the Past Decade ...........................................................................................................................5


Figure I.4. Breakdown of Uganda’s Commercial Services Exports in 2006 ..........................................................6


Figure I.5. Export Performance of Selected Commercial Services Sectors, 2002–2006.......................................6


Figure I.6. GDP Growth in Uganda ........................................................................................................................8


Figure I.7. Evolution of GDP in Uganda in 2005 ....................................................................................................8


Figure I.8. Process for Master Plan Development .............................................................................................11


Figure II.1. Balance of Trade in Services, 2003–2007 ..........................................................................................38


Figure II.2. Reinsurance Premiums Ceded as a Percentage of Gross Premiums, 2003–2007 ...........................48


Tables


Table I.1. Main Functions Served by the Master Plan ..........................................................................................10


Table I.2. Uganda Telephone Subscribers and Talk Time, 2003-2007 .................................................................16


Table I.3. Summary of Uganda’s Commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services ..............27


Table II.1. Economic Structure and Performance, 2003–2008 .............................................................................36


Table II.2. Services Imported by Uganda, 2003–2007 .........................................................................................37


Table II.3. Services Exported by Uganda, 2003–2007 .........................................................................................37


Table II.4. Life and Non-Life Reinsurance Trends, 2003–2007 .............................................................................45


Table II.5. Contribution of the Insurance Sector to GDP and Market Penetration, 2000–2007 ............................46


Table II.6. Insurance Premiums and GDPs of Selected African Countries ..........................................................46


Table II.7. Employment Trends in Uganda’s Insurance Industry, 2003–2007 ......................................................46


Table II.8. Industrial Sector GDP Growth Rates, 2003–2008................................................................................64


viiCONTENTS




STRATEGIES FOR
ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT
OF THE SERVICES SECTORS


OF UGANDA




A. BACKGROUND


A vast body of analytical and empirical research
undertaken by UNCTAD clearly demonstrates that a
thriving services sector is vital for all countries. 1 High
rates of investment and economic growth associated
with services can contribute to poverty alleviation
and human development when the right policies are
in place to overcome supply constraints and ensure
economy-wide development gains from services
and services trade. Domestic services supply and
services export opportunities for developing countries
therefore need to be supported and facilitated by
well-designed national policies, effective regulatory
and supervisory frameworks and multilateral or
regional agreements relating to services trade, with
an emphasis on creating an enabling environment for
small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which
account for the bulk of developing country firms in the
services sectors.


The recent expansion of global trade in services has
provided broad economic gains to a relatively small set
of developing countries that have developed modern,
high value-added services-oriented economies over
the past decade. By virtue of an early mover advantage,
these countries are now well positioned to benefit from
growth in the key services sectors they have developed
as distant service providers in global outsourcing
markets and as emerging services hubs in regional
markets. Examples are the outward-oriented service
economies of India, Hong Kong (China), Singapore
and the United Arab Emirates. Other countries just
steps behind these leaders include Mauritius, Jordan,
Tunisia and Cost Rica. Among the key growth sectors
are tourism, information technology-enabled services,
business process outsourcing, transport and logistics
services, financial services and multimedia services.


Empirical evidence indicates that national
governments, in consultation and coordination with the
private sector and civil society, have played a formative
role in the development of services economies in
both developed and developing economies. 2 They
have done so directly, by developing human, capital
and institutional infrastructure, and designing and
implementing supportive policy frameworks and
financial incentives; and indirectly, by demonstrating
the political will needed to drive the development of
services sectors, a record of macroeconomic and
political stability, good governance, transparency


and the rule of law. All of these factors are essential
in creating the environment needed to attract and
sustain investment in the services sectors. However,
while all are necessary for the development of a
vibrant export-oriented services economy, they are
certainly not sufficient; liberalized markets and high
levels of foreign demand for services remain prima
fasciae requirements.


Given the enabling and driving role that government
plays in the development of services economies, it
is useful for policymakers to devise national services
development strategies. Moreover, to ensure buy-in
and support, as well as to generate desirable spill-in
and spillover effects among related economic sectors,
strategy development should take place through
participative consultations at the national level with all
key actors, including parastatal institutions, potential
and existing foreign and domestic investors, the
private sector, labour groups and academia. The
inclusion of the latter two stakeholder groups are
particularly relevant to the development of services
strategies, since adequate labour transformations and
enhanced levels of human capacity are necessary to
promote growth of the services workforce.


Uganda currently seeks to enhance national
experience in developing national services
development strategies through multi-stakeholder
consultations and in subsequently owning and driving
these strategies with necessary government actions.
The exercise at hand thus aims to survey some of
the achievements Uganda has already made in
developing particular services sectors; examine what
can be done to further enhance their development,
including through regulatory, institutional and trade
policy reform; and identify what can be done to
promote the accelerated development of other
selected services sectors.


B. ECONOMIC PANORAMA


Uganda’s economy is based primarily on agriculture
with coffee as its main export. According to a 2008
mid-year estimate, some 80 per cent of Uganda’s 29.6
million citizens rely on agriculture for their livelihoods
and income. The country's dependence on fluctuating
prices in the world commodities market, and its
high degree of export concentration in a handful of
commodities have motivated stakeholders to pursue
opportunities to diversify the national economy,


2 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




including within the agricultural sector by expanding
the production and export of flowers, fruit and
vegetables, and by building national supply capacity
in industry and services.


In his 2008 New Year’s message to the nation,
President Yoweri Museveni said that Uganda's
economy had grown by 7 per cent in 2007, despite
power shortages and floods in the north and east of
the country. He stated that economic prospects for
2008 were even brighter, with gross domestic product
(GDP) expected to continue at the same pace. He
attributed this success to rising demands for services
and industry.


He further outlined economic priorities for 2008.
These included enhancing economic development
opportunities not only in major urban centres, but
throughout the country. Towards this goal, the
Government would develop an industrial park in every
regional centre in Uganda to support investors with
workspaces, serviced with the necessary facilities such
as electricity and water. Industrial parks would be set
up in Arua, Lira, Gulu, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo,
Iganga, Jinja, Luwero-Nakaseke, Nakasongola,
Bushenyi, Kabale, Kasese, Fort-Portal, Hoima, Rakai
and Mubende. Another priority would be developing
the energy infrastructure by the speedy construction
of Bujagali Dam and the development of the Karuma
Hydropower Project.


Although Uganda is a landlocked, least developed
country (LDC) with a predominantly rural population,
it has made considerable progress in diversifying its
economy over the past decade. 3 Recent GDP growth
reflects an ongoing restructuring process that has
been in place in Uganda over the past two decades
since the introduction of the National Economic
Reform Programme in 1987.4 Restructuring seeks to
reduce the country’s reliance on agricultural output
in favour of production in both industry and services.
As a result, the share of the industrial and services
sectors combined in real GDP increased from 53
per cent in 1996 to around 68 per cent in 2006. The
services sector is now the largest and most dynamic
sector in the Ugandan economy. Its share of GDP has
risen from 37 per cent to over 46 per cent today. It has
been buoyed by rapid growth in telecommunications,
tourism and financial services. However, although
restructuring has seen agriculture’s share of GDP
decline to 32 per cent, farming still engages about
80 per cent of the country’s workforce. As such, the
improvement in workers’ incomes has been largely


limited to urban population groups engaged in the
new economy.


Over the last decade and a half, Uganda has
implemented significant economic reforms, including
a wide-sweeping privatization, investment facilitation
and trade liberalization.


A policy of privatization was launched through an
improved public enterprise reform and divestiture
programme in 1995 that targeted 143 government-
owned parastatals for privatization. All have now been
partly or fully privatized. The only remaining public
enterprises that enjoy monopoly rights are Uganda
Railways and the National Postal Service (for certain
categories of letters). While the State continues to
have major interests in the energy sector for electricity
generation and distribution, it no longer maintains a
monopoly.


The Government has consistently implemented
policies aimed at enhancing the investment climate
by reducing bureaucracy, streamlining the legal
framework and fighting corruption. Investment law was
liberalized to facilitate the repatriation of profits and a
capital market was created in 1998. Foreign investors
may form 100 per cent foreign-owned companies
and majority or minority joint ventures with local
investors with no restrictions. Uganda offers various
tax incentives, including import-duty concessions and
accelerated depreciation for plant and machinery,
and value-added tax deferral. Investment licensing
requirements include a minimum capital of $100,000
for foreigners and $50,000 for Ugandans. The
Uganda Investment Authority was created in 1991 to
help foreign ventures set up domestic operations as
well as to facilitate domestic investment. The country
also enjoys a liberal foreign exchange regime, with a
stable, market-driven exchange rate. These features of
the economy have attracted foreign direct investment,
mainly in manufacturing, but increasingly in the
services sector, and thereby propelled continued
economic growth.


Uganda has also liberalized its trade policy.5 Reforms
include eliminating all quantitative restrictions;
applying a customs valuation method based on
the transaction value; simplifying its tariff structure
by reducing the number of bands from five in 1995
to three (zero, 7 per cent, and 15 per cent) and
substantially lowering maximum ad valorem tariff rates
from 60 per cent to 15 per cent. Some 16.4 per cent
of all tariff lines are duty free, while 39.3 per cent carry


3PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




the maximum rate of 15 per cent. Moreover, although
Uganda has limited market access in tourism and
telecommunication services under the WTO General
Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), it continues
to support a high level of autonomous liberalization in
the services sector.


In step with these privatization, investment and trade
policy reforms, the Ugandan economy has enjoyed
strong and sustained GDP growth, with particularly
robust expansion over the past decade. Since 1995,
Uganda’s real GDP has risen positively every year at
an average rate of 6.1 per cent. Over the same period,
however, real per capita GDP has only increased
from $280 to $350, largely owing to the country’s high
3.3 per cent population growth rate.6 Nevertheless,
government statistics indicate a steady decrease in
the proportion of Ugandans living in absolute poverty
– from over 50 per cent in 1995 to just over 30 per cent
in 2006 – making Uganda’s performance in reducing
poverty among the best in sub-Saharan Africa.


Trade has expanded the Ugandan economy beyond
national markets. Over the past decade, exports of
goods and services have more than doubled from
$565 million in 1995 to over $1.4 billion today, while
services have increased as a share of total exports
from 18 per cent to 32 per cent. Trade-led growth
is indeed a reality experienced in Uganda, where
the State is increasingly effective as a promoter
and facilitating agent in the country’s development
process.


Despite recent progress, however, Uganda continues
to run a large trade deficit. Merchandise imports are
typically twice the value of merchandise exports.
Uganda also runs a sizeable shortfall on the services
account, which notwithstanding increased services
exports, has grown significantly in recent years, owing
to substantial imports associated with infrastructure
investments. Donor support, debt and increasing
foreign direct investment cover most of the current
accounts deficit, and the former are also drivers of
imports for the infrastructure projects they finance.
Boosting national supply capacities to both reduce
and finance services import requirements is thus a
national objective.


However, many impediments to the realization of the
country’s full foreign trade potential remain. Insufficient
physical infrastructure, electricity shortages and
high transit costs continue to impair the growth of
its exports and overall economic progress. Both


impact negatively on producer costs, which remain
high across all economic sectors. Domestic supply
capacities for producer services also remain low, and
the Government realizes that additional efforts are
needed to stimulate entrepreneurship and domestic
investment in the services sector.


With its emphasis on creating an open economic
environment, the Ugandan economy has changed
considerably since 1987. Agriculture has declined
significantly as a component of GDP, while services
output has expanded. Figure I.1. shows the evolution
of the economy since 1987. Whereas services
accounted for only 31 per cent of total output in
1987, this figure has grown to over 46 per cent today.
Figure I.2 shows the sectoral contribution to GDP in
Uganda. The dominance of services’ contribution to
GDP is clearly discernable.


Figure I.3, which shows the relative performance of
merchandise and services exports, indicates that
services exports have out-performed merchandise
exports by a factor of better than 2 to 1. Average
annual growth over the 1995–2006 period for services
exports were 13.3 per cent, but only 4.8 per cent for
merchandise exports.


Source: UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics, 2008.


Figure I.1. Structure of The Ugandan Economy in
1987 and 2005


4 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Figure I.3. Relative Performance of Uganda’s Services and Merchandise Exports Over the Past Decade


Figure I.2. Sectoral Composition of Uganda’s GDP in 2005


Source: UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics, 2008.


Note: Pie shares not exclusive.
Source: National accounts data reported to the United Nations/UNCTAD.


5PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




the International Air Transport Association facilitate
tourism, its adherence to the international regulations
and standards of the International Organization of
Securities Commissions builds investor confidence in
the financial services sector and recent steps taken
at the national level to improve compliance with
provisions of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights encourage
engagements relating to information technology-
enabled services and business process outsourcing.
However, Uganda’s membership in several regional
trade blocs such as the East African Community (EAC)
and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern
Africa (COMESA), and its participation in preferential
trading arrangements under the African, Caribbean
and Pacific States-European Union and the African
Growth and Opportunity Act agreements continue
to make Uganda an increasingly attractive site for
investment in production facilities by multinational
firms.


As the structural transformation of the Ugandan
economy from its traditional sectors of coffee, tea,
fish and gold to new services sector industries has
unfolded over the past decade, evidence from
recent years suggests that it may not be changing


Total = $450 million


Figure I.4. Breakdown of Uganda’s Commercial Services
Exports in 2006 (Total = $450 Million)


Source: UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics, 2008.


At 72 per cent of total commercial services exports,
travel (and tourism) remains Uganda’s dominant
services export. However, exports in other categories
such as financial and insurance services, computer
and information services, communication services
and other business services are all emerging export
sectors. Figure I.4. presents a breakdown of services
exports by category. It indicates that each of these
emerging sectors’ contribution to total services exports
was significant in 2006: together they accounted for
around one quarter of Uganda’s commercial services
exports.


Figure I.5 shows that among the services sectors in
Uganda, the best export performance is revealed for
the following sectors: computers and information,
other business services, and insurance services.
Exports from all of these sectors are growing
significantly faster – although their export volumes are
substantially smaller – than for travel, which is growing
at a 22 per cent annual rate.


Uganda’s participation in numerous international
organizations and agreements helps ensure its
success in attracting foreign demand and investment
to its services industries. For example, Uganda’s
participation in the World Tourism Organization and


Figure I.5. Export Performance of Selected Commercial
Services Sectors, 2002–2006


Source: UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics, 2008.


6 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




quickly enough. Growth of GDP has been uneven
over the past decade, although consistently strong
since 2002, as shown in figure I.6. Figure I.7 reveals
that Uganda’s performance in boosting per capita
GDP remains unsatisfactory. At only $350 per year,
Uganda’s per capita GDP remains among the world’s
lowest, highlighting the need for improved policies
to more broadly generate employment opportunities
and distribute the benefits of an improved economy
to the population.


A number of strategies have been devised to bring new
sectors online, promote greater product diversification,
increase value added through vertical integration
in Uganda’s traditional agricultural commodities
sectors, enhance production efficiencies and diversify
export markets. While these strategies have sustained
annual GDP growth rates above 4 per cent over the
past decade, per capita GDP growth has grown only
half as fast (see figure I.6) because of Uganda’s high
rate of population growth. The challenge to boost GDP
growth even further to reduce poverty will continue to
confront policymakers in the coming years.


In response to this challenge, the budget for 2007/08
aimed to “reorient government expenditure towards
prosperity for all” in line with the Government’s
Poverty Eradication Action Plan.7Under the budget,
expenditures are slated to rise substantially,
especially in the energy sector. Recently introduced
reforms also aim to develop economic policies that
will involve efforts to improve infrastructure and solve
the electricity crisis, improve financial intermediation,
which remains low, and promote good governance to
address corruption excesses. Domestic revenue is
also expected to improve significantly, given expected
strong economic growth, improvements in the security
situation of neighbouring countries, enhanced tax
revenue as many economic agents enter the formal
sector and buoyant exports.


More recently, in the 2008/09 budget speech delivered
by the Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic
Development in June 2008, the Government
reiterated its desire and determination to transform
Uganda into a country of opportunity and prosperity
for all Ugandans, announcing that expenditure
would therefore be focused on areas that would
increase employment opportunities and on the critical
infrastructure and institutions of Uganda.8 Priorities
include:


• Setting up a new road development and
maintenance programme to improve
transportation infrastructure, including through
further development of the national rail network;


• Investinginmechanizationtoincreaseagricultural
production;


• Commencing construction of the Karuma
Hydropower dam and critical power transmission
lines to meet growing electricity demand in the
country;


• Providingfinancial,organizationalandtechnical
know-how and support to agroprocessors to
speed up industrialization and increase value-
added processing;


• Implementingminimumservicedeliverystandards
in the health centres for reproductive health and
child health services, including immunization and
control of communicable diseases.


Importantly, the Minister for Finance, Planning and
Economic Development announced revised national
economic growth figures for the 2007/08 fiscal year,
stating that the national economy had grown by 8.9
per cent in real terms. This is the highest level recorded
during the past decade. He announced government
projections on the real growth rate for the fiscal year
2008/09 to top 8 per cent.


He further announced the following:


• Private investment had grown strongly over the
fiscal year 2007/08 – at 15 per cent in real terms
– consistent with private investment growth over
the last five years. As a percentage of GDP, private
investment had risen from 13.7 per cent in the
2001/02 fiscal year to 21 per cent in the fiscal year
2007/08. Public investment grew by 23 per cent in
the fiscal year 2007/08, much higher than in the
previous five years;


• Totalexportearningsforbothgoodsandservices
were projected to increase by 15 per cent to $2,293
million in the fiscal year 2008/09, up from $1,998
million in the fiscal year 2007/08; an increase of
$295 million, or 15 per cent, in one year;


• Remittances from Ugandans working abroad
were estimated at $1,392 million in the fiscal year
2007/08, up from $646 million in the fiscal year
2006/07.


These figures point to the rapid and sustained
economic performance achieved by Uganda over the


7PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




Figure I.7. Evolution of GDP in Uganda in 2005


Source: UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics, 2008.


Figure I.6. GDP Growth in Uganda


Source: UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics, 2008.


8 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




past decade and point to the country’s potential to
advance a wide range of national development goals
over the coming years, including continued progress
in advancing the Millennium Development Goals.


Progress in Meeting the Millennium
Develoment Goals


Since 1997, Uganda has been implementing the
Poverty Eradication Action Plan. The Plan is Uganda's
national development framework and medium-term
planning tool. It serves as a complement to the
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper of the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), guiding
the formulation of government policy and the
implementation of programmes through sector-wide
approaches and a decentralized system of
governance. The Plan is revised every three years with
a view to incorporating new evidence and lessons
pertinent to Uganda's development objectives.
The current Plan expired in July 2008 and thus the
Government is currently engaged in the revision
process.


Alongside the National Development Plan, the Poverty
Eradication Action Plan seeks to advance national
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,9
particularly in human development: health, education,
and water and sanitation. However, given the country
situation, some of the Goals differ from the targets of
the Poverty Eradication Action Plan. For instance, the
Plan’s poverty target is more ambitious, while targets
for child mortality and maternal health are lower.


Uganda has made substantial progress towards
achieving some of the Millennium Development
Goals.10 The country is on track to meet the
universal primary education goal, with 84 per cent
of school-age children enrolled in primary school in
2005/06, compared with 62 per cent in 1992. Poverty
has declined and Uganda is on schedule to meet the
MDG on income poverty. The population living below
the poverty line fell from 56 per cent to 31 per cent
between 1992 and 2006. Uganda’s Universal Primary
Education programme substantially increased gross
enrolment by 132 per cent from the pre-universal
primary education total of 3.1 million in 1996 to 7.2
million children in 2006. The gender gap has also
been narrowed in Uganda. Since 1990, Uganda has
exercised affirmative action in favour of women with
regard to admission into university, increasing the
proportion of females to the total student enrolment
from 31 per cent in 1994 to 42 per cent in 2004.


Moreover, at the national level, every district has an
elected woman Member of Parliament. Access to
water has also improved dramatically. Water services
coverage grew nationwide from a little over 20 per cent
in 1991 to almost 68 per cent in 2006. Progress has
also been made in health. The rise in the proportion
of children immunized rose from 41 per cent in 2000
to 89 per cent in 2005. However, further progress
is needed if the targets for maternal mortality and
under-five mortality are to be reached by 2015.


Improved capacity and efficiency in the services
sector contribute considerably to meeting Millennium
Development Goals in developing countries, including
Uganda, in key sectors such as health, education and
environmental services. Moreover, the labour-intensive
nature of the services sector more broadly ensures
that growth of the sector generates higher levels and
an extended geographical distribution of employment
needed to help reduce poverty. Exploring the potential
of specific services sectors and their linkages with
other sectors to generate employment, particularly
among lower-income and skill-level workers is thus
an important aspect of any assessment study of the
services sector. Economic, regulatory, institutional and
trade policy features of each sector also need to be
examined to identify policy reforms with the potential
to generate improved pro-poor outcomes.


C. ENHANCING GROWTH AND
PERFORMANCE IN THE
SERVICES SECTOR


A thriving services sector is vital for all countries. High
rates of investment and economic growth associated
with services can contribute to poverty alleviation
and human development when the right policies are
in place to overcome supply constraints and ensure
economy-wide development gains from services and
services trade.


A national consultation process has resulted in a
master plan that outlines national strategies, defines a
process and a series of practical steps through which
strategic objectives can be pursued.


1. Building a Master Plan
A master plan to promote trade and investment in the
services sectors is drawn up through multi-stakeholder
consultations at the national level. Far from being a


9PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




static instrument, it is a dynamic tool whose purpose
is to guide the long-range development of services
sectors in the national economy. However, to get
started, an initial master plan must be prepared for
consideration by national stakeholders. National
consultations will then refine and adjust the master
plan according to their shared perspectives and
goals. Specifically, a master plan serves the functions
outlined in table I.1.


An initial master plan is prepared addressing items
1–7 from table I.1. It is used to launch national
consultations. Based on decisions taken in national
consultations, a revised master plan is prepared
that includes revisions to items 1–7, as well as a
preparation of items 8 and 9. The revised master plan
provides a roadmap for strategy implementation, as
well as inputs into negotiations at the regional and
multilateral levels. As implementation of the revised
master plan proceeds, results are monitored and
assessed by stakeholders. They may decide to refine
the master plan further to improve results. The entire
process is shown schematically in figure I.8.


2. Strengthening Existing Services
Sectors


For a national services development strategy to
be effective, it must not only look towards ways to


support the development and/or expansion of new
services sectors, but also examine those sectors that
are already successful and identify ways to maintain
and enhance their performance. Here, we review
the dynamics of two major export-oriented services
sectors in Uganda – tourism and telecommunications
– that have been liberalized under GATS and explore
ways in which their performance may be enhanced.
Ideally, a master plan will be drafted by national actors
to promote ways forward.


2.1. The Tourism Sector: Further
Diversification to Propel Growth


Overview of the Sector


Uganda enjoys a natural comparative advantage in
recreational tourism by virtue of its unique cultural
and historical heritage, along with a rich endowment
of biological diversity. It is also home to three World
Heritage Sites. Tourists can visit these natural
environments through Uganda’s well-established
infrastructure of safari lodges and tented camps
strategically located at national parks and along safari
routes. Much of the tourism in Uganda is ecotourism
by its very nature, and as such, the country is a highly
sought-after destination by ecotourism enthusiasts.
However, business travel is also an important
component of Uganda’s tourism industry, particularly


Item Functions


1 Defines a national vision for the long-range development of the services sectors and expectations for objectives
that can be achieved.


2 Consolidates available economic data on national services sectors to identify trends, opportunities and
constraints related to their future development.


3 Highlights the expected positive and negative economic and social impacts of privatization and trade liberalization
of national services sectors.


4 Presents options for trade liberalization of services sectors – bilateral, regional, interregional and multilateral – and
examines their respective economic and social implications.


5 Examines potential synergies, as well as potential threats, that arise, inter alia, as services sectors develop.


6 Projects how trade liberalization of services may stimulate and support merchandise trade.


7 Identifies areas where improved policies are needed to advance sectoral objectives, including in the areas of
providing support to SMEs, streamlining national regulatory frameworks and enhancing trade and investment.


8 Defines policy reforms to be introduced and a timetable for their introduction.


9 Provides clear, practical steps that various stakeholder groups should take to advance agreed objectives for the
future development of key services sectors.


Table I.1 Main Functions Served by the Master Plan


10 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




in Kampala, and accounts for some 40 per cent of
total tourism receipts.


Over the past 10 years, Uganda’s tourism sector
has achieved remarkable growth, making tourism
one of Uganda’s fastest-growing industries and its
principal source of foreign exchange. International
tourist arrivals rose from 160,000 in 1995 to 540,000
in 2006, while receipts increased from $78 million to
$330 million over the same period. Both arrivals and
receipts grew at an average annual rate of over 12 per
cent during this period, and even more rapidly over the
past five years. In 2007 the tourism sector accounted
for 4.5 per cent of GDP, directly, and 9.2 per cent of
GDP if contributions from linked sectors – that is, the
wider tourism economy – are included. The tourism
sector represents 3.6 per cent of total employment
(203,000 jobs) and the wider tourism economy, 7.4 per
cent (420,000 jobs), or 1 in every 13.6 jobs. Moreover,
the tourism economy is estimated to account for 27


per cent of total goods and services exports.11


Traditionally, and until now, Uganda’s has targeted
adventure tourists lured to the scenic beauty and
rich wildlife of Uganda. Most vacationing tourists
include stays in one or more of Uganda’s 10 national
parks as part of their visit. The parks received nearly
130,000 visitors in 2005, with more than two thirds
visiting the Queen Elizabeth and Kabalanga Falls
national parks. In 2005 it was estimated that 46 per
cent of international tourists were from neighbouring
African countries, 14 per cent from other developing
countries and 40 per cent from developed
countries. The latter are dominantly from Europe
(65 per cent) of which about half are from the United
Kingdom.12


As its mandate, the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and
Industry seeks to sustainably maximize the economic
values of the tourism, wildlife, historical and cultural


Figure I.8. Process for Master Plan Development


11PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




heritage sectors of the economy by promoting foreign
and local investments to ensure that tourism becomes
a key means of poverty eradication in Uganda. The
Ministry responds to this mandate through sectoral
objectives to achieve the following:


• Initiate and formulate policies, plans, strategies
and legislation for tourism development;


• Oversee the implementation of sectoral policies,
plans, strategies and legislation;


• Collect,processanddisseminate informationon
global and national tourism trends;


• Inspect, classify, register and monitor tourism
facilities and businesses;


• Monitor and enforce related international
conventions, treaties and protocols;


• PromoteUgandaasaholidaydestinationamong
local and international tourists;


• ManageandconservewildlifeinUganda;


• Promote public participation in tourism,
historical and cultural heritage, as well as wildlife
management, through community-initiated
development programmes;


• Promote and createpublic understandingof the
need for conservation of biodiversity and historical
and cultural heritage, particularly among the youth;


• Ensure the protection of rare, endangered and
endemic species of wild plants and animals;


• Enhanceeconomicbenefitsfromwildlife,historical
and cultural heritage management, through the
promotion of tourism.


In close cooperation with sectoral stakeholders, these
activities are carried out by the staff at the Ministry's
headquarters, as well as those at the affiliated
institutions of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, the Uganda Tourist
Board and the Museums and Monuments Agency,
and are closely coordinated through inter-ministerial
coordination.


Operationally, promotion of the sector is delegated to
the Uganda Tourist Board – a statutory organization
established in 1994. The Board's mandate is to
promote and popularize Uganda as a viable holiday
destination both locally and internationally in order to
increase the contribution of tourism earnings and GDP,
improve Uganda's competitiveness as an international


tourism destination and expand Uganda's share of
Africa's and world tourism market.


Real-time coordination of the sector is also pursued
to build a shared understanding of the challenges
facing the tourism industry in order to develop a
common vision and an agreed programme of action.
Established by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and
Industry in 1994, the Uganda Tourist Association – a
small, specialized agency focusing on development
of the tourism sector – plays an important role in
coordinating and communicating sectoral actions by
ensuring that its members (tourism operators) operate
ethically, professionally and profitably and that they
meet the needs of tourists, and by providing effective
advocacy for the industry through training, education,
marketing and communications. The Association
therefore works to unite, supervise and coordinate
the activities of its members; publicize, encourage,
promote and expand the travel and tourism industry;
mediate and arbitrate any disputes among members,
resolving them with the consent of both parties
concerned as well as with consumers and customers
of members through codes of ethics; and to seek
affiliations with other organizations connected with the
tourism and travel industry.


Recent Developments in the Sector Promise
to Increase Quality and Turnover in the
Sector


The Uganda Tourism Bill 2007 was approved by
Parliament in February 2008. It brought together
three laws in a major reform aimed at boosting and
developing the tourism industry in the country. The
new law combines and improves the hotel laws, the
tourists’ agents licensing law and the Uganda Tourist
Board. These laws are geared towards improving
the country’s hotel sector, tour operation businesses
and the tourism industry itself. Importantly the new
legislation requires accommodation operators to be
licensed to ensure minimum levels of lodging quality.
It also introduces a tourism development fund to be
financed by new taxes to be levied on visiting tourists
and tourism operators. The fund will be used solely for
training, research and tourism promotion.


Air Uganda started its operations out of Entebbe
International Airport as its base in November 2007. The
airline provides regular scheduled service between
Entebbe, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and
Juma. The establishment of Air Uganda is welcome
news to the travel industry and has been long overdue,


12 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




according to aviation experts. Since the collapse
of Uganda Airlines in the early 1990s, Uganda has
not had a home-based airline, which has negatively
impacted the tourism sector and the wider economy
in many ways.


In July 2008, EAC Ministers in charge of immigration
advanced their consideration of a plan for a common
tourist visa, which if adopted, would allow member
States to market East Africa as a single travel package.
A common tourist visa would allow tourists to sample
the unique attractions in all the East African countries
on a single visa.


Another COMESA member, Egypt, has recently
expressed formal interest in investing in Uganda’s
tourism sector. The two countries agreed to form a
partnership to develop agricultural tourism in the tourism
sector of Uganda similar to wildlife tourism, which has
been extremely successful in Uganda to attract foreign
visitors interested in this new vacation theme.


Challenges and Opportunities


Uganda has recently completed implementation
of the Uganda Sustainable Tourism Development
Programme, which began in 2003 and ended in 2007.
The main objective of the programme was to contribute
to the growth, development and diversification of
the Ugandan economy through sustainable growth
and development of the tourism sector, including
by creating additional sustainable economic and
financial benefits to stakeholders in the tourism sector.
The programme produced a 10-point plan of action
for the implementation of the tourism policy.


Although programme results were mixed and a
revised programme is currently in preparation, a
number of initiatives were launched to overcome
sectoral challenges and improve progress in seizing
emerging opportunities in the tourism sector by:


• Encouragingand identifyingchannelsfor financial
support for the development of new tourism
products and the improvement of existing products;


• Improvingnationaltourismmarketingefforts;


• Developingpublic-orprivate-sectorpartnershipsin
the sector;


• Launching new human resource development
programmes for workers in the tourism sector;


• Developing and supporting community-based
tourism programmes;


• Improvingtransportationandenergyinfrastruturein
the country.


As a result of the Uganda Sustainable Tourism
Development Programme, many steps have been
taken to innovate and diversify the tourism sector. Both
sources of tourists, that is, their countries of origin
and tourism products, have been diversified through
the marketing of tourism in new global markets and
through the promotion new tourism themes and of
related shopping, recreation and business activities.
These efforts have met considerable success, as
growth in the sector and in tourism-related sectors
has increased in recent years.


Nevertheless, it is widely recognized that opportunities
for broader diversification remain substantial.


Diversifying Product Offerings in the Tourism
Market


Although the main selling point of tourism in Uganda
is focused on adventure and wildlife tourism, or
ecotourism, there is growing recognition within the
sector of potential demand for new and additional
tourism products. Many operators aim to market
these new products for the current segment of tourists
who visit Uganda, as well as for entirely new market
segments of tourists originating in regional and
more distant global markets. New tourism products
being promoted or considered for promotion include
wellness tourism, educational tourism, community
tourism, sporting vacations (golf and tennis, for
example), cultural and ethnic tourism, and business
conferences. Initial progress has already been made
in introducing some of these products. Expanding
on them could provide significant opportunities for
employment and enterprise development in the
personal, cultural, recreational and education services
sectors.


In response to tourist demand, cultural tourism is
now being vigorously developed by Ugandan tourism
operators. In addition to its main attraction of national
parks, Uganda also has numerous cultural sites for
tourists interested in cultural tours. These include
Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru in Fort Portal district,
Ssezibwa Falls in the Central district, Kasubi Tombs
where the royals kings of Uganda are buried, Karambi
Tombs, Namugongo martyrs shrine and Bahai temple.
One of these, the Kasubi Tombs, is a World Heritage
Site. Another growing market is adventure tourism,
which includes mountain climbing, white water rafting


13PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




and hiking safaris. Community tourism operators are
now burgeoning in the locales of cultural tourism sites.


Diversification efforts are also focusing on expanding
education and study tours. A number of international
universities are sending their researchers and
students to Uganda as a part of study tours in the area
biodiversity, zoology and anthropology. Many of these
tours are conducted in collaboration with Makerere
University and relevant government ministries. These
tours last from several weeks to several months and
provide employment and income opportunities to
local communities, often in rural areas of the country.


Diversifying the Tourist Base – Income Class
and Geographical Origin


Promotion of the regional middle income tourist
market segment could generate significant income
and employment benefits. The segment could be
promoted selectively during the up-market tourism
off-season when hotel and airline occupancy rates
are low. During the off-season, the growing offering of
recreational activities, such as ecotourism, adventure
tourism and cultural tourism, currently focussed on
higher-income tourists during the high-season, could
benefit from increased marketing efforts through
discount packages targeting middle-income tourists.
The development and promotion of lower-cost
vacation packages during the off-season could
significantly reduce seasonal business fluctuations
and give a boost to the tourism sector. Even during the
high season, lower-cost vacation packages offered in
the region could bring in additional tourists.


The pool of potential tourists could also be expanded
by attracting tourists from non-traditional markets.
Regarding the geographical origin of tourists, data
indicate that over 43 per cent of extraregional tourist
arrivals are from Europe, nearly half of which are
British. Stronger efforts could be made to attract
tourists from other developed countries, as well as
from developing countries in Asia, particularly as new
airline links to these regions have recently improved.


Possible Next Steps


Increased coordination between hotels, airlines, tour
operators and other tourism service suppliers to
undertake marketing studies could be beneficial to
all. Such studies could determine how to best design
and price vacation packages so that seasonal excess
capacity is reduced, and stronger linkages among


suppliers in the tourism value chain are created.
Studies could also assist with the identification of
ways to further support diversification of product
offerings in the sector.


In addition to the options above aimed at raising
tourism revenues, the industry could look towards
ways to decrease costs through e-tourism. Providing
increased opportunities for tourists to book vacation
packages online, in a one-stop shop regrouping a
wide range of tourism service providers, could allow
Uganda’s tour operators to greatly reduce leakage
(the share of tourist receipts paid to foreign agents),
thus allowing them to offer lower-cost packages to
consumers.


At this relatively early stage of development of the
sector, greater attention could be given to reducing
the negative environmental impacts of tourism in
Uganda to ensure the long-term stability of biodiversity
in the country upon which the success of the sector
currently rests. Finally, the need to continue improving
transportation and energy infrastructure in the country
cannot be over-emphasized.


2.2. The Telecommunication Sector:
Reforms Have Stimulated Strong Growth


Overview of the Sector


In 1993 Uganda licensed a private firm, Celtel
Uganda,13 to provide mobile services, thus establishing
Uganda as one of the first countries in the region
to adopt telecommunication liberalization policies.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Works, Transport,
and Communications adopted Uganda’s revised
Telecommunication Policy in January 1996 with a view
to meeting growing demand for telecommunication
services (including through the introduction of
new services such as mobile cellular phones,
electronic mail, Internet and paging); improving the
quality of telecommunication facilities and service;
and increasing the geographical coverage of
telecommunication services throughout Uganda14.


To support these policy objectives, the Uganda
Communications Act of 1997 further liberalized
the communication subsector, separating in 1998
fixed-line telecommunications from postal services,
regulating competition and creating the Uganda
Communications Commission as the regulatory
body for communication activity. Its main functions,
as outlined in the Communications Act, are to set


14 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




national telecommunication standards and ensure
service quality, ensure equitable distribution of
services throughout the country, establish tariff
systems to protect consumers, promote competition,
and license and monitor communication services.
Universal access objectives are being promoted by
the Government’s Rural Communication Development
Policy of 2001. In 2006, Uganda redefined its
telecommunication policy environment by opening
the telecommunication sector to full competition


for both service and infrastructure provision. In the
same year, a separate Ministry of Information and
Communications Technology was established to
boost the development of the sector.


With economic reforms and an improved regulatory
framework, Uganda’s telecommunication sector
has registered double-digit growth since 2000 and
grew by 33 per cent in 2007 alone.15 The number of
firms in the sector has increased to include 4 mobile
operators and nearly 20 Internet service providers.


Strengths


• Natural assets
• Wildlife and cultural assets
• Three World Heritage Sites
• Acquired image as an adventure and cultural theme


tourism destination
• Business travel
• Expanded air access to major markets
• Wide array of ecotourism offerings
• Incentives and quality initiatives arising out of the


Uganda Tourism Bill 2007


Weaknesses


• Lagging capacity expansion relative to targeted
volume of tourists


• Infrastructure limitations in rural regions: utilities,
telecom, water treatment.


• Road network limitations and traffic congestion
• Moderate levels of leakage
• Foreign-based local businesses do not repatriate


profits towards Uganda
• Lower quality service provided by small restaurants,


guest houses, taxies
• Limited access to new investments and financing


Opportunities


• Strengthen intersectoral linkages
• Potential for intraregional (EAC, COMESA) expansion,


including of air routes
• Strengthen community-based tourism
• Restored in-country stability, safety and security
• Restored political stability
• Improve tourism and transportation infrastructure and


service
• New tourism themes: wildlife and adventure, business


and conference tourism


Threats


• Environmental degradation in high-traffic areas
• Increasing incidence of theft and violence targeting


tourists
• Global economic crisis
• Overdevelopment may damage the image of the


destination
• Competition for land between tourists and local


needs


Required spill-ins from other sectors: requires improved supply of services from the transport, financial, information and
communication technology (ICT), recreation, health-care, utilities and security services sectors.


Anticipated spillovers into other sectors: Provide improved market for services from the transport, recreation and health care
sectors; conservation and improved land-management-related environmental benefits; expanded offering of infrastructure
in tourism zones; propagation of quality standards to other sectors.


Key stakeholders: relevant government ministries and parastatals; tourism sector firms – hotels, restaurants; transport
firms – airlines, taxies, car-rental; local communities; labour unions; recreation and sports firms and interest groups;
advertising agents and e-tourism suppliers.


Box I.1. Tourism Sector: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats


15PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




Exports rose at an annual rate of 17 per cent from
2002 to 2006, reaching almost $20 million in 2006.
Growth in the sector has generated employment
opportunities. Government statistics indicated that
direct employment in the sector stands at 6,000 while
over 350,000 people are indirectly employed.


Development of the sector has been supported
by substantial infrastructure improvements. Most
national and regional transmission links are digital.
Optical fibre links connect major economic centres
with expansion in progress. There is extensive use of
microwave transponders in the domestic backbone
infrastructure and of very small aperture terminal, or
VSAT, satellite communication services for international
communications.16 Although international gateways in
Uganda are still based on satellites, connection to the
world optic fibre network is expected soon.


Private investment has been the main driver of
improved telecommunications infrastructure and
greatly enhanced capacity. Investment inflows have
been very strong and in 2006, the sector drew in more
than $73 million. Moreover, current figures show the
larger ICT sector attracted investments exceeding
$350 million between 2001 and 2005 and generated
revenues of U Sh1.22 trillion over the same period.
This represents a 4.2 per cent contribution to GDP by
the ICT sector for the period 2001–2005.


Ease of access and/or subscription to telephone
communication services in Uganda has resulted
from the expansion of GSM (global system for mobile
communications) cellular networks, public fixed
phones, public phone booths and public access
through fixed wireless, which is the most common


and affordable for most people. Between 2003 and
2007, the number of telephone subscribers increased
by over 150 per cent, from 65,793 to 165,788 for
fixed-line telephones, and by over 560 per cent
from 777,563 to 5,163,414 for mobile telephones,
supporting an overall increase in talk time of 130
per cent (see table I.2). Moreover, although only 18
per cent of the population have subscriptions, more
than 40 per cent of the population regularly access
telephony using public pay phones or phone kiosks
set up by private businesses. The number of public
payphone installations continues to increase at a brisk
rate of about 100 per cent annually with over 20,000
installations in the country in 2007.


Challenges and Opportunities


In meeting both a challenge and an opportunity,
Uganda currently seeks to build on its dynamic
and well-capitalized telecommunication sector
by advancing the development of its emerging
information technology (IT) services sector. From a
trade perspective, the telecom services sector offers
only limited export opportunities, essentially only those
arriving from tourists’ roaming charges; however, by
supporting IT services, the telecom sector provides
a strong platform for export development. The IT
services sector is discussed separately in 3.1.


An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and threats concerning the telecommunication sector
is outlined in box I.2.


Item 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007


Fixed Telephone lines 65,793 82,495 100,777 129,863 165,788


Mobile Cellular Subscribers 893,035 1,165,035 1,525,125 2,697,616 5,163,414


Telephone Traffic (‘000 Minutes) 1,308,194 1,559,162 1,723,964 2,307,391 3,004,738


Payphones 3,456 4,634 10,263 n.a. n.a.


Mobile Cellular Operators 3 3 3 3 4


Internet Services’ Operators 18 18 17 17 n.a.


Private FM Radio Stations (registered) 125 148 145 145 n.a.


Private TV Stations (registered) 23 31 34 34 n.a.


Courier Services Operators 19 19 22 22 n.a.


Source: Uganda Commission


Table I.2. Uganda Telephone Subscribers and Talk Time, 2003-2007


16 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Strengths


• Dynamic and competitive commercial environment
• Liberalized and privatized sector
• Modern, high-quality telecommunication infrastructure in


major cities
• Rapidly expanding domestic capacity
• Migration to international global fibre optic network by


2010
• Proven legal and regulatory base supportive of future


investments
• Openness of government to public- and private-sector


partnerships
• Sectoral actors able to meet universal service obligations


Weaknesses


• Many rural areas still lack telecommunication
infrastructure or access


• Some remote markets not yet commercial
• Tariffs remain too high in some service areas
• Expanding services in rural areas is subject to


progress in advancing rural electrification


Opportunities


• High levels of demand for telecom services in currently
un-serviced rural areas


• Development of the IT services sector will stimulate
substantial increases in demand for IT-related telecom
services


Threats


• None


Required spill-ins from other sectors: IT services, education sector, energy sector (rural electrification).


Anticipated spillovers into other sectors: IT services, education sector, direct benefit to all economic sectors and to
supporting international trade.


Key stakeholders: relevant government ministries, parastatals, telecommunication sector firms, labour unions, IT service
providers.


Box I.2. Telecommunication Sector: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats


3. Maturing the New Emerging
Services Sectors


Uganda has made initial progress in developing
other export-oriented services sectors. Other sectors
emphasized by the Government for focused support
and development include IT services, insurance
services, professional services and construction
services.


3.1. Information Technology Services:
a Rapidly Rising Sector


Overview of the Sector


Information technology services have been identified by


the Government of Uganda as a rapidly growing area
that is essential for economic and social development.
These services facilitate progress at all levels in the
economy, from poverty reduction in rural communities
to the integration of national SMEs into the global
economy. As such, the sector provides a platform for
Uganda to accelerate its beneficial integration into
the global economy as both an emerging producer
and exporter of goods and services. E-commerce,
e-government and other IT-based services have been
earmarked as priority areas for export development,
particularly through the Strategic Partnership
Programme between the Government, private investors
and development partners.


In its endeavour to create a vibrant IT industry as a


17PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




strong pillar of the economy and to build on the
successful development of the telecom sector, the
Government has recently undertaken a number of
initiatives. These include the following:


• Introducing the National ICT Policy Framework
(2003), which recognizes information as a resource
for development. Policies aiming to promote
human development and good governance are
accelerated by the efficient application and use of
ICTs, including timely access to information;


• Establishing the Ministry of Information and
Communications Technology in 2006 to provide
political and technical leadership in the overall
coordination and harmonization of policy
development and implementation for IT services;


• Promoting Uganda as a source of IT-services in
international markets through the activities of the
Uganda Investment Authority.


The National ICT Policy Framework recognizes that IT
services provide the following benefits:


• Offer an extensive range of applications that
span across various sectors of health, education,
agriculture, industry, e-government and
e-commerce;


• Enhance economic growth by boosting
competitiveness and facilitating increased trade
and investment;


• Create opportunities and empowerment by
provision of access to local and global markets
and promotion of rural development;


• Improve the delivery of social services, lessen
vulnerability to natural disasters, reduce isolation
of communities and provide immediate linkage to
the modern world;


• Enhance transparency and good governance
through availability and use of ICT;


• Providenewmanagementandcontrolmethodsin
both public and private sectors, hence facilitating
enterprise resource management;


• Support the private sector through improved
market access, sales, trade and knowledge of
business trends;


• Facilitateresearchanddevelopment.


For Uganda therefore, embracing ICT generates
advantages that not only will enable it to improve


and sustain development, but will also lead to
poverty reduction. In addition, the already successful
liberalization of telecommunications services provides
a major impetus to the ICT sector overall, and the IT
services sector in particular.


Already, significant progress has been made in
developing the IT services sector. A survey conducted
in June 2007 by two Ugandan non-governmental
organizations (DENIVA and I-Network) demonstrates
the rapidly increasing use of IT services in both urban
and rural areas of the country.17 This can be attributed
to a favourable policy environment, reduction of tariffs
on electronics, increase in the use and availability
of refurbished computers, affordable costs of new
electronic equipment compared with the previous
years and a growing number of initiatives from non-
governmental organizations and the private sector.
However, the countrywide survey also indicated that IT
development has tended to increase income inequality
within the country and among population groups
with lower levels of income, education and English
language skills, indicating that additional efforts will
be required if a large segment of the population is to
cross the digital divide.


Internet use is a good proxy for the relative increase in
IT capacity of a national economy. Uganda’s Internet
market had long shown slow growth of subscribers
largely due to non-affordability. However, Internet
usage has recently grown significantly, reflecting
private and government initiatives in the deployment
of wireless access infrastructure based on WiFi hot
spots. There are now some 30 hot spots in the country;
however, over 90 per cent of these are in the Kampala
metropolitan area. Increasing access in other parts of
the country remains a priority.


The Uganda Communications Commission estimates
that the number of Internet users in Uganda rose from
234,000 in 2002 to 1,800,000 in 2006, representing a
growth rate of 212 per cent. The penetration rate thus
grew rapidly from less than 1 per cent in 2002 to over
6 per cent in 2006. Moreover, a comparative study on
IT development in East Africa using data from 2000 to
2005 indicated that in 2005 Uganda accounted for 1
per cent of African Internet users and ranked thirteenth
on the continent. More recent Internet usage statistics
from 2007 suggest that Uganda’s share of continental
Internet users may have risen to nearly 2 per cent. The
recent introduction of general packet radio service, or
GPRS, will further propel penetration rates by enabling
mobile operators to offer Internet service provision.


18 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Recognizing the potential of IT-enabled services
as a sector in its own right and as a sector capable
of supporting broad-based economic and social
development, the Government of Uganda has
introduced incentives to promote their increased
use. In 2002 the Government reduced, and under
certain conditions, waived taxes on computers
and computer-related equipment to encourage the
growth of the ICT sector and IT services. In addition,
ICT companies are provided with tax credits by
deducting ICT-related capital expenses from their
income. However, additional incentives are needed
to accelerate sectoral development. Options include
educational allowances, scholarships, government
employment opportunities, grants, subsidies, tax
holidays and investment promotion assistance.


Prompted by these incentives, an improved business
environment, a modernizing ICT infrastructure, a large
labour pool with native English language skills and
advanced education levels, and low labour costs
relative to other developing countries, Uganda’s
IT services industry has already demonstrated
substantial growth. To date activity in the sector has
focused on IT-enabled business process outsourcing.
A number of small business process outsourcing firms
established earlier in this decade have grown and
firmly established their operations and international
presence. Among these is Cayman Consults Ltd.,
founded in 2000 in Kampala and specializing in data
entry and accounting services, which has become
one of the leading business process outsourcing
firms in the East Africa region.


Export-oriented business process outsourcing call
centres are fast becoming a key activity in Uganda’s IT
services industry following the success of the KenCall
call centre in Nairobi. Uganda has a comparative
advantage in the call centre industry based upon
Ugandans’ clear-accented speech, and their cultural
disposition to be patient in dealing with customers.
Makerere University’s Faculty of Computing and
Information Technology announced in 2008 plans to
spend $1 million to set up a modern call centre.18 The
call centre will provide national directory services, and
in the near future attract offshore work.


Importantly, Uganda seeks not only to position itself
in the IT services industry as a low-cost business
process outsourcing provider but also to develop
high value-added IT services, including software
development. Towards this goal, Makerere University’s
Faculty of Computing and Information Technology
has launched the National Software Incubation Centre


to spur Uganda's software industry. The realization
that Uganda lacks software developers, despite the
University’s graduating computing students, led to the
Centre’s creation. It is the first incubation centre on
any university campus in East Africa. It is anticipated
that the Centre will improve international market
confidence in outsourcing software development
activities to Uganda. Already, a number of top IT
companies such as Google and IBM have expressed
interest in collaborating with the Centre.


Challenges and Opportunities


As the sector matures, it is expected to make a major
contribution to employment creation and export
growth. Dynamic export growth has already been
recorded in the sector. In just 5 years from 2001 to
2006, annual IT services exports jumped from less
than $1 million to over $30 million. There is substantial
national and international market demand for IT
services to be captured in maturing the sector. These
include the following areas:


• Businessprocessoutsourcing,includingelectronic
data entry and processing;


• Callcentres;


• Softwaredevelopment;


• Datadisasterrecoveryservicesandcentres;


• Engineeringdesignservices;


• Onlineeducationandhigh-endICTtraining;


• Technicaldocumentation;


• Websitedevelopmentservices.


However, sustained growth of the sector is already
encountering a range of problems. These include
regular and unpredictable electricity outages, the need
for fibre-optic connection to international networks,
high Internet connectivity costs, skill shortages for
higher value-added IT services, weak intellectual
property right laws, few government initiatives to
promote and support the sector and limited sources
of investment.


Strategic Options for the Sector


To sustain growth in the sector, efforts are needed to
attract more Ugandans to the field and to enhance
educational and training opportunities to generate a
skilled workforce for the ICT industry with the following
objectives in mind:


19PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




• Promulgating greater national use of computers
and the Internet;


• Broadening government incentives to attract
investment in the sector;


• Obtaining government support for vocational
educational programmes to train business
process outsourcing services workers;


• Liberalizing immigration policies and incentive
plans for skilled foreign workers;


• Building stronger alliances with foreign ICT
companies, particularly in India, through joint
projects;


• Encouraginggreaterinvestmentinthesector;


• Increasing broadband capacity and reducing
currently high Internet connectivity costs.


An analysis of the IT services sector is summarized
in box I.3.


3.2. Insurance Services: Demand Growing in
Step with Economic Development


Overview of the Sector


Uganda's insurance industry has steadily burgeoned
from an insignificant contributor to the economy into
a key component of the financial sector. Growth has
risen with increasing economic activity, heightened
consumer awareness and the introduction in new and
improved products responding to consumers’ needs.
The industry wrote U Sh 102 billion in gross premiums
in 2006, a significant increase, compared with the U
Sh 53 billion of gross premiums written in 2002. These
figures indicate a strong 17 per cent annual premium
growth rate.19 Recent data show this trend continues.
In 2007 gross premiums rose to U Sh 126 billion and
annual growth reached 23 per cent.


Uganda's financial services sector accounted for
3 per cent of GDP and 4.2 per cent of total national
employment in 2007. Dominated by the banking
sector, it also comprises microfinance, insurance and
the Uganda Stock Exchange. In total, there are 15
registered banks, over 100 microfinance institutions
and 20 insurance companies in the country.
Despite their large number, microfinance institutions
represented only 1 per cent of the financial sector
turnover, while other non-bank financial institutions,
including insurance, accounted for 7 per cent (2005).


Following the autonomous liberalization of the
banking sector, many foreign banks entered the
Ugandan market, and today most banks in the country
are foreign owned, including major international
institutions such as Barclays, Citibank and Standard
Chartered. However, a number of locally owned banks
have been established, including DFCU Bank, Nile
Bank and Cerudeb. The largest bank, the successor
to the state-owned Uganda Commercial Bank, was
purchased by a South African bank in 2002. Three
other foreign banks account for approximately 75 per
cent of Uganda’s banking sector assets.


On an autonomous basis, market access in Uganda's
insurance sector is liberal, as is the exchange control
system. Foreign companies are allowed to operate on
a licensed basis with a maximum foreign ownership
of 100 per cent. Like the banking sector, over the
years Uganda has attracted several foreign insurance
firms from the Eastern and Southern Africa region
into its domestic market with significant mergers and
acquisitions activity. The insurance company UAP
Kenya bought a majority share holding in United
Assurance Company, the second biggest insurance
firm in Uganda. Imperial Assurance Limited was taken
over by Malawian-based NICO Holdings Limited,
and Pan World Insurance is currently controlled by
Zimbabwean-based Lion Assurance. A subsidiary of
the American International Group, AIG Uganda is one
of the largest insurance companies in the country.


The insurance sector remains a small part of the
financial services system. The 20 licensed insurance
companies active in the sector are under the
supervision of the Uganda Insurance Commission.
The Commission was established in 1996 by the
Insurance Statute (now the Insurance Act of 2000) to
serve as the supervisor and regulator of the insurance
industry in Uganda. Reporting to the Ministry of
Finance, Planning and Economic Development, its
functions are as follows:


• Toestablishstandardsfortheconductofinsurance
and reinsurance business;


• To license all persons involved in or connected
with the insurance business, including insurance
and reinsurance companies, insurance and
reinsurance intermediaries, loss adjusters and
assessors;


• To safeguard the rights of policyholders and
insurance beneficiaries to any insurance contract;


20 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Box I.3. Information Technology Services Sector: Strengths,Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats


Strengths
• Dynamic commercial environment
• Modern, high-quality telecommunication infrastructure in


major cities
• Rapidly expanding domestic capacity
• Migration to international global fibre-optic network by


2010
• Large skilled labour force with good educational back-


ground
• Fluent English-speaking population with clear speech
• Geographical location provides advantageous time differ-


ence favouring business process outsourcing with Asia
in the morning and North America in the afternoon


• Young population suitable for call centre works


Weaknesses
• Regular and unpredictable electricity outages
• High Internet connectivity costs
• Fibre-optic connection to international networks still a


few years off
• Limited government initiatives to promote and support


the sector
• Limited sources of investment
• Weak intellectual property right laws that discourage


business process outsourcing and software development
businesses


• Skill shortages for higher value-added IT services


Opportunities
• New IT services facilities launched by Makerere Univer-


sity
• Large world market for business process outsourcing


and call centre services
• Relatively low costs for business process outsourcing


and call centre services compared with other developing
countries such as India


• Excellent native English language skills of Ugandans


Threats
• Competition from other countries in the region
• Possible delays in fibre-optic link to international net-


works


Required spill-ins from other sectors: telecommunication services, education sector, energy sector (improved electricity
supply).


Anticipated spillovers into other sectors: direct benefit to all economic sectors and to supporting international trade.


Key stakeholders: relevant government ministries and parastatals; academia, telecommunication sector firms; labour
unions; IT service providers.


• Toprovideabureautowhichcomplaintsmaybe
submitted by members of the public;


• Topromoteasoundandefficientinsurancemarket
in the country;


• To supervise and control transactions between
insurers and reinsurers;


• Toensurestrictcompliancewiththeprovisionsof
the Insurance Act and regulations made under it
and any other law relating to insurance.


Challenges and Opportunities


Recent developments in the sector include the
successful privatization of the National Insurance


Company in June 2005 and preparations by the
Uganda Insurers Association for the establishment
of Uganda’s first reinsurance company. The industry
currently remits about U Sh 40 billion annually,
almost half of the total premiums collected, to foreign
reinsurers in countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe and
Europe. In Kenya, this figure is less than 20 per cent.
Through a domestically owned reinsurance company,
this money will be invested within Uganda, a move
that will expand the job market and ultimately spur
investment and boost the insurance industry.


There are also developments that may provide new
opportunities for the sector in mandatory health
insurance and pension schemes. Motor vehicle
insurance and workers’ compensation insurance are


21PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




now mandatory. Uganda plans to adopt a compulsory
national health insurance scheme that will require
workers in formal employment to make compulsory
contributions to insurance plans in exchange for
health-care benefits from gazetted health centres.
As with health insurance, consideration is also being
given to establishing mandatory worker pension funds
and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic
Development is currently working on guidelines for
the establishment of a regulatory body for Uganda’s
pension sector.


There are also initiatives under way for reform of sectoral
legislation. The Uganda Insurance Commission has
recently submitted proposals for the amendments of
national insurance legislation aimed at increasing the
efficiency of supervision in the insurance industry, by
taking the following measures:


• Filling in loopholes, correcting mistakes and
enhancing clarity in legislation;


• Enhancingcorporategovernance;


• Accelerating development of the sector, and
public access to insurance products by allowing
banks and other financial institutions to market
and distribute insurance policies.


According to industry reports, Uganda's insurance
industry is growing and is currently outpacing
growth of its regional counterparts in Kenya and
the United Republic of Tanzania. East Africa’s
largest and most developed sector is that of
Kenya. If Uganda’s high economic growth rate
and macroeconomic stability are maintained over
the next decade, its insurance sector could grow
to eclipse Kenya’s. While Kenya's insurance sector
expanded rapidly over several decades of relative
political stability and sustained economic growth, it
has since grown stagnant, providing an opportunity
for Ugandan firms to catch up.


Strategic Options for the Sector


To sustain growth in the sector, efforts are needed
at the domestic level to attract more Ugandans to
become consumers of insurance products, and at
the national level, to boost exports. Strategic options
include the following:


• Continuing successful campaigns to inform
and educate Ugandans about the relevance of
insurance services. Currently, only a small segment
of the population knows what insurance is, while


some that are knowledgeable lack confidence in
the industry;


• Providingnew innovativeproducts for individuals
and businesses. Current offerings include fire
insurance, business interruption insurance, theft
electronic equipment insurance (computers),
workers’ compensation or employers liability,
group and personal accident insurance, public
liability insurance, travel insurance, property
insurance, automobile insurance, group and
individual life insurance, and health insurance;


• Allowinginsurancetobesoldthroughbanksand
other financial institutions that have closer contact
with individuals and businesses;


• Increasingcooperationwiththeeducationsectorto
ensure training of insurance sector professionals,
including actuaries and sales forces;


• Expandingeffortstoexportinsuranceproductsto
neighbouring countries, such as Rwanda, Burundi,
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central
African Republic and Sudan, where the industry is
less mature, and in some cases virtually absent.
Given the landlocked nature of Uganda and its
neighbours, this should include expanded efforts
to capture the market for insurance of the transit of
goods.


A summary analysis of the insurance services sector
is provided in box I.4.


3.3. Construction Services: Calls for
Protectionism by National Stakeholders


Overview of the Sector


The construction industry accounts for around one
tenth of the world’s GDP, 7 per cent of employment,
50 per cent of resource usage and up to 40 per
cent of energy consumption. It accounts for the
construction of buildings, power and environmental
utilities and distribution systems, roads and bridges,
railways, airports and ports. Construction and related
engineering services are important for the creation
of employment, human resource development and
capacity-building as a way of achieving technology
transfer and enhancing indigenous know-how.


Uganda’s construction sector has experienced
tremendous growth over the past decade, owing to an
improved and rapidly growing economy that has led
to increased demand for residential and commercial


22 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Strengths


• Dynamic commercial environment
• Liberalized and privatized sector
• Significant sector growth in national market
• Rapidly expanding domestic capacity
• Demonstrated interest of foreign investors
• Legislation requiring insurance coverage is evolving in


many domains
• A geographical situation largely free from natural


disasters


Weaknesses


• Lack of consumer awareness of the availability,
affordability and benefits of insurance products


• Lack of a domestic reinsurance company


Opportunities


• With personal incomes rising for urban professionals,
many now seek a range of insurance products


• Significant export opportunities to neighbouring countries
• Increased cooperation with education sector to support


staffing requirements
• Multilateral liberalization could attract further investment


Threats


• Competition from other countries in the region,
particularly Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania
and South Africa


• A prolonged economic slowdown could negatively
affect industry growth


Required spill-ins from other sectors: financial services, education sector, health sector, labour associations.


Anticipated spillovers into other sectors: direct benefit to insured individuals and businesses.


Key stakeholders: relevant government ministries and parastatals, academia, labour unions, consumer groups, exporters.


Box I.4. Insurance Services Sector: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats


buildings and infrastructure. As a result, construction
is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in
the Ugandan economy. In 2007 the sector constituted
15 per cent of GDP and grew by nearly 16 per cent.
However, real growth is lower, as overall material and
labour input prices in the construction sector rose by
12 per cent in the same year. The sector accounts for
about 3 per cent of direct employment in Uganda.


Challenges and Opportunities


The major segment of the construction market is
private construction, which accounts for over 80 per
cent of the market. Demand for housing is high, with
the number of dwellings having increased by 35 per
cent from 2002 to 2008. Local construction firms
capture most of the residential construction market.


The demand for housing is greatest in Kampala,
Entebbe, Mukono and Wakiso.


Firms in the sector are actively involved in servicing
government contracts for buildings and infrastructure
projects. In 2007, over 17 per cent of government
expenditures were allocated to such projects. An
important share of financing for these projects is also
secured through donor financing and debt. Larger
projects generally involve the participation of larger
foreign construction firms, particularly for transport
and energy infrastructure projects. Many of these
firms have established associate companies locally,
including some on a joint-venture basis, and have
been contracted for major public-sector projects.
Nevertheless, there has been increasing concern
that foreign firms are capturing an excessive share


23PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




3.4. Professional Services: Improving
Prospects for Circular Migration


In the last decade many Ugandans – skilled and
non-skilled alike – have left the country in search of
employment. Japan and the Middle East have attracted
mainly workers with business skills, while the United
States of America, Canada and Europe have tended
to attract workers with professional skills. There is a
significant portion of South–South movement as well,
and a number of highly skilled Ugandans have moved
to other African countries, notably to South Africa and
other South and East African States.


The Bank of Uganda balance of payments accounts
indicate a noticeable growth and impact of recorded
workers’ remittances. The potential of orienting
the services provided by Ugandans living abroad
homeward for national development is immense, yet
far from being realized. However, there is no strategic
mechanism in place to effectively mobilize or tap into
the huge acquired resource capacities of Ugandans in
the diaspora. Policies are needed to encourage circular
migration in which Ugandans learn, earn and return.


Challenges and Opportunities


Well-educated, young, unemployed graduates: Uganda’s
potential labour force is estimated to be growing at an
average rate of 3.4 per cent per annum, which means
that on average 340,000 people join the labour market
every year. Assuming this growth rate continues,
the country’s labour force will reach 11.8 million
in 2005 and 13.9 million by the end of the decade.
Unfortunately, the national economy does not provide
enough jobs to satisfy the employment requirements
of the population. As a result, an estimated 4 million
people are currently unemployed or underemployed.20
Movements of persons across and within the region,
if effectively implemented, is one means of generating
employment.


Curriculum and skill development system: The
curriculum and training regime in Uganda is not
adequately geared to produce workers who do
not meet international, domestic or regional labour
market needs. This has minimized the extent to
which Ugandans have penetrated the international
job market in comparison with other developing
countries. Uganda’s education system continues
to supply labour that targets white-collar jobs in the
formal public sector, despite fundamental indicators
that the private sector requires workers with technical


of government contracts. The Uganda National
Association of Building and Civil Engineering
Contractors has recently come on record stating that
only two foreign companies were doing 60 per cent
of the available construction jobs with a plea to the
Government that a national construction policy should
be developed to give preferential treatment to local
contractors when awarding public tenders.


Many national firms are also concerned about current
negotiations to create a common market under the
auspices of the EAC Agreement. Numerous pleas
have been made by the private sector for another
decade of protection from competitors in other East
African Partner States, as the country is currently
involved in a second round of negotiations. The private
sector has argued that better-placed construction
firms from Kenya are likely to swarm into the market
and take over work of local contractors; however, the
Government has rejected their plea.


Other key challenges for the industry involve reducing
its dependency on imported building materials,
improving building standards, enhancing the quality
of work by small artisanal firms and further developing
the pre-fabricated housing industry in order to meet
the high demand for low-cost housing for the poor in
rural areas.


Strategic Options for the Sector


It is important to note that while increasing import
competition, an EAC agreement which opens
members’ construction markets will also provide
Ugandan firms with considerable export opportunities.
Market research is needed to further explore these
opportunities and training programmes are required to
raise awareness and capacity among domestic firms
to export construction services. Preparations for future
openings under COMESA should also be made.


Market demand is already stimulating local production
of a wide variety of building materials. Government
incentives and support for firms producing these
inputs should be further strengthened.


To enable Uganda to meet its development goals,
positive measures should be taken to ensure that
local Ugandan firms participate in the design and
implementation of construction projects in Uganda
funded by donor agencies.


A summary analysis of Uganda’s construction and
engineering services sector is outlined in box I.5.


24 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Strengths


• High level of domestic demand for construction services
• Partially liberalized sector
• Rapidly expanding domestic capacity
• Demonstrated interest of foreign firms
• Large backorder of building projects
• Large inventory of infrastructure projects, current and


planned


Weaknesses


• High dependence on imported inputs
• Low level of capacity for export
• Poor quality of work in some market segments


Opportunities


• With personal incomes rising, the high demand for
housing is set to continue for years to come


• Significant export opportunities to neighbouring countries
• Multilateral liberalization could attract further investment


Threats


• Competition from other countries in the region,
particularly Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania
and South Africa


• Prolonged economic slowdown could negatively
affect industry growth


Required spill-ins from other sectors: financial services, transportation sector, manufacturing sector, education sector,
labour associations.


Anticipated spillovers into other sectors: wide economy benefits with direct benefit to individuals and businesses.


Key stakeholders: relevant government ministries and parastatals, donor agencies, financial sector, manufacturing sector,
academia, labour unions, exporters.


Box I.5. Construction and Engineering Services Sector: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats


skills. Addressing these skill gaps and redesigning
curricula to fit workplace requirements will help match
workers with the employment market and thus boost
national economic performance.


Language and IT Skills: Most highly skilled Ugandans
with a good chance of finding employment in a
number of countries can only be employed in Uganda
because of their language deficiencies. This limits
them to English and their mother tongues. In terms
of regional movement, without a good knowledge
of Swahili, Ugandan workers are not well positioned
to take advantage of the larger market of the EAC
region; instead most job opportunities will continue
to be taken up by Kenyans and Tanzanians with
better Swahili proficiency. If Uganda’s labour force
is to be outward looking, the educational system
should encourage language diversity to suit regional
marketplace needs. Similarly, IT competence is a


basic qualification for both national and international
job placement.


Lack of comprehensive labour market information:
Ugandans are disadvantaged by a lack of
comprehensive labour market information, namely
availability of jobs in a particular receiving country,
requisite skills needed by the labour market abroad,
immigration and labour laws and the culture in the
recipient countries. Licensed employment bureaus
and Uganda’s embassies should endeavour to
access and disseminate such market information to
the relevant authorities in Uganda, who in turn should
effectively disseminate this information.


Lack of an appropriate institutional support framework:
An effective regulatory and institutional framework and
licensing system to regulate private-sector participation
in the recruitment and overseas placement of workers


25PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




is absolutely necessary, considering that overseas
recruitment for both international and public jobs is
outsourced through private agencies. The institutional
framework would have elements including a flexible
regulatory mechanism that responds to the dynamics
of the labour market and its trade cycles, protects
workers (their terms of service and contracts) and
meets recipient countries’ regulatory requirements
for overseas employment. This would include the
promotion of common standards and compliance with
educational, technical and professional qualifications,
the resolution of immigration issues, placement
and work permits (workers’ rights and terms) and a
monitoring and tracking mechanism for remittances.


Uganda’s professional, skilled and semi-skilled
personnel leave the country every year in great
numbers in search of greener pastures. To minimize
the disruptive effect on national manpower capacity
and development and to ensure returns to the
Ugandan economy of such migration, there is a
need to adopt a formal labour-export strategy and
mechanisms to subsequently tap into the wealth
of capacities and experience gained by returning
workers. The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social
Development is implementing a government-approved
programme on the externalization of labour that aims
at formalizing labour exports under the National
Employment Policy.


4. National Trade Policies for the
Expansion of Key Services Sectors


4.1. Trade Liberalization of Services Through
the General Agreement on Trade in
Services


Since 1995, the entry into force of the Uruguay Round
Agreements has facilitated an increase in trade and
investment for the services sectors in many countries
which undertook specific GATS commitments to
open their services economies. These commitments
were undertaken as part of the first round of GATS
negotiations – an integral part of the Uruguay Round
– which commenced in 1986. Uganda was among
those developing countries assuming specific
commitments under GATS, with commitments to
open its telecommunications and tourism sectors.21
The GATS agreements have stimulated considerable
investment in the Ugandan economy, locked-in
key national policy reforms needed to ensure the
competitiveness of the sectors and helped promote


high levels of growth in the exports of these sectors.
The two liberalized sectors have witnessed substantial
growth in Uganda over the past 10 years. The
tourism and telecommunications services sector has
demonstrated consistent year-on-year growth.22


The story of growth of the telecommunications
and tourism services sectors in Uganda, and more
broadly, recent growth of the economy as a whole,
is consistent with results from a recent multi-country
study of trade liberalization in these sectors
providing econometric evidence that openness in
services influences countries’ long-run growth rates
by improving efficiency in national economies.23
Specifically, the study shows that countries with fully
open telecommunications and financial services
sectors grow up to 1.5 percentage points faster than
other countries. It is to be noted here that Uganda
has already autonomously liberalized financial
services to a large extent, even though it has no GATS
commitments in the sector.


However, not all countries liberalizing these sectors
have experienced increased growth. In this context,
UNCTAD’s work to assess the impacts of trade
liberalization in developing countries finds that not
only the quantity, but also the quality, of opening
is important, that is, how various elements of
complementary national policy measures influence
entrepreneurship, ease of entry, labour recruitment
and investment in liberalized sectors. Specifically,
UNCTAD finds that “the issues of the pace and
sequencing of reforms and the impact of regulatory
frameworks on the final outcome of trade liberalization
have received increased attention as they seem
crucial for assuring development gains from services
trade liberalization. There is also a need to identify
flanking policies to strengthen domestic capacities in
services. Trade liberalization alone does not guarantee
that services needed for growth and development will
automatically emerge in developing countries”.24


In addition, UNCTAD emphasizes: “While analysis of
such experiences is increasing, to date there is still
a lack of understanding about the functioning of the
various policies, and there is even less understanding
about the ways in which these options may play out in
different economic and social scenarios. In order for
privatization and liberalization to deliver their expected
benefits, there is a need for more analytical work on
types of flanking policies (which are in themselves not
cost-free), their pros and cons, the range of situations
in which they produce desirable results, and their


26 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




potential for failure (their costs and who pays the
costs). Finally, relying on flanking policies to make
privatization and liberalization work may – in certain
cases – foreclose the more fundamental question
about whether or not private-sector and foreign
operators’ involvement is the most suitable option in
the first place. Even in developed countries there are
sensitivities, particularly in respect of health, education
and water services. All these complex issues need
to be taken into consideration prior to deciding on
whether or not privatization is the best option”.


Uganda’s Commitments Under the General
Agreement on Trade in Services


Uganda is a founding member of WTO. Uganda's
schedule of commitments under WTO is in two sectors:
tourism services and communication services, mainly
telecommunication services. (See table I.3.) However,
the depth of Uganda’s overall GATS commitment is
low, suggesting ample room for bargaining leeway
in its multilateral trade negotiations. This is a very
different picture from Uganda's unilateral liberalization
commitments which are extensive, leaving only
the water sector untouched. However despite this
largely open unilateral regime, it has been noted that
anticipated foreign direct investment flows have not
been very encouraging, except in limited sectors such
as banking and insurance, telecommunications and
partially in tourism.


The current round of market access negotiations
under GATS article XIX launched in 2000, aims to


achieve progressively higher levels of liberalization of
trade in services through the reduction or elimination
of the adverse effects on trade in services of measures
in order to provide effective market access. These
negotiations provide developing countries with an
opportunity to achieve commercially meaningful
market access commitments in sectors and modes
of interest to them and a progressive opening
market access consistent with their development
situation. This includes the flexibility to open fewer
sectors and liberalize fewer types of transactions,
that is, Modes 1–4. Key objectives for developing
countries, including Uganda, should be not only to
maximize flows of services exports, but also to ensure
developmental gains from increased services trade to
contribute to building a competitive services sector
and maximization of overall level of development at
the national level. Accordingly, of the sectors where
liberalization is currently possible under GATS,25 those
selected for early liberalization should contribute to
the following goals:26


• Strengthening of the sector itself by introducing
competition, efficiency and transfer of technology;


• Strengthening other goods and services sectors
(producer services);


• Expansionofexportsofgoodsandservices;


• Infrastructure building (telecommunication,
transport and financial services);


• Attracting foreign direct investment where no


Sector Commitments


Telecommunication services


Basic voice services √
Private voice and data for closed user groups √


Other telecommunication services √
Mobile cellular voice and data √


Data services TCP/IP (Internet Protocol suite) √
Paging services √


Private mobile radio and trunked mobile radio √


Global mobile personal communications by satellite operations √
Tourism services


Hotels and restaurants √


Travel agencies/tour operators √


Table I.3. Summary of Uganda’s Commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services


27PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




or only limited service capacity presently exists
and therefore, opening a commercial presence
with appropriate limitations and performance
requirements could contribute to domestic
capacity-building;


• Developing sectors in which the country
has achieved considerable capacity and
competitiveness;


• Locking-intheprocessofdomesticreform.


Each of the candidate sectors for liberalization by
Uganda should be screened against the above
benchmarks by stakeholders. This process also needs
to be accompanied with the identification of potential
regulatory barriers in major trading partners, which
may prevent greater outsourcing or delocalization of
services of export interest to developing countries.
Moreover, supportive SME policies providing financial
incentives – including government-sponsored
mechanisms providing start-up financing on attractive
and easily accessible terms – to firms in targeted
sectors could be designed and put in place to facilitate
SME entry and growth.


Uganda’s Initial Offer in the Current Round
of the General Agreement on Trade in
Services Negotiations


In the bilateral request and offer approach, the
European Union made a bilateral request to Uganda
which covered financial services, construction
and engineering services, professional services,
telecommunication services and Mode 4.27


The current round of market access negotiations
under GATS article XIX, launched in 2000, aims to
achieve progressively higher levels of liberalization.
These negotiations provide developing countries with
an opportunity to achieve commercially meaningful
market access commitments in sectors and modes
of interest to them and a progressive opening market
access consistent with their development situation.
This includes the flexibility to open fewer sectors
and liberalize fewer types of transactions, that is,
Modes 1–4.


Overall, Uganda, like other LDCs, could benefit from
liberalization under GATS; however, a number of
market access barriers do not allow for full exploitation
of the potential for trade in services.28


As a developing county and especially as an LDC,
Uganda can avail of GATS provisions that take into


account the special situation of developing countries
and LDCs. Articles IV and XIX of the Agreement call for
greater participation of developing countries in world
trade, including through the liberalization of market
access and in sectors or modes of export interest to
developing countries. Development benchmarks can
also be found in the LDC modalities, the inadequate
implementation of which was highlighted at a Special
Session of the Committee on Trade in Services.29 The
introduction of a draft LDC waiver in the WTO, which
accords special priority to LDCs, including with respect
to sectors and modes of supply of interest to them
could depending on the outcome of negotiations,
result in meaningful services trade opportunities for
Uganda.30 In addition, paragraph 15 of the GATS
Negotiating Guidelines calls for an evaluation of
the implementation of article IV, to be followed by
suggestions for additional means to achieve its goals.
As such, preserving the right to regulate for the public
interest, for example, policy flexibility for development
and meaningful commitments in sectors or modes
of interest to developing and LDC countries, is a key
development benchmark.31


The Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration recalls many of
these criteria, clearly flagging development-oriented
objectives, for example, the economic growth of all
trading partners, the development of developing and
LDC countries and due respect for the right to regulate.
Among the key development achievements of the
Hong Kong meeting is the clear acknowledgement
that LDCs are not expected to enter into any
commitments. However, favourable language on
objectives and certain flexibilities do not yet – in itself –
ensure pro-development outcomes.32 Discussions on
an LDC waiver available to all WTO members of most-
favoured-nation obligations in respect of preferential
treatment benefiting LDC members is currently under
discussion. Negotiations on domestic regulation
under GATS article VI.4, disciplines are being
negotiated to ensure that qualification requirements,
technical standards and licensing requirements do not
constitute unnecessary barriers to trade in services.
The main challenge remains in striking a balance
between the need for national regulatory autonomy
and international disciplines to eliminate unjustifiable
market access barriers, particularly for Mode 4.33


28 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




under the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration, it
may, in a sense, be contrary to expect them to do
so within the EPA context;


• As set out below, how to sequence services
liberalization that is, taking into account intra-EAC,
EU-EAC-EPA and WTO negotiations in services?
Greater exchange of information and more
coordinated action in all levels of negotiations
may not only guarantee that the outcomes of both
processes is mutually compatible, but may lead
to the identification of positive synergies in both
negotiations;


• The EU-EAC-EPA agreement has a strong
economic and development cooperation
component, aimed at addressing supply-side
constraints, impediments to business and enabling
EAC Partner States to build capacity to exploit the
trade opportunities created by Agreement. This
can be effectively used in the context of EAC efforts
in setting up effective regulatory and institutional
frameworks;


• How to ensure the development of robust
regulatory frameworks, including on a sectoral
basis for individual EAC countries and on a
regional basis, prior to liberalization?


• Determine objectives clearly. This is especially
important given that Uganda as an emerging
services exporter exports a growing proportion
of its services to other African countries. This
growing trade potential could be threatened by
liberalization. A clear analysis has to be made
of objectives winning and gaining sectors and
subsectors within the Ugandan services economy,
including in the EU-EAC-EPA context the value of
Modes 1 and 4, as well as the potential impact of
development cooperation;


• The EU-EAC-EPA negotiations could focus on
producer services, construction and tourism. While
the Interim Economic Partnership Agreements
can follow a phased-in approach, EAC countries
should consider engaging in a fully fledged
liberalization process covering as many sectors as
possible;


• OtherchallengesfacingtheEACincludemaking
the Framework Agreement operational and
preparing for the next phase of negotiations,
both of which require substantial financial and
human resources.


4.2. The European Union-Africa Economic
Partnership Agreement, Uganda
and the Eastern African Community
Configuration


Uganda falls under the Eastern African Community
configuration region for its Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union (hereafter
referred to as EU-EAC-EPA). Regional GDP per capita
of $266 is mirrored in Uganda and Rwanda, while that
of Burundi is only $104. Among the majority of the
EAC members, travel is the most significant services
export sector, with annual tourism exports currently
above $300 million in the United Republic of Tanzania
($914 million in 2006), Kenya ($579 million in 2005),
and Uganda ($328 million in 2006). The importance of
the travel sector is closely interlinked with that of the
transport sector.


Service negotiations between the EAC and the EU,
though, not mandated under the Cotonou or the
GATS requirements, have been requested by the EU.
The EAC members initialled an interim agreement on
November 2007. As far as commitments to liberalize
the services sector are concerned, parties to the
interim EPA agree to establish a framework and scope
of potential negotiation in relation to other issues
including trade in services. The parties further agree
to conclude negotiations towards a comprehensive
EU-EAC-EPA, which would include the subject matter
of services, by July 2009. The negotiations in respect
of cooperation in trade and investment, services and
free movement of persons are therefore expected to
intensify further.


Some issues that will need to be considered in the
EAC context are as follows:


• Overlapping membership of EAC members with
other regional groupings, such as COMESA and
the Southern African Development Community,
could lead to a lack of harmony in objectives,
policies, and regulations. For instance, COMESA
services negotiations are much ahead of services
negotiations in EAC. In this context some progress
has been made towards putting in place a
coordination mechanism for EPA negotiations by
the African Union;


• How to match EU-EAC-EPA commitments with
WTO commitments and rules, specifically in
respect of GATS article V and LDC modalities? A
specific issue for Uganda is that since LDCs are
not required to make market access commitments


29PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




Development Community, could provide some idea
as to what commitments will be requested of Uganda
under the EAC configuration.


4.4. Ways Forward


Recognizing the stance taken by the Government
and major parastatal and private stakeholders in
key services sectors to increase privatization in, and
in some cases to liberalize, key services sectors, all
must now agree on the best way forward to advance
the liberalization process – subregionally through
EAC, regionally through COMESA and multilaterally
through GATS and transcontinental EPAs. Whether,
how and with whom Uganda should pursue services
liberalization remain crucial decisions that need
to be taken carefully and on the basis of national
economic, social and developmental objectives and
circumstances. The challenge for Uganda will be to
ensure coherence between its national development
policies on the one hand, and regional, interregional
and multilateral trade negotiations on the other.


Trade liberalization options are varied yet clear:
multilateral, interregional, regional, bilateral or
autonomous. National stakeholders must examine
which options, or combinations thereof, have the
greatest potential to meet agreed objectives. Each
option has its advantages and disadvantages, some
of which are briefly outlined below:


• Opening services sectors to a global market
under multilateral liberalization under GATS may
provide the greatest opportunities for investment
and employment, but will limit opportunities for
ownership and control, and potentially introduce
significant competitive shocks, which, if they
occur too abruptly and/or in the absence of
adequate flanking policies, may negatively
impact national SMEs and consumers. Moreover,
GATS liberalization will expose Ugandan firms
to considerable foreign competition, particularly
from developed country firms, and it is legally
binding and very difficult to reverse. Pursuit of
multilateral liberalization should thus include
carefully designed restrictions on market access
and national treatment that include performance
requirements and economic needs tests where
necessary to ensure development gains;


• Interregional and bilateral options may be
difficult to manage administratively and may not
provide sufficient levels of competition among
foreign entrants;


4.3. Sequencing of Commitments Under
Varied Trade Agreements


The pressures brought about by the multilateral
services liberalization agenda as well as the EPA
negotiations with the European Union highlight the
need to accelerate regional liberalization, that is,
within the EAC in particular and the wider regional
African configurations, including COMESA. Therefore
in terms of sequencing, the priority for the EAC
countries should be the development of a regional
framework agreement on trade in services to provide
the basis for which progressive liberalization with
the EU can be undertaken. The liberalization in
trade in services is expected to be undertaken on
a progressive basis using a positive list approach
adapted to the development of the EAC countries
concerned both in overall terms and in terms of their
services sectors and subsectors and to their specific
constraints.


In terms of approaches to trade negotiations,
intra-EAC services liberalization should ideally run
ahead of or in parallel with liberalization with the EU,
building on the basis of unilateral reforms already
conducted or in the pipeline. From a negotiating and
regional integration perspective, there is clearly a
need for the regional agenda to get up to speed in
order to keep up with the EPA negotiations and should
ideally provide for more liberalization at a faster pace
than the one regional countries will offer to the EU
with a view to multilateralizing key commitments in
the GATS negotiations. This is critical – otherwise the
regional agenda runs the risk of being overtaken by
events and becoming irrelevant. Timely intraregional
services liberalization would enable these countries
to have coordinated positions with respect to third
parties and gain clout at the multilateral level.


However, it is possible that the EU-EAC-EPA process
may proceed ahead of the EAC negotiations. If so,
it may be prudent for EAC countries to simply take
on board what has been offered to the European
Union under the Economic Partnership Agreements
and then use those commitments as a benchmark for
making deeper commitments to one another. Member
States should also ensure that whatever is offered
to the EU is automatically offered to other States
of the Southern African Development Community if
deeper integration is to be promoted. Consideration
of negotiations in other forums, including within the
context of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean
and Pacific States and the Southern African


30 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




• In the absence of a complementary multilateral
agreement, bilateral, regional and interregional
agreements may reduce the number and diversity
of potential market entrants;


• Regional liberalization has the advantage of
being among more similar economies; however,
opportunities for foreign investment from regional
markets would be more limited than under
multilateral liberalization. At the same time, options
for Uganda within the agreements it is currently a
party to – EAC, COMESA – do not currently have
integral services trade agreements, and advancing
these existing agreements or developing entirely
new agreements with other parties will take time to
initiate, negotiate and conclude;


• Hybridsolutionsshouldbeconsidered.Regional
liberalization, for example , in the context of EAC
and COMESA, could complement liberalization
at the multilateral level and provide a number of
export opportunities. Liberalization at the regional
level could also serve as a stepping stone towards
liberalization at the multilateral level, whereby, after
generating regional supply capacity and trade
in certain services sectors, particularly sensitive
sectors, Ugandan service suppliers would
possess a strengthened ability to venture into
global markets;


• Autonomous liberalization could be effected
quickly through national reforms and laws, but
national stakeholders may resist such moves, and
autonomous reversible reforms would not send a
strong signal to foreign investors that Uganda’s
liberalization commitments are firm, and for all
practical purposes, irreversible and permanent.
Without sufficient confidence, foreign investors
may be less willing to make investments in
liberalized sectors.


Which liberalization options are best for Uganda?
Does the best way forward depend on the sector
in question? What practical considerations must
be assessed: timing, sequencing or administrative
burden? Any assessment of how to best liberalize a
services sector must be considered against the aims
of the liberalization process. 34 35 For each sector in
which liberalization is being considered, several
important questions need to be answered:


• IsUgandaseekingtoenhanceexportopportunities
or improve prospects for inward investment?


• Is Uganda seeking to attract investment from
regional players from other developing countries,
international players from developed countries, or
both?


• Is Uganda seeking to encourage players from
selected countries to enter its market as investors,
or rather a much larger varied mixture of players
that would enter the market under more competitive
conditions?


• What opportunities for regional cooperation are
provided by EAC and COMESA?


• How important is it for Uganda to demonstrate
that it will not backtrack on its market-opening
commitments? What experiences have been
gained from autonomous liberalization in this
regard?


• Whatsequencingofmarketopening isdesirable
based on future expectations for a given sector,
both in Uganda and in the East Africa region more
generally?


These questions should be considered in the light
of the shared aims defining the country’s stance
in developing each of the candidate sectors (IT,
insurance, construction and professional services):


• To promote growth in the sector by providing
incentives for new services providers to enter
targeted sectors of the market alongside public-
sector players in public-private partnerships;


• Toattractinvestmentfromtopinternationalplayers
from both developing and developed countries;


• Toencouragethemostcompetitiveplayersfroma
large varied mixture of players to enter the market;


• Todemonstratethatmarket-openingcommitments
are firm and permanent to boost investment.


Opening national markets will encourage inflows of
investment to subsequently expand services activities,
including through outward investments in regional
markets, as a regional services hub. There is a need
to move quickly for two reasons: first, to ensure that
these sectors open fast enough to generate national
employment opportunities lost in declining sectors
such as agriculture and second, to secure an early
mover advantage in these sectors, relative to other
countries in the region, in order to establish Uganda
as a regional hub for each of these emerging sectors.


UNCTAD is currently working with EAC countries,


31PART I: STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES SECTORS OF UGANDA: A REPORT BY UNCTAD




including Uganda, to assess approaches and
options for regional and multilateral services trade
liberalization, including through a comprehensive
questionnaire-based study. These assessments aim
to help each country determine which approaches
to liberalization are best suited to meeting national
development objectives and generating gains from
trade in each of the sectors selected for liberalization
and in the wider national and regional economies.


D. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
NATIONAL CONSULTATIONS


National dialogue and consultations on how to proceed
in developing the new candidate services sectors
discussed above have been undertaken in Uganda.
However, additional dialogue and consultations are
now needed to meet negotiating objectives and
strategies for the current round of GATS negotiations,
as well as those of the ongoing EU-EAC-EPA, EAC
and COMESA negotiations. All relevant stakeholders
from government, parastatals, the private sector,
labour groups, civil society and academia should
work together to draw up a national master plan to
develop the services sector (see I.C.1). In national
stakeholder consultations aimed at developing a
master plan, stakeholders should seek to answer the
following questions in a spirit of cooperation:


• Istheretoomuch,ornotenough,GATSopening
in the telecommunication and tourism sectors,
and in other autonomously liberalized sectors? Will
Uganda’s new or current GATS offer reflect these
perspectives?


• Whenthetelecommunicationandtourismservices
markets were opened up through GATS, were their
regulatory frameworks sufficiently robust?


• Are regulatory frameworks sufficient in auto-
nomously liberalized services sectors?


• Towhatextentwasadditionalregulationneededand
how quickly was it developed and implemented?


• Should binding openings be made in other
sectors such as IT, insurance, construction and
professional services?


• What are the development advantages and
disadvantages of further liberalizing the IT,
insurance, construction and professional services
sectors?


• Whatare theoutstandingdevelopment concerns
associated with liberalizing the IT, insurance,
construction and professional services sectors?


• Whatpositivelinkageswithmerchandisetradeare
anticipated?


• What limitations on market access and national
treatment, horizontally and by sector and subsector,
can be devised to maximize development gains
from the services sectors?


• Are current regulatory frameworks for the IT,
insurance, construction and professional services
sectors sufficiently developed and robust for
these sectors to now be opened up through the
GATS and other frameworks (EU-EAC-EPA, EAC,
COMESA)?


• What positive and negative interactions exist
between liberalized services sectors?


• What concessions do stakeholders desire
from Uganda’s trading partners? What sectoral
liberalization requests should Uganda make, and
to which countries?


In responding to these questions, stakeholders
should be better placed to decide upon the best
approaches – autonomous, bilateral, regional,
interregional or multilateral – to achieve liberalization
of the IT, insurance, construction and professional
services sectors.


32 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




INSURANCE, LEGAL,
ACCOUNTING, AND


CONSTRUCTION AND
ENGINEERING SERVICES




A. INTRODUCTION


This study was prepared for UNCTAD’s Trade
Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch of
the Division of International Trade as part of UNCTAD’s
Assistance to Developing Countries on Services,
Development and Trade Negotiations Project. It was
conducted in the framework of the UNCTAD National
Services Policy Review project for Uganda, which
aims to examine the economic, social, regulatory,
institutional and trade dynamics of the services
sectors in that country.


This study was designed with the following objectives:


• To survey some of Uganda’s achievements
Uganda in developing particular services sectors,


• Toexaminewhatcanbedonetofurtherenhance
the development of these services sectors, in
particular through regulatory, institutional and
trade policy reform;


• To determine what can be done to promote
the accelerated development of other selected
sectors.


UNCTAD, in collaboration with Uganda’s Ministry
of Tourism, Trade and Industry, convened the first
national multi-stakeholder services workshop from 8
to 10 September 2008, to facilitate discussions among
national stakeholders on strategic approaches to
further the development of Uganda’s services sector,
including within a collaborative intersectoral and trade
policy context.


1. Methodology
The national workshop subsequently resolved that
the National Services Policy Review would build on
services studies that have been or are in the process
of being conducted in Uganda's specific context,
including those carried out by UNCTAD, International
Lawyers and Economists against Poverty, the
Department for International Development and
other organizations. The workshop recommended
that the methodology to be utilized in performing
the study in the NSPR framework should include an
extensive review of all existing work on services, in
addition to conducting detailed interviews with key
stakeholders, such as government agencies, quasi-
governmental bodies, regulators, business support
organizations and associations from the public and


private sectors. It was further agreed that the findings
from the study would be presented at another national
workshop with a broader spectrum of participants for
consideration. The workshop to make and adopt the
final recommendations from the NSPR Project was
held on 18 and 19 November 2009.


Therefore, in compiling this report, the consultants
reviewed an extensive body of reports, studies, policy
documents, statutes, regulations and laws listed in
the References section of this report. A total of 25
wide-ranging interviews with 17 key respondents in
12 institutions and organizations from the 4 selected
sectors were conducted using the interview guide,
annexed to this report as annex 2.


The consultants’ approach to the study was guided
by Uganda’s National Trade Policy, which notes the
importance of services in development and earmarks
them “for deliberate exploitation”. To emphasize this,
the President of Uganda made specific proposals:
“Deliberate interventions will be made in areas such as
regulation, including the elimination of trade-distorting
policies and practices locally and internationally.
Government recognizes that trade policies will be
most effective when complemented by effective and
efficient institutions, in particular those responsible for
policy formulation, implementation and monitoring;
a supportive legal regime; adequate and efficient
trade-facilitating infrastructure and appropriate
human capital and skills in both the private and public
sectors. It is Government’s intention to ensure that
all these are in place”. 36 This emphasis is reflected
in the extensive coverage devoted to regulation and
regulatory institutions and policies in the study.


2. Sectoral Coverage
The study covers four sectors selected on the basis
of the guidance of the national workshop referred to
above. It is expected that additional sectors will be
selected and included in the subsequent phases of
the NSPR. The choice reflects the importance Uganda
attaches to these sectors and the need to upscale the
performance of these services sectors, especially
in the context of Uganda’s regional trade services
liberalization commitments in the EAC and COMESA.
Uganda’s schedule of Commitments in the EAC
Common Market Protocol indicates transitional time
frames for accounting, insurance and legal services.
These time frames for the progressive implementation
of Uganda’s liberalization commitments in regard


34 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




to these sectors are indicative of the readiness of
both the regulators and players in the sectors in
addition to the importance the country attaches to
the sectors. Therefore, the choice of sectors and
any recommendations made in the NSPR framework
should be viewed in this context.


The selection of key respondents to this study has
been deliberate to ensure buy-in and support for
the recommendations made as part of the NSPR
exercise by regulators and policy institutions on the
one hand and the players on the other.


The study has revealed many overdue regulatory
and policy gaps requiring immediate attention by
both parties.


B. ECONOMIC OVERVIEW OF
UGANDA’S SERVICES SECTOR


1. Background
In Uganda, the services sector has become
increasingly important, as demonstrated by its
contribution to economic growth in general, and to
poverty-eradication programmes in particular, through
employment generation, remittances from abroad and
through its forward and backward linkages with other
sectors. Services have consistently over the last 15
years demonstrated the highest growth potential than
any other sector in the Ugandan economy (Atingi Ego,
2003). Over this period, the sector has been growing
at an estimated annual rate of 6.8 per cent, ahead of
the agricultural sector. For a more detailed outlook,
see table II.1. The contribution of agriculture to GDP
continued to decline from 15.7 per cent in 2007/08
to 15.1 per cent in 2008/09, despite being reported
as still employing over 80 per cent of the population.
In 2008/09 the services sector was reported to
have grown by 9.4 per cent, compared with 7.2 per
cent and 2.6 per cent for industry and agriculture,
respectively. The aggregate contribution of services to
GDP in 2008/09 was 51.2 per cent, which is more than
the total contribution to GDP of all the other sectors,
namely, 24.5 per cent and 26 per cent for industry and
agriculture, emphasizing the importance of the sector
as a key driver of overall economic growth for Uganda
in the medium to long term. 37


Uganda’s services imports have increased
considerably since 2003, reaching an all-time high


in 2007. Transportation, other business, travel and
insurance services are the main imports as illustrated
in table II.2. Understandably, for a landlocked
economy, dependent on transportation for all its
trading activities, transportation is Uganda’s leading
service import.


In contrast, Uganda’s exports of services have been
erratic, having hit an all-time high in 2005, declined the
following year before rising again in 2007.


A careful scrutiny of real GDP growth rates of a
cross-section of Uganda’s services sectors indicates
that the communication sector, which was typically
among the smallest contributors until the 1998/99
fiscal year, has consistently increased to be one of
the main contributors to Uganda’s national GDP.
Since 2002/03, communications has been the fastest
growing sector in Uganda. Total revenues generated
in the ICT sector experienced a twenty-fold growth in
the five years between 2001 and 2006. 38


A breakdown of Uganda’s exports in services from
2003 to 2007 is provided in the table II.3.


Uganda is one of Africa’s better performers in the
export of ICT-related services; they are reported as
having grown from $0.7 million in 2003/04 to $31.5
million in 2006/07, a forty-five-fold increase;39 this
makes the ICT sector one of Uganda’s best export
performers.


The primary export market for most firms in the ICT
and telecommunication sectors is EAC. The Services
Capacity Report 40 reported all its respondents as
quoting at least one of the EAC countries as being
among their top three principal export markets. The
report further reveals that all respondents indicated
an EU country among their primary export markets
except one, whose export markets included an
Eastern European country.


Uganda’s imports of services have been growing
at a faster rate than its exports as seen in
Figure II.1 represented as traded values for the period
2003–2007. Exports have shown positive growth and
remain on an upward trend. The balance of trade data,
however, shows a widening divergence in imports and
exports.


Available data shows that the tourism and travel
subsector has been the top export for Uganda since
2003. In 2007, the export value for the travel subsector
accounted for $398 million.


35PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




Sector 2003/4 2004/5 2005/6 2006/7 2007/8


Agriculture, forestry and fishing 1.6 2.0 0.5 0.1 0.7
Cash crops 7.3 -5.5 10.6 5.4 2.2


Food crops -1.5 -0.2 -0.1 -0.9 2.4
Livestock 4.7 3.0 1.6 3.0 3.0
Forestry 3.1 6.5 4.1 1.9 2.6
Fishing 9.6 13.5 5.6 -3.0 -12.4
Industry 8.0 11.6 14.7 9.9 6.4


Mining and quarrying 1.7 27.2 6.1 19.4 0.8
Manufacturing 6.3 9.5 7.3 4.3 8.1


Formal 8.3 11.8 7.8 4.0 9.5
Informal 1.7 3.6 6.0 5.2 4.3


Electricity supply 7.7 2.1 -6.5 -4.0 6.0


Water supply 4.2 3.9 2.4 3.5 5.0
Construction 10.0 14.9 23.2 14.3 6.0


Services 7.9 6.2 12.2 8.8 13.0


Wholesale and retail trade; repairs 6.3 7.2 12.3 9.9 17.5
Hotels and restaurants 9.5 6.5 8.7 11.3 4.4


Transport and ICT-related sectors 15.8 9.8 17.1 17.7 18.8
Road, rail and water transport 8.9 6.7 12.8 9.4 21.7
Air transport and support services 13.8 19.7 6.9 13.8 20.8
Posts and telecommunication 28.6 11.8 26.2 29.1 15.4


Financial services 0.0 13.0 31.7 9.9 29.6
Real estate activities 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.6 5.6
Other business services 7.0 9.2 12.5 10.0 10.4
Public administration and defence 7.7 -5.4 15.8 -8.3 18.4


Education 9.1 4.4 9.4 10.6 5.5


Health 0.9 5.6 12.9 2.7 15.2


Other personal and community services 16.1 15.0 14.1 13.4 12.8
GDP at basic prices 6.4 6.6 10.3 7.4 8.9


Note: May not add exactly due to rounding off.
Source: Background to the Budget FY 2008/09, June 2008, p. 12.


Table II.1. Economic Structure and Performance, 2003–2008 - (GDP Growth Rates in Percentage)


Other business services, the second-highest
performing sector, accounted for $38 million.
According to WTO statistics for 2007, Uganda’s
major exports are transportation (3.1 per cent), travel
(73.6 per cent) and other commercial services (23.3
per cent). These sectors are also the major imports:
transportation (53.8 per cent), travel (9.7 per cent) and
other commercial services (36.5 per cent).


Historically, core infrastructural services were
considered the domain of government policy and


ownership. Over time however, infrastructural services
have performed dynamically. In 2008, they accounted
for approximately 35 per cent of all services, with
trade driven largely by North–South foreign direct
investment flows. An analysis of the investment
patterns by transnational corporations indicates that
infrastructural services have featured prominently in
their overall investment portfolio over the last decade,
with over 20 transnational corporations featured
among the top 100 companies in 2006, compared
with only 7 in 1997 (UNCTAD, 2008).


36 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




The development of Uganda's infrastructural services
in general, and its transport and insurance services, in
particular are especially important in light of Uganda's
landlocked status. Uganda incurs high costs on
transport and insurance services, which are necessary
to bring its exports to the market (UNCTAD, 2008). Its
landlocked situation fundamentally accounts for the
country’s colossal expenditure on transport, making
transportation Uganda’s leading service import (Hub
and Spokes, 2009). Transportation, other business,
travel and insurance services have been Uganda’s
main service imports over the last decade (See table
II.2).This explains why liberalization, coupled with
policy making and regulatory reform in transport and
the equally important insurance sector, is central to all
efforts to take up the considerable challenges faced
by Ugandan traders.


The Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry proposes
to respond to this constraint by focusing on attracting
inward flows of foreign direct investment through the
Economic Partnership Agreement into key services
sectors that have strong backward and forward
linkages to the wider economy (manufacturing and
agriculture), also called infrastructural service,41
thereby stimulating economic diversification, business
development, economic growth and regional and
global competitiveness.


2. Professional Services
Globally there is a demand for both highly and
lower-skilled persons. Traditionally, going back to
the 1990s, there has been a very high movement of
persons from Uganda to Europe, the United States,


Service Sector 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007


Transport 229.9 267.8 353.1 468.1 619.5
Other business services 115.6 31.2 30.1 61.6 92.2
Travel - 108.1 124.4 122.9 132.0
Insurance 29.9 39.2 47.9 56.9 75.5


Government services 14.8 16.9 15.5 14.6 19.4
Communications 10.1 11.4 10.9 14.7 19.1


Financial services 2.3 2.8 3.3 3.3 4.2
Royalties and licence fees 7.9 1.4 1.5 10.6 4.8
Total services 410.5 478.8 586.7 752.7 966.7


Source: International Trade Centre; International Monetary Fund Balance of Payment Statistics.


Table II.2. Services Imported by Uganda, 2003–2007
(US Dollars at Current Prices and Current Exchange Rates in Millions)


Services Sector 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007


Transport 8.9 9.6 11.0 11.8 18.4


Other business services 28.4 33.9 20.8 32.4 38.0


Travel 184.2 267.0 379.9 345.9 398.3


Insurance 3.2 4.1 7.4 8.8 10.9


Government services 10.3 11.9 13.3 15.0 21.4


Communications 16.6 18.7 17.9 24.2 27.8


Financial services 6.5 9.2 11.3 11.9 14.7


Royalties and licence fees 0.6 … 7.4 2.4 0.5


Total services 258.7 354.4 469 452.4 530
Source: International Trade Centre; International Monetary Fund Balance of Payment Statistics.


Table II.3. Services Exported by Uganda, 2003–2007
(US Dollars at Current Prices and Current Exchange Rates in Millions)


37PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




Japan and the Middle East in sectors such as
health care and education services with a number of
beneficial impacts, in particular in terms of remittance
flows.42 Uganda benefits from high remittance flows,
which are constantly on the rise. In 2003, Uganda’s
remittances were double its total official development
assistance flows. Remittance inflows increased
by over 200 per cent from $646 million in 2006 to
$1,392 million in 2007.


Remittances from Ugandans working abroad have
for several years been a leading source of foreign
exchange, and they continue to rise dramatically; for
instance, from $646 million in 2006 to $1,392 in 2007, a
twofold increase (Mangeni, 2008).The significance of
remittances as a strategic source of foreign exchange
for Uganda explains the importance the Government
attaches to this emerging foreign exchange avenue
with the establishment of the specialized Labour
Externalization Unit at the Ministry of Gender, Labour
and Social Development as a focal point to initiate
institutional arrangements to facilitate the pursuit of
opportunities abroad.


The importance of remittances as a critical source of
foreign exchange is not unique to Uganda, as revealed
by data from selected African countries showing that


almost all countries have registered inward remittance
growth since 2000. The average yearly growth rate
among these countries is well over 10 per cent, with
Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Ghana boasting well
over 20 per cent annual growth rates over the last 10
years (World Bank, 2007).


A comparison of inward and outward remittance flows
for the East African countries for 2003-2007 indicates
that Uganda’s remittance outflows have averaged
about 70 per cent of its inward remittances since 2003,
while Kenya’s level of remittance outflows is the lowest
in the East African Community with its percentage of
outflows to inflows averaging 4 per cent since 2003.
In the case of Rwanda and the United Republic of
Tanzania, remittance outflows exceed inflows. The
high level of Uganda’s remittance outflows suggests
in part that to maximize the development impact
from inward remittance flows, improve the domestic
economy and reduce poverty levels, there is a need to
significantly increase the levels of inward remittances
beyond current levels (Investment Climate and
Business Environment Research Fund, 2009).


This is a sector of major offensive interest for Uganda. It
has a large pool of professionals in nearly every sector,
and the export of temporary labour has been identified


Figure II.1. Balance of Trade in Services, 2003–2007
(US Dollars at Current Prices and Current Exchange Rates in Millions)


Source: UNCTAD, Handbook of Statistics, 2009


38 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




as being central to contributing positively to increased
remittance flows, enhanced knowledge and exposure
to new technologies and methodologies. A briefing
paper on Uganda’s position in the ongoing EAC-EC
EPA negotiations from the Ministry of Tourism, Trade
and Industry recommends seeking commitments from
Uganda’s trading partners, including the European
Union in all professional services sectors (accounting
and bookeeping, engineering, architecture, integrated
engineering, medical and dental, nurses and
midwives) as a priority of Uganda’s future trade in
services requests (“Hub and Spokes” Project, 2009).


C. ACCOUNTING SERVICES
SECTOR


1. Trend Analysis


1.1 Contribution of the Accounting Services
Sector to GDP


The problems associated with aggregated statistics
make it hard to quantify and track the contribution
of accounting to Uganda’s GDP. However, the
achievements of the Institute of Certified Public
Accountants of Uganda in its first decade of active
existence suffice to measure the role of the regulated
accounting services in the transformation of Uganda’s
economy. It is more critical to note that without
accountants it would have been impossible to record
Uganda’s impressive economic performance over the
last decade and a half.


1.2. Employment Trends in the Accounting
Services Sector


The records at the Institute of Certified Public
Accountants of Uganda indicate that the number of
registered accountants in Uganda has grown more
than 10 times, from 79 in 1995 to over 827 by 30 October
2009. The number of accounting firms increased from
12 to 171 over the same period. In addition, the student
membership of the Institute rose from 44 in 1997 to
a total of 8,732, including 6,492 and 2,240 Certified
Public Accountant (CPA) and Accounting Technicians
Certificate (ATC) students respectively. 43 To date the
Institute has garnered a total of 1,398 graduates in
its ATC (1,052) and CPA (346) programmes (Institute
of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda, 2009).
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


estimates the total number of accountants in Uganda
at 950 (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants,
2009). There has been a surge in the number of young
people pursuing accounting careers, as demonstrated
by a nearly twenty-four-fold increase in the number
of student members of the Association of Chartered
Certified Accountants in Uganda. The Association’s
Uganda Country office reported that programme
enrolment had increased from 200 in 2000 to 4,112
in 2009. The number of graduates44 has similarly
risen from a mere 49 to 451 over the same period.
The Association’s Uganda database indicates that in
the last decade the number of Ugandans who have
successfully passed to become full members had
increased by over 220 per cent from 410 in 2000 to 916
by 2009. This means that apart from the challenges
of quantifying its contribution to the economy, the
sector has a solid and rapidly growing foundation
upon which a vibrant future will be built. Uganda’s
accounting services sector is presently estimated at
slightly over 2,000 individuals offering accounting and
auditing services, and its related services as full-time
employees (Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
Uganda, 2008).


2. Regulation in the Accounting
Services Sector


The Accountants Act, Cap. 266, is the applicable law
that governs the accounting and auditing practice in
Uganda. The Act establishes the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda as the competent
authority in Uganda with the mandate to regulate
and maintain the standard of accountancy in the
country; and to prescribe or regulate the conduct of
accountants in Uganda, Part II, section 3 (a) and (b).


The Act in Part IV, section 18, designates the Auditor
General as the Registrar of Accountants in Uganda.
In section 21 it sets licensing requirements for
accountants, and without any regard for GATS and
its conventional four modes of supply specifically,
restricts the practice of accounting to individuals to
the detriment of firms.45


The Act defines what constitutes accounting
services for purposes of trade and regulation by the
appropriate law and authorities. Persons offering
accounting services are defined as those who (a) offer
to perform or performs services involving the auditing,
verification or certification of financial accounting or
related statements; (b) render professional service


39PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




or assistance on matters of principle, accounting
procedure or certification of financial facts or data; or
(c) render any service which in accounting principles
or bylaws made by the council are services amounting
to practising accountancy, among others.46


The Accountants Act, section 5 (2), sets out both
eligibility and qualification requirements for persons
that can practice as accountants in Uganda. The Act
provides for registration with the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda and disciplining of
accountants and the approval and maintenance of
their professional standards.


Respondents from the Institute indicated that
given how increasingly competitive the accounting
profession is becoming, there was a need to amend
the qualification requirements with a view to making
them more stringent and consistent with the increasing
market demands on the accountants, both for the
present and the future.


Uganda’s accounting services sector is presently
estimated at slightly over 2,000 individuals offering
accounting and auditing services and its related
services as full-time employees.


In contrast, only 827 of these were enrolled, registered,
licensed, properly certified to practise as such and
allowed to use the titles, “Certified Public Accountant
of Uganda” (CPA (U)) and “Associate Accountant
of Uganda” (AA(U)) with their names as explicitly
provided for in sections 9 47 and 25.48


3. Uganda’s Accounting Services
Sector – Regional Status


A review of the Annual Report of the Eastern Central
and Southern African Federation of Accountants –
2008, of which the accounting fraternity in the region
are members, indicates a disadvantaged position for
Uganda.


The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda
reported a membership of 699 persons, compared
with 3,620, 1,353 and 2,938 members reported by
the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya,
the National Board of Accountants and Auditors of
the United Republic of Tanzania and the Zambian
Institute of Certified Accountants, respectively, at the
end of 2008. The South African Institute of Certified
Accountants reported a membership of 19,502 for
the same period, a number almost 4 times the total
membership of all 3 EAC members put together.


The recommendations by the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda to introduce more
stringent qualification and professional development
requirements for the accounting industry do not
seem misplaced, given the apparently lower level of
accounting in the EAC.


4. Accounting Services and
Professional Development


The Accountants Act establishes a Public
Accountants Examinations Board to (a) determine
the syllabi and curricula in respect of examination in
the subjects of study; (b) conduct public accountants
examinations;(c) appoint examiners and moderators
of examinations; and (d) make rules governing the
public accountants examinations.49


4.1. Public Accountants Examination Board


At its inception the Institute of Certified Public
Accountants of Uganda realized that it could not
effectively discharge its statutory duties and fulfil its
mandate without an internationally reputed accounting
training programme. With the support of the World Bank
through the Uganda Institutional Capacity-Building
Project and technical assistance from the Institute
of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, the Institute
established a Public Accountants Examination Board.


The Institute of Certified Public Accountants initiated
a twinning arrangement with an accountancy body in
the region and carried out study visits across select
accountancy institutes across the region to explore
the set-up of their institutes and establishment of their
examination schemes.50


Over the last 10 years, the Institute has developed
and successfully conducted two specialized training
programmes of international repute, namely the
Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (CPA-U)
for Certified Public Accountancy practice and the
Accounting Technicians Certificate of Uganda
(ATC-U) for Government Accounting Practice. The
Institute’s Public Accountants Examination Board had
successfully examined 1,398 graduates including
1,052 and 346 ATC-U and CPA-U candidates
respectively by October, 2009 (Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda, 2009).


The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
Uganda’s training programmes and the success of
its Public Accountants Examination Board are the
underlying factors behind the tremendous growth


40 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




in the number of registered accountants and the
dramatic increase of the accounting fraternity’s
student membership. The success of these training
programmes has had a lot to do with the number of
people in full-time accounting-related employment
(auditing, verification and certification of financial
statements or related financial reports) in Uganda
currently estimated at over 2,000.51


4.2. Accounting Services - Continuing
Professional Development and
Education


A comparative analysis of the Annual Continuing
Professional Development and Education Returns of
the Eastern Central and Southern African Federation
of Accountants for 2008 reveals the need for Uganda
and EAC in particular to critically examine their efforts
in this essential aspect of professional development
for accounting if they are to catch up with the best in
the region.


The Federation’s 2008 Returns, indicate that the South
African Institute of Certified Accountants boasted
the largest numbers of accountants and the best
continuing professional development and education
returns, with 84 per cent of its members meeting the
Federation’s minimum requirements for continuing
professional development and education.


Despite Kenya’s superior numerical strength in the
region (3,620 members) the EAC reported the lowest
continuing professional development and education
returns with a marginal 40 per cent of its members
meeting the Federation’s minimum requirements;
the United Republic of Tanzania (1,353 members)
reported the highest results with 71.2 per cent, and
Uganda (699 members) reported a close second,
with 65 per cent.


Despite what seem to be detailed provisions in the
Accountants Act, there is a need to amend it to
effectively respond to the onerous regulation function
required of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants
of Uganda. Of particular concern in this regard is the
need to extend the scope of the Institute’s jurisdiction
to cover the entire spectrum of the accounting practice
in Uganda. The present legislation, while purporting to
designate the Institute Uganda’s competent authority
on all accounting matters, including auditing, and
therefore the statutory regulator of these services in
Uganda, restricts the Institute’s effective jurisdiction
solely to its members. This lack of coherence between


the statutory roles of the Institute and its jurisdiction
explains the disparity between the employment figures
in accounting and the number of its members. Once
achieved, such coherence will make the Institute
more effective in its regulatory role. The Association
of Chartered Certified Accountants has approximately
92 per cent and 49 per cent share of the member and
student markets respectively.


4.3. Accounting Services and the Millennium
Development Goals


Although it does not have specific programmes
designed to respond to the Millennium Development
Goals, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants
of Uganda seeks to ensure that the conduct of its
members in particular and the accounting fraternity
(including auditors) in general positively impacts
Uganda’s performance in respect of the governance
dimensions of all the Goals.


The design of the Accounting Technicians Certificate
of Uganda for Government Accounting Practice was
informed by this objective to improve government
accounting practices. The training modules were
developed with the active participation of both the
Auditor General and the Accountant General and
deliberately benchmarked against World Bank public
procurement requirements to emphasize elements of
value for money audits and forensics.


The graduates of this programme have been
instrumental in the procurement, accounting and
audit processes of the School Facility Grants, which
are the primary financing vehicles of Uganda’s
Universal Primary Education Programme and recently,
its Universal Secondary Education Programmes, both
of which are at the centre of the country’s strategy to
achieve Goal 2.


In response to Goal 3 on promoting gender equality
and women empowerment, the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda reported that, having
noted the comparatively smaller number of female
members among the accounting fraternity, the
Institute had introduced in all its training programmes,
including the Accounting Technicians Certificate
of Uganda and the Certified Public Accountants of
Uganda, Special Recognition Awards for female
graduates and participants.


As part of the mandatory Continuing Professional
Development Programme for all its members, the
Institute, in its efforts to contribute towards achieving


41PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




Goal 6, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other
diseases, introduced a compulsory continuing
professional development requirement to attend an
HIV/AIDS module. In addition, a dedicated session
of the Institute’s Annual General Meeting and
Annual Seminar has been reserved for HIV/AIDS and
tuberculosis since 2005.


The Institute adopted the Environment Accounting
Standard as part of Uganda’s Statutory International
Accounting Standards to ensure that Uganda’s
accounting fraternity continues to observe international
good environment practices well beyond the 2015
Millennium Development Goal deadline pursuant to
Goal 7, that of ensuring environmental sustainability.


5. Trade Liberalization in Uganda’s
Accounting Services Sector


Uganda’s accounting services sector is fully
liberalized, allowing for cross-border practice, which
has opened up the domestic market to eligible foreign
practitioners. The Accountants Act, Cap. 266, section
49, Fifth Schedule, lists the recognized institutes
in Uganda and abroad for first enrolment whose
members meet the eligibility requirements of the
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda.52


There are 171 licensed accounting and auditing
firms in Uganda, including 6 foreign ones locally
incorporated in Uganda.


At its inception, the Institute was set up to operate in
a liberalized dispensation. Unlike its older partners
in the region, it has not had to deal with extreme
liberalization adjustment challenges. As reported
previously, the Institute was kick-started through a
twinning arrangement with the Institute of Chartered
Accountants of Scotland, which gave the infant
Institute a mindset predisposed to international
partnerships and best practices. This arrangement,
aimed at laying a training and examinations framework
for the Public Accountants Examination Board of the
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda,
set the ground for a firm international orientation for
the Institute and therefore, for the accounting services
sector in Uganda.


Despite its predisposition to foreign practice,
the Accountants Act has been found short of
full compliance with the EAC Common Market
Liberalization Requirements. The EAC Common
Market Protocol states that business services,
including accounting and bookkeeping services, are


among the seven sectors to be initially subjected to
the freedom of movement of services on a progressive
basis according to schedules by EAC Partner States.
The Act was found in breach of these requirements
because the accounting institutes in Burundi and
Rwanda were not included in its list of recognized
institutes (Reference to the Fifth Schedule of the
Acccountants Act).


An EAC study on the state of liberalization in trade in
services highlighted that by recognizing accounting
institutes outside the Region, the Accountants Act
was “according better treatment to third parties than
to Partner States of the EAC (Burundi and Rwanda),
whose Institutes are not recognized.”53 The Fifth
Schedule of the Accountants Act will have to be
amended to address these concerns and comply with
the EAC’s Common Market liberalization commitments
for business services.


International Financial Reporting Standards – The
Accountants Act charges the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda with the responsibility
of approving accounting and auditing standards in
Uganda.54 Despite its short life span, the Institute has
been proactive in its deliberate orientation of Uganda’s
accounting services in general, and its members
in particular, to have a global reach in standards,
regulation, conduct and practice.


This is reflected in the Institute’s decision to adopt
without any modifications the International Financial
Reporting Standards developed by the International
Auditing and Assurance Standards Board for
application in Uganda as the country’s National
Accounting Standard, unlike all the other EAC
accounting regulators. This means that Ugandan
financial statements and reports meet international
reporting standards and would not require
adjustment, as those from jurisdictions applying
local standards and practices. The emerging global
trend of adopting and committing to International
Disciplines and Standards, especially in accounting,
which is gathering momentum including at WTO, will
find Uganda’s accounting sector already compliant.
Non-compliant members, who unfortunately include
all the other EAC Partner States, are facing increasing
adjustment costs in the effort to comply, which
Uganda has avoided.


International Public Sector Accounting Standards
– In the exercise of the mandate referred to above,
the Institute’s decision to adopt International


42 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Financial Reporting Standards has not been limited
to corporate and private business reporting, but
has been extended to include public accounting
standards with the adoption of the International
Public Sector Accounting Standards developed, with
no modifications, by the International Public Sector
Accounting Standards Board as Uganda’s National
Public Reporting Standard for government accounts
and audit processes and reporting. The Accounting
Technicians Certificate of Uganda Course of the
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda was
designed to facilitate and fast-track the public-sector
accounting reforms with the effective application and
enforcement of these standards by the Government
of Uganda.


Audit monitoring and quality assurance programme
– The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
Uganda is one of the three regulators of accounting
and audit practice in Eastern, Central and Southern
Africa certified to run audit monitoring on behalf
of the Eastern, Central and Southern African
Federation of Accountants in the quality assurance
programme of the Federation and the Association
of Chartered Certified Accountants. This programme
requires all audit firms under the Federation’s
jurisdiction to maintain quality-control systems in
accordance with the International Standard on Quality
Control 1. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants
of Uganda has since February 2008, established
a dedicated audit monitoring team and recruited
full-time staff to exclusively conduct these mandatory
audits under the scheme.


6. Uganda’s Accounting Services
Sector: an Analysis of Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities and
Threats


6.1. Strengths


Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda –
The main asset of Uganda’s accounting and auditing
services sector is the well-established, professional
and independent regulator, the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda. The Institute has been
accepted by both the professionals in accounting
and audit practice and their clients in the private and
public sector, which has increased its credibility and
effectiveness as a legitimate regulator for the sector.


The Accountants Act, Cap. 266 – This Act provides an


elaborate legal framework for the accounting services
sector. The law has detailed provisions on enforcement
and its processes, and designates enforcement
agencies. The Institute has taken advantage of this
legislation to increase its effectiveness.


Public Accountants Examination Board - Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda and Accounting
Technicians Certificate of Uganda – Through its Public
Accountants Examination Board, the Institute of
Certified Public Accountants of Uganda, in partnership
with an internationally reputed accounting institute, the
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, has
established recognized local qualifications, namely
the Certified Public Accountants of Uganda and the
Accounting Technicians Certificate of Uganda. These
qualifications provide a basis for a locally grown cadre
of accountants and auditors to meet both Uganda’s
domestic accounting requirements in the private and
public sectors. For reasons explained previously,
the members of the Institute of Certified Public
Accountants of Uganda are better placed than their
compatriots in the EAC region to export accounting
services to the region and beyond.


Goodwill from the Government of Uganda – The
Institute enjoys much good will and support from the
Government, which is its biggest client. Notably, the
Accountants Act designates the Auditor General as
the Registrar of Accountants in Uganda. Therefore
although the Institute is an independent body, the
Government has a very big stake in it.


Donor support – The Government’s development
partners have identified a strong and well-resourced
accounting sector as the most effective tool to
address the country’s financial governance issues.
This explains the support the accounting sector
enjoys from the donor community.


The seed money for the Institute of Certified Public
Accountants of Uganda was a $980,000 grant from the
World Bank under the Uganda Institutional Capacity-
building Project.55


6.2. Weaknesses


In comparison with other countries, Uganda’s
accounting services sector is relatively young and still
small. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
Uganda has a mere membership of 699 accountants,
compared with that of the Institute of Certified Public
Accountants of Kenya (3,620 members), the National
Board of Accountants and Auditors of the United


43PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




Republic of Tanzania (1,353 members), the Zambian
Institute of Certified Accountants (2,938 members)
and the South African Institute of Certified Accountants
(19,502 members).


The narrow scope of the jurisdiction of the Institute
of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda restricts
the Institute’s regulation role to its members while
purporting to designate the Institute to serve as the
statutory regulator of all accounting practitioners in
Uganda. This lack of coherence between the statutory
roles of the Institute and its jurisdiction undermines its
effectiveness as the national accounting regulator. As
a result of this narrow scope, the majority of people
offering accounting services are not regulated.
Judging by the Institute’s estimates of people
offering accounting services in Uganda in 2000, the
unregulated players are almost twice the number of
the regulated accountants.


6.3. Opportunities


There is a large pool of potential trainees in the
accounting and auditing professions which the sector
can draw from in an effort to bridge the gap and catch
up with the bigger accounting and audit fraternities,
especially in Kenya and the United Republic of
Tanzania.


International Financial Reporting Standards – The
deliberate strategy to adopt these standards as
Uganda’s National Accounting Standard, unlike all
the other EAC accounting regulators in addition to
the advantages indicated earlier, has given a global
dimension to the horizons of Uganda’s accountants in
general and the members of the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda in particular. The
employment prospects for Ugandan accountants
are as wide as the extent of application of these
standards. The anticipated successful conclusion of
the WTO negotiations on international disciplines and
standards in accounting based on these standards
will broaden these prospects even further.


Growing importance and emphasis on corporate
governance – The increasing need for compliance with
good corporate practices means that compliance is
essential for virtually everything from creditworthiness
in financial markets to performance guarantees in
procurements and other related decision-making
processes. This has taken the demand for regulated
accounting to a new level. The Uganda Securities
Exchange has added a positive spin to the accounting


profession. The buzz around the Ugandan Bourse
with successful initial public offerings and a growing
number of blue chip corporate listings at, and floating
bonds on, the Uganda Securities Exchange has
increased the domestic demand for accountants.
Uganda Securities Exchange compliance
requirements include audited accounts and other
accounting requirements that can only be offered by
regulated accounting and audit practitioners certified
by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
Uganda.


The recent launching of the Credit Reference Bureau
has added to this governance-fuelled demand for
Institute members.


6.4. Threats


Delayed amendment to the Accountants Act – Despite
the consensus around the obvious gaps identified in
the Accountants Act, the Government is not acting
fast enough to amend the inadequate legislation.
Unfortunately, presenting the proposed amendments
for appropriate action is beyond the mandate of
the primary drivers of the regulation function in the
accounting sector, namely the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda. The amendments
have not been presented to Parliament for almost five
years since the text was finalized.


Reduced government sponsorship – Until the private
sector achieves its full potential, the Government
is likely to remain the main client of the accounting
sector. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants
of Uganda reported that the Government was its
biggest benefactor because of the large number
of public-sector accounting trainees. In the recent
past the Institute has observed a reduction in the
Government’s sponsorship of its employees to full
completion of the Institute’s professional course.
The Institute originally designed its Accounting
Technicians Certificate of Uganda course as a
fast-track programme to full professional enrolment to
practitioners in both the private and public practice.
The Institute’s observation is that the Government
seems to be satisfied with accounting trainees and not
keen to sustain their sponsorship to full professional
enrolment, which is detrimental to both the trainees’
accounting careers and the success of the Public
Sector Accounting Reforms currently under way.
This has a negative impact on the Institute’s revenue
streams and will certainly affect the full implementation
of the International Public Sector Accounting


44 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Standards, owing to an inadequate supply of fully
qualified accountants with the appropriate skills.


D. INSURANCE SERVICES
SECTOR


1. Trend Analysis


Contribution of the Insurance Industry to
GDP


The industry wrote U Sh 167 billion ($84 million) of
gross premiums in 2008, of which non-life accounted
for 91 per cent, and life premiums, 9 per cent.56 This
represents a dramatic increase of over 300 per cent
in premiums written by the domestic industry over the
past 7 years, compared with 2002 when a marginal U
Sh 53 billion in gross premiums was written. In 2007,
gross premiums rose to U Sh 126 billion, hitting an
annual growth rate of 23 per cent.57 See table II.4 for
a more detailed picture.


This impressive performance is consistent with other
economy-wide indicators resulting from increasing
economic activity. However, for the insurance
sector, this can be attributed to increased consumer
awareness and the introduction of new and improved
products tailored to consumer needs.


The insurance sector’s contribution to Uganda’s GDP
remains at about 0.6 per cent. Table II.5 provides a
breakdown of the contribution of the insurance sector
to GDP and its market penetration.By all accounts,
the major hindrances to the growth of the insurance
industry are as follows: (a) a lack of insurance
awareness among the insuring and would-be insuring
public; (b) generally low incomes of the majority of
prospective customers, giving rise to an inability
to afford insurance because of non-possession of
valuable insurable property; and (c) inadequacy of
products that would be ideal for rural prospective
customers who form the bulk of the population.


Whereas there has been positive growth in the
insurance sector in Uganda, the country’s insurance
penetration still lags behind industry averages in other
African countries. Uganda accounted for only 0.14
per cent of the total African gross premiums for 2007,
while South Africa, Africa’s insurance giant, accounted
for 80 per cent. See table II.6.


Between 2003 and 2007, overall employment in the
insurance sector increased gradually, as indicated in
table II.7.


2. Uganda’s Insurance Services and
the Millennium Development Goals


Microinsurance


The study has found no deliberate efforts for the
insurance industry to make a contribution to Uganda’
efforts to achieve the Millennium Development
Goals, However, the Uganda Insurance Commission
reported that its push for microinsurance, which
is especially designed for the poor, would make
a positive contribution to Goal 1, the eradication
of extreme poverty and hunger. Despite the low
premiums generated from microinsurance, 6 out
of 21 companies in the industry reported offering
microinsurance products in 2008. 58


As part of this microinsurance initiative, the industry
regulator has designed and co-ordinated training
of insurance company staff on microinsurance to
increase its uptake by the industry and encourage
product innovation on microinsurance by the
insurance players.


The Uganda Insurance Commission is obtaining
assistance from the International Association of
Insurance Supervisors to develop a regulatory
framework for microinsurance aimed at increasing
health insurance coverage for the poor.


According to the Commission, private health insurance
– although still not widespread – has contributed
towards reducing child mortality, improving maternal


Employment Category 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007


Gross written premiums 64,798 80,755 90,179 102,295 128,857


Reinsurance premiums 25,799 35,135 37,638 40,813 48,049


Percentage 39.81 43.51 41.74 39.90 37.29


Source: Uganda Insurance Commission, 2009.


Table II.4. Life and Non-Life Reinsurance Trends, 2003–2007


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Employee Category 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007


Insurance companies 487 487 553 563 598


Insurance brokers 199 189 183 150 173


Insurance agents 302 310 351 436 515


Uganda Insurance Commission staff 15 15 21 21 22


Total 1,003 1,001 1,108 1,127 1,308
Source: Uganda Insurance Commission, 2009.


Table II.7. Employment Trends in Uganda’s Insurance Industry, 2003–2007 - (Number Employed)


Year
Life and non-life premiums


UGX Millions
GDP at cost
UGX Millions


Premiums
(percentage)


2000 39,140 8,655,881 0.45


2001 47,220 9,257,899 0.51


2002 53,598 9,792,429 0.55


2003 64,798 12,756,541 0.51


2004 80,755 14,081,557 0.57


2005 90,179 16,268,320 0.55


2006 102,295 18,608,430 0.55


2007 128,857 23,009,170 0.56


Source: Uganda Insurance Commission, 2009.


Table II.5. Contribution of the Insurance Sector to GDP and Market Penetration, 2000–2007 (Ugandan Schillings)


Country Life and non-life premiums
GDP


(billion dollars)


South Africa 7,749 42,676


Morocco 1,437 2,153


Nigeria 574 1,090


Kenya 936 949


Kenya 493 721


Algeria 666 711


Tunisia 621 694


Namibia 178 601


Botswana 113 418


Uganda 68 74


Total 13,522 50,901


Table II.6. Insurance Premiums and GDPs of Selected African Countries - (Million of United States Dollars)


Source: Swiss Re, Sigma Report No. 3/2008.


46 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




3. Trade Liberalization in Uganda’s
Insurance Services Sector


On an autonomous basis, market access to Uganda’s
insurance industry has been fully liberalized together
with the capital account. There are no restrictions to
foreign players to operate in Uganda as long as they
meet the requirements in the Insurance Act, to which
all, including Ugandan insurance firms, are subject.


The Uganda Insurers Association noted with concern
that the East African Community Treaty did not contain
any specific provisions on insurance services. The
only reference to insurance in the Treaty is in regard to
its relationship with transportation.


In contrast, the Treaty gives wide coverage to other
financial services, especially banking. This has made
it difficult for relevant insurance stakeholders in the
EAC Partner States to establish regional structures.
However, a number of attempts have been made
to set up structures with regular periodic meetings
between insurance regulators in the EAC.


The Protocol on the Establishment of the East African
Community Common Market states that financial
services, including insurance services, are among the
seven sectors to be fully subjected to the freedom of
movement of services when the EAC Common Market
comes into effect.


Uganda’s schedule of liberalization commitments
in the EAC Common Market Protocol indicates a
five-year transitional period from the coming into force
of the Protocol.


This transitional period is designed to allow both the
regulator and the players to increase their readiness
prior to being fully subjected to the freedom of
movement of insurance services as foreseen in the
EAC Common Market. 59


Among the reasons advanced for the five-year
transitional period was the need for the industry
to increase its professional proficiency both at the
operations and regulatory levels. Cross-border
provision and regulation of insurance services will
come along with new challenges for regulators and
providers that require adequate time for preparation,
hence the need for progressive implementation of
such actions.


Harmonization of Insurance Legislation and Regulations
in the EAC – There is need for a comparative review
of applicable insurance legislation and regulation


health and curbing HIV/AIDS, malaria and other
diseases.


Draft legislation to establish a national health insurance
scheme is at an advanced stage and if adopted, aims
to expand health coverage for poor Ugandans and
increase Uganda’s chances of meeting its Millennium
Development Goal health targets. Unfortunately, the
scheme’s proposed first-track beneficiaries are civil
servants who do not exactly match Uganda’s category
of the extreme poor, who according to the Uganda
Insurance Commission, will be covered through
adequate adoption of microinsurance programmes.


The Uganda Insurance Commission has proposed
several amendments to the Insurance Act and
Regulations to reflect the priority it attaches to
Millennium Development Goals relating to health
in general and health insurance in particular. The
Commission has proposed an amendment to section
5 (b) of the Insurance Act to specifically provide for
health insurance. Currently, while section 5 (b) of the
Act lists the non-life insurance classes, it does not
explicitly include health insurance.


As a result, insurance companies that apply to transact
health insurance are licensed to do so under section
5 (b) (xiv) of the Act, under “any insurance other than
specified above”. The Commission has proposed
insertion of sub-section (xvi) to specifically provide for
“health insurance”.


In addition, the Commission has proposed the
inclusion of the operations of health management
organizations under the purview of the Act and
therefore, the regulation function of the Uganda
Insurance Commission. This is designed to
improve the monitoring of the operations of those
organizations. Adopting the proposal to bring them
under the regulation of the Commission is expected
to lead to better health facilities. This will help reduce
child mortality, improve maternal health and contribute
to the national overall effort to combat HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases.


The microinsurance plans of the Uganda Insurance
Commission are an innovative way for the industry
to reach out to the extreme poor. It is hoped that
the success of these plans will be evaluated in the
future for possible consideration by other insurance
regulators and countries with poverty challenges
similar to those facing Uganda.


47PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




across all Partner States with the Partner States


agreeing on common minimum capital levels,


solvency requirements and investment guidelines


that would apply to all companies licensed to provide


insurance services in all their categories in the future


EAC Common Market. This will ensure a level playing


field for all insurance companies in East Africa in


addition to guaranteeing consumer rights in each of


the Partner States by avoiding regulatory competition


among them.


Revising insurance legislation and regulations in Uganda


– Uganda will not be ready to subject its insurance


market to full liberalization in the framework of the EAC


Common Market until the proposed amendments to


the Insurance Act 2000, submitted to the Ministry


of Finance in 2004, have been considered and


implemented. The Insurance Act in its present form


is riddled with shortcomings that must be corrected


before insurance companies in Uganda can face


the competition across the EAC Common Market.


The adoption of these amendments and reforms


should be considered and implemented as part of


a comprehensive harmonization approach to the


progressive implementation of the EAC Common


Market liberalization commitments.


Establishing a domestic reinsurance regime similar to


those of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania -


Uganda Reinsurance Company Limited (Uganda Re) –


Unlike Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania,


Uganda does not have a local reinsurance provider.


As a result, the local insurance industry is forced to


reinsure with foreign reinsurers, which bleeds the


industry of capital. For instance, from 2002–2006,


nearly half of the annual non-life premiums – 42 per


cent – generated in Uganda left the country; in 2006


this represented an outflow of $25 million.


Figure II.2 is a graphic illustration of the portion of


reinsurance premiums ceded to foreign reinsurers


as a percentage of the total written premiums in


millions of Ugandan shillings over a four-year period,


2003–2007.


Figure II.2. Reinsurance Premiums Ceded as a
Percentage of Gross Premiums, 2003–2007



Source: Uganda Insurance Commission, 2009.


To implement the reinsurance reforms and build
domestic capacity in the reinsurance industry, the
Uganda Insurers Association incorporated Uganda Re
on 7 November 2000 to be fully operational by the end
of 2009. The requested five-year transitional period
will allow for the full establishment of the proposed
Uganda Re to compete with other EAC reinsurers at
the end of the transition period.


Inadequate professional capacity – Uganda’s insurance
industry is not technically prepared to compete on
an even ground in a free insurance market. Only
40 individuals in a workforce of 1,100 persons
in Uganda’s insurance industry have insurance
qualifications. In comparison, the Kenyan insurance
industry has a clear advantage over Uganda with its
College of Insurance.


Ugandan universities only started offering
undergraduate training in actuarial sciences in 2007.
At present there are only three Ugandan actuaries,
only one of which is currently deployed in Uganda.


These capacity constraints are not limited to the
players but extend to the sector regulator as well. For
almost a year now, the Uganda Insurance Commission
has not had a substantive commissioner in place and
has instead been run by the Commission secretary in
an interim capacity.


If granted, a five-year transitional period will allow the
industry to scale up its human resource professional
and technical capacity before Uganda’s insurance
industry is subjected to full liberalization as envisaged
in the EAC Common Market.


Mortality tables – Mortality tables are the basis on
which risk levels are computed and the prices for life
insurance policies are set. Unlike some EAC Partner


48 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




States, Uganda has no locally developed mortality
tables. These tables make it possible for companies
to accurately evaluate risks and price life insurance
policies. In order to have a level playing field, the
Ugandan insurance industry needs to construct
similar tables. The construction of mortality tables for
Uganda will take between three and five years. The
Kenyan insurance industry concluded a five-year
project with donor support on deriving such tables
for Kenya. The adoption of these recent domestically
derived mortality tables gives Kenyan companies
a clear competitive advantage over other insurance
players in other EAC Partner States because they are
better equipped to price the risks.


Currently, premiums used in Uganda are based on
mortality tables derived in Scotland and Wales more
than 60 years ago, in 1948 (Ruuskanen, 2009) 60.
In order to have a level playing field, the Ugandan
insurance industry would need to construct similar
tables. The successful construction of mortality tables
for Uganda would take about five years.


Implementation of the Financial Markets Development Plan
(2008–2012) – Uganda has just started implementing
the five-year Financial Markets Development Plan,
an EAC Central Bank programme with an elaborate
capacity-building component for the insurance
industry. When fully implemented, the Plan will provide
the best starting point for the harmonization of the
insurance market in the Region.


4. Regulation of Insurance Services in
Uganda


The Insurance Act (Cap. 213), Laws of Uganda, 2000 - the
Uganda Insurance Commission – The establishment of
the Uganda Insurance Commission by the Insurance
Statute, 1996, since referred to as the Insurance
Act (Cap. 213) Laws of Uganda, 2000, is the most
fundamental measure to introduce sound regulation
undertaken this far in Uganda’s insurance services
industry.


The provisions of this Statute, which came into effect
on the 4 April 1996, had as their main objective
the establishment of an autonomous insurance
regulator, originally meant to report to the Central
Bank, but now reports to the Ministry of Finance,
Planning and Economic Development. The Uganda
Insurance Commission was set up to ensure effective
administration, regulation and control of Uganda’s
insurance industry.


In addition, the Act requires the Uganda Insurance
Commission to put in place prudential and industry
conduct measures to ensure a competitive insurance
market for Uganda. It increased minimum capital
requirements to improve underwriting capabilities
in the market. The particular characteristics of the
insurance industry and the premium the industry
attaches to the protection of insurance policyholders
demands extensive and stringent insurance regulation
in almost all countries. Regulation must impose
minimum overall capital and solvency requirements
for companies (Skipper et al., 2007). 61


Hence, the Uganda Insurance Commission has
undertaken specific measures to achieve a fully
liberalized insurance regime; the Commission
has removed all measures previously considered
discriminatory against foreign insurance providers
as long as those providers have complied with
incorporation, registration and licensing requirements
under both the Insurance and Company Acts,
including on capital requirements, which were hitherto
were set at different rates for Ugandan and foreign
insurance providers.


Certificate of Proficiency in Insurance – In 2007, the
Uganda Insurance Commission passed a regulation
making it mandatory for all 500 insurance agents in
the country and all insurance agents to be licensed in
future to pass and poses the Certificate of Proficiency
as a minimum qualification by 2010. This regulation
is aimed at increasing the professional level of
insurance services in Uganda and help Uganda’s
insurance workforce offer higher quality services to
their customers.


This regulation was a timely intervention, considering
that out of a workforce of slightly over 1,300 in 2007,
only about 40 had insurance qualifications of any
kind. Two years since the regulation was passed, 150
persons have passed the Certificate of Proficiency in
Insurance, almost four times the country’s total two
years earlier in 2007 (Ruuskanen, 2009). The Certificate
of Proficiency in Insurance has been a good stop-gap
arrangement, given that Uganda which boasts less
than five actuaries, has just started offering university
level education in actuarial sciences.


Uganda Insurers Association


The Uganda Insurers Association was founded in
1965 by insurance companies as their umbrella trade
organization through which to meet the challenges


49PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




of an emerging competitive and growing industry. It
is composed of insurance companies incorporated
and licensed to operate in Uganda. The Insurance
Act makes it mandatory for all insurance companies
licensed to operate in Uganda to be members of the
Association in order to operate. Some 21 licensed
insurance companies were operating in Uganda at
the end of 2008.


The overriding objective of the Uganda Insurers
Association is to promote the development and
expansion of sound insurance and reinsurance
activities in Uganda. Other objectives include the
following:


• To advance the interests of insurance and
reinsurance companies incorporated or licensed in
Uganda and promote close cooperation between
the said companies;


• To encourage and influence the enactment of
legislation in Uganda that will promote a smooth
operation of insurance and reinsurance business
in Uganda;


• To represent member views to the Government,
quasigovernment and private bodies;


• To adopt a common goal towards the
development and expansion of insurance and
reinsurance in Uganda and to encourage and
facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge
and experience among members with the aim of
improving services to the public;


• To carry out research andpublish in the areaof
insurance and reinsurance;


• To encourage and promote the exchange of
insurance, co-insurance and reinsurance business
among member companies.


The Association is run by a Secretariat with a staff of
13, expected to increase to 14 with the recruitment of
a life insurance technical manager. It also hosts the
Financial Literacy Foundation, FINSCOPE II Projects
and the Insurance Institute of Uganda.


The Insurance Institute of Uganda


The Insurance Institute of Uganda is an independent
institute that has its own constitution, board and
secretary. The Institute trains insurance professionals
by holding seminars in Uganda and administrates
professional examinations on behalf of various
foreign insurance training bodies. There has been an


increase in the training given by the Institute. Since the
Commission issued new requirements for licensing
agents, over 170 people have participated in lectures.
The Uganda Insurers Association is supports the
Insurance Institute of Uganda’s mission by providing
both financial and technical assistance. The Institute
is currently being housed by the Association in the
annex of the Insurance House.


In addition to the regulation requiring all insurance
agents to hold the Certificate of Proficiency in
Insurance, the Uganda Insurance Commission
intends to make efforts aimed at scaling up the
Insurance Institute of Uganda and enhancing the level
of professionalism in Uganda’s insurance industry to
match the Region’s better performers in Kenya and
the United Republic of Tanzania.


The Institute is the foundation on which efforts are
based to broaden the scope of insurance, make it
more relevant, accessible and affordable to the poor.
The successful uptake of microinsurance in particular
and all other insurance products in general is premised
on an effective Insurance Institute of Uganda, with an
emphasis on increasing the readiness of providers
to offer more pro-poor products and run effective
insurance outreach campaigns to broaden awareness
of the non-insured public to seek insurance coverage.


Uganda Re – Currently, Uganda does not have a
domestic reinsurance company; Rwanda is planning to
set up one as well. The lack of a domestic reinsurance
company is putting local insurance companies at
a disadvantage compared with other insurance
companies operating in countries with reinsurance
companies. Uganda Re is a limited liability company
that was incorporated on 7 November 2000 with the
support of the Uganda Insurers Association.


However, the company has not been operational
since its incorporation. On 18 June 2008 the Board of
Uganda Re signed a Memorandum of Understanding
with ZimRe Holdings Limited, a Zimbabwean financial
holding company, to raise the necessary capital
and provide management and technical skills to
operationalize Uganda Re.


Uganda Re has applied for a licence to the Uganda
Insurance Commission to set up a licensed and fully
operational local reinsurance company by January 2010.
The Uganda Insurance Commission plans to develop a
policy whereby a working and well-established national
reinsurance company can stop capital flight caused by
the lack of such a domestic provider.


50 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Legislative reforms – Amendment of the law is necessary
to cover loopholes, further strengthen the Commission
and entrench its autonomy. Given the infancy of
Uganda’s insurance industry, reforms should improve
the Commission’s ability to oversee the growth and
consolidation of the market, encourage mergers to
ensure financial soundness without compromising its
independence and maximize consumer protection.


The Commission has proposed a number of
amendments to the Insurance Act, including prohibiting
composite companies, which transact both life and
non-life insurance in conformity with the recommendation
of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors
of which the Commission is a member.


5. Uganda’s Insurance Sector: an
Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats


5.1. Strengths


Backing of Uganda Insurance Commission’s activities
by the law – The Uganda Insurance Commission
was established by the Insurance Statute, 1996 (now
referred to as the Insurance Act (Cap. 213), Laws
of Uganda, 2000), the provisions of which came
into effect on 4 April 1996. This gives it an elaborate
statutory mandate for carrying out its regulatory
functions with a high degree of independence from
political interference.


Entry of new players – The revival of the East African
Community and the widening and deepening
integration to evolve into an East African Common
Market with the freedom of movement of services is
expected to lead to the entry of new players from other
EAC Partner States. Insurance is among the seven
priority sectors to enjoy the full freedom of movement
of services in the EAC Common Market Protocol. This
development is envisaged to result in expansion of the
insurance subsector by implementing the following
measures:


• Introducing new products on the Ugandan
insurance market;


• Increasinginsurancebusinessvolume;


• Nurturinginsurancebusinesscompetition;


• Promotinggoodcorporategovernancepractices;


• Improvingcomplianceamonginsuranceplayers.


In recent years, three new players, some with
extensive experience, have launched operations in
Uganda: Liberty Life from the Standard Bank Group,
APA Insurance and Pax Insurance, a new local player
closely associated with the Centenary Bank.


Increasing liberalization – The Government of Uganda
plans to liberalize the pension sector in the near
future to break the monopoly currently enjoyed by the
National Social Security Fund. This move is expected
to boost the life and pension business of the insurance
services sector, whose performance is currently poor.


Once implemented, this reform will release funds
previously under government control for long-term
investment by the industry and increase the premiums
locally written by domestic players.


Potential donor support – There is growing interest
from the donor community in the financial services
sector in general. The low level of public appreciation
of insurance compared with the emerging need
for development of insurance products suitable for
poverty reduction initiatives such as rural microfinance
and leasing is attracting donor interest. Yet, the
insurance industry’s capacity is still low.


5.2. Weaknesses


Inadequate enforcement of statutory insurance lines
– Both motor third-party liability and workers’
compensation are statutory insurance lines. However,
their enforcement in the country is very weak. The
Uganda Insurers Association highlighted a number
of reasons limiting the implementation of these lines.
These include the following:


• Lack of awareness – The intended beneficiaries of
the Acts are not always aware of the existence
of these laws, and even if they are, they do not
know the benefits. Motorists have continued to
believe that motor third-party insurance cushions
them from the police instead of safeguarding
them against their liabilities to third parties.
Likewise, most employers do not take out workers’
compensation insurance because they are not
aware of its existence or its benefits. Victims are
often not aware of the existence of such Acts,
even when they suffer accidents eligible for
compensation under the relevant Act. 62


• Lack of regulations to operationalize the Acts – Since
the Workers’ Compensation Act was enacted in
2000, the regulations to operationalize it have not
been passed.


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• Lack of incentives on the part of enforcement agencies
– Whereas compliance with statutory insurance
directly benefits insurance companies, since they
are the ones that collect the premiums, the statutes
do not empower insurance companies to enforce
compliance. On the contrary, the designated
enforcement agencies have no direct benefits,
even if they incur operational costs related to the
enforcement of statutory insurance lines such as
salaries and transport.


This has tremendously reduced the enforcement
and effective utilization of these mandatory
insurance lines. This sharply contrasts with
similar legislations such as the National Social
Security Act, which empowers the implementing,
or collecting, agency to enforce them, resulting in
higher compliance levels.


• Unrealistic compensation limits and procedures –
The statutes stipulate benefits for the victims that
are either too low to make any economic sense,
or too high and punitive. The maximum of U Sh
1,000,000 per person in the case of motor third-
party insurance is a mockery of compensation
when compared with loss of life; yet such a
situation leads to an arduous process requiring
provision of support documents which is costly
in terms of time and money. Errant motorists and
their victims have typically opted for roadside
settlements to avoid the costly, long and poorly
rewarding compensation process.


With regard to workers’ compensation, the limits
are too high (60 months’ earnings, with unlimited
medical and burial expenses) and have proven
punitive to employers. Consequently, the Act is
either commonly abused or frequently ignored.
The Uganda Insurers Association has reported
incidents where workers have deliberately injured
themselves to obtain compensation, just as some
complementary service providers such as doctors
have been known to collude with claimants to
exaggerate claims and defraud insurers. This has
ultimately defeated the rationale for drawing up the
statutes.


• Technological advances – Advances in technology
have made implementation of the Act difficult.
Most of the work is now automated and done
by or with computers, but the health effects of
this emerging trend were not anticipated and
accordingly provided for in the Acts. The emphasis


on physical geographical location, as is the case
with the Workers’ Compensation Act, has partly
been rendered redundant by the new trend of off-
shoring and outsourcing with companies having
their work done in Uganda without being physically
domiciled in Uganda. Are such workers covered
under the Workers’ Compensation Act?


• Lack of specialized service providers – The Workers’
Compensation Act empowers doctors to assess
and determine levels of incapacity. However, there
is a shortage of specialist doctors to assess some
incapacities with accuracy. The tendency to rely on
general practitioners leaves much to be desired. In
spite of the good intentions of statutory insurance
companies, they have been resisted by the
parties they are supposed to serve and somehow
ignored by the enforcement agencies because of
inadequate power, capacity and lack of incentives.
The misinterpretation and lack of awareness by
stakeholders, in addition to the vagueness of
legislation maintains compliance and enforcement
at minimal levels, and the objectives of the statutes
are not fully met.


• Lack of proper interpretation of the Acts – It is
common to find that some stakeholders, including
insurers, misinterpret these Acts. Some sections
of these Acts, especially those dealing with
awarding damages, are vague and subject to
misinterpretation. Likewise, the Acts are not
exhaustive. The Workers’ Compensation Act
spells out the schedule of occupational diseases.
However, it is not exhaustive, leaving room for
disputes and misinterpretations.


• Rigidities to the Amendments – The amendment
process to both the Motor Vehicle Insurance (Third-
Party Risks) Acts and the Workers’ Compensation
Act (2000) is time consuming and has proven
frustrating to the industry. The proposals to amend
the act to address the gaps identified have not
been considered for a long time.


• Inconsistency of the Insurance Act with government
policy – The Insurance Act gives certain mandates
to the Uganda Insurance Commission which run
contrary to some government policies, especially on
liberalization. For example, while the Insurance Act
empowers the Commission to ensure that all goods
and services imported into Uganda must have their
insurance cover underwritten locally, the policy of
liberalization would not ideally allow this. While the


52 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Insurance Act should take precedence in guiding
the Uganda Insurance Commission in its regulatory
operations, implementation of such a mandate
is difficult under such circumstances. There is an
immediate need to reconcile the provisions of the
Insurance Act with government policy.


• Insurance services that fall outside the insurance
regulatory framework – There are some
commercial services in the economy whose
nature of contracting and operation exhibit the
characteristics of insurance services, in fact in
more developed markets these services are in
the purview of insurance. However, in the relevant
legislation in Uganda, the Insurance Act does
not include these services explicitly as insurance
services and as such are being provided outside
the regulatory framework. These services include
health services programmes, health management
organizations and funeral services plans.


There is an immediate need to either amend
the Insurance Act to include these services and
bring them into the scope of the Commission’s
regulatory mandate or to establish an alternative
regulatory framework for them, which may be a
more onerous task.


• Inadequate provisions in the law regarding the
takeover of distressed companies – A number of
companies often fail to comply with the minimum
eligible requirements during the course of their
business operations. The Uganda Insurance
Commission’s remedies are limited to the denial
of operating licences.


There is no provision in the law that allows the
Commission to take over these distressed providers
with a view of either winding them up or turning
them round. However, amendments geared towards
empowering the Uganda Insurance Commission to
effectively intervene have been proposed and they are
awaiting approval by the Minister of Finance, Planning
and Economic Development.


While the Uganda Insurance Commission has pointed
out the gaps in the Insurance Act and proposed
amendments thereto, the Government does not
seem to be keen on presenting and adopting the
amendments for appropriate action. The drafts have
remained as such for nearly five years, which hinders
the regulator and the growth prospects of the industry.


• Lack of a policyholders’ compensation fund – The


Uganda insurance industry lacks a policyholders’


compensation fund that would protect


policyholders against an insolvent company and


cover against contingencies such as catastrophes,


as is the established best practice.


• Corruption – One of the main problems in the
country that affects the insurance industry is the


high level of corruption. This makes it very difficult


to ascertain whether claims are valid and reported


insurable events have actually occurred. The


insurance industry largely depends on a judiciary


and law enforcement services that should be non-


corruptible. Unfortunately this is not the case.


5.3. Opportunities


Potential for rapid growth of the insurance industry


and significant sector growth in the national market


– The insurance industry in Uganda is relatively


underdeveloped and there is still relatively little


public appreciation and awareness of its services.


Education and awareness building of the public


as well as the privatization and liberalization of the


Ugandan economy provide a big potential for the


development of the insurance subsector and make it


more competitive and compliant.


The effect of mandatory statutory insurance schemes – If


approved, the proposed amendments to the current


mandatory insurance lines, namely motor vehicle


insurance and workers’ compensation, will make


these lines more effective. Among other changes, the


amendments include proposals to increase premiums


in these two categories of coverage.


Health insurance – Uganda plans to adopt a mandatory


national health insurance plan requiring workers in


formal employment to make compulsory contributions


to insurance plans in exchange for health-care benefits


from gazetted heath centres.


The Uganda Insurers Association is concerned about


the likely effect the plan may produce if it is to be run


by a government parastatal institution. However, the


plan’s positive effect cannot be underestimated if it


takes the form of a public–private partnership with the


active participation of the industry players.


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5.4 Threats


Narrow insurance subsector – The insurance subsector
in Uganda is still small with an average gross
premium of less than 1 per cent of GDP, making it a
country where insurance is still underdeveloped. The
narrowness of the insurance subsector can, inter alia,
be attributed to inadequate innovation among the
players, low public awareness, insufficient insurance
professionals and low levels of disposable income.


Low financial base – The current underdeveloped
level of insurance thwarts the Uganda Insurance
Commission’s efforts to live up to the Government’s
expectations for the Commission to be financially
independent. The Uganda Insurance Commission is
therefore compelled to source funding from donors
in the short-term while it works on a long-term self-
sustenance strategy.


Low level of insurance professional capacity in the
industry – There is a low level of professional insurance
capacity in the insurance subsector. Insurance
professionals are still few in number: presently there
are less than 30 practising chartered insurers, brokers
and agents in Uganda. There is a need to provide
further technical training for insurance professionals,
including insurance brokers and agents. Ugandan
universities only started offering undergraduate
training in actuarial sciences two years ago. At present
there are only three Ugandan actuaries with only one
currently deployed in Uganda (EAC, 2009). 63 This
state of affairs has led to a low level of appreciation
of insurance services by the public and of compliance
with best insurance practices by the players.


Scant public appreciation of insurance – The potential
for growth of the insurance industry is also hampered
by the prevalence of a massive public with little
knowledge about insurance services. There is a
general lack of consumer awareness of the availability,
affordability and benefits of insurance products.


Even some of those who are aware of insurance
services have lost trust in insurance providers as a
result of common unprofessional practices by some
insurance providers before the establishment of the
Uganda Insurance Commission.


Limited number of new insurance products – Most of
the products on offer by the insurance providers
are traditional non-life insurance products. While the
economy has increased in sophistication with the
advent of e-commerce and electronic transactions,


rural microfinance schemes and lease financing, there
has been little innovation and development of new
insurance products by the industry to service these
economic developments. This is also partly attributed
to limited training among the players.


Global liberalization trends – A global trend was sparked
by WTO’s drive for deeper and wider liberalization
riding on the General Agreement on Trade in Services.
However, the compliance requirements of these
commitments placed an obligation on WTO members
– especially developed countries – to open up their
service economies to the rest of the world in general,
but to the developing country sectors of export interest
in particular. This wave of opening up was preceded
by the so-called “autonomous liberalization” forced
upon poor countries, including Uganda, by the World
Bank and the International Monetary Fund through
structural adjustment programmes in the late 1980s
and early 1990s, which forced Uganda to open
itself up to the rest of the world and privatize many
of its State corporations, including in the insurance
sector. Moreover, liberalization driven by structural
adjustment programmes was not based on strong
regulatory frameworks or policy. This has given big
international insurance providers an opportunity to
cream off the insurance business from the local infant
and weak insurance players. This development could
stifle development of business capacity among the
domestic insurance industry and explains why the
bulk of Uganda’s insurance industry has been ceded
to foreign control, to the point that the insurance
industry is local only to in that the providers are locally
incorporated. For all intents and purposes, however,
the industry is foreign dominated.


Existence of small marginal insurance providers in the
industry – The insurance industry still has a number
of small marginal insurance providers with a rather
narrow investment base to support the insurance risks
they underwrite. Their turnover is also small, putting
to question their economic viability. This problem
has been exacerbated by endemic poor corporate
governance practices and the low level of growth of
the insurance industry.


Lack of specialized insurance skills – Specialized
insurance skills, in particular actuarial skills, are
necessary for the development of the insurance
industry. However, there are currently no professional
actuaries, not to mention loss adjusters, risk managers
or claim-settling agents in Uganda.


54 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




E. LEGAL SERVICES SECTOR


1. Trend Analysis


Supply Capacity for Legal Services Sector in
Uganda


The Uganda Law Society has the most accurate
record of people presently providing legal services
in Uganda. Their records indicate a total of 1,191
fully paid-up practising members as at 31 December
2009. The Society estimates that 1,500 to 2,000
individuals provide legal services without the statutory
requirement of belonging to the Uganda Law Society.
This category of practitioners includes persons who
have legal training, but have not entered on the
advocates roll, namely in government, corporate and
institutional law firms and academia. The records of
the Law Council, the statutory regulator of the legal
profession in Uganda, indicate that by the end of 2008,
400 law firms had been inspected and their chambers
approved to offer legal services – an increase of 15
per cent over the 277 firms inspected and approved
in 2006.


Committee on Legal Education and Training


The Committee on Legal Education and Training was
established by the Advocates (Amendment) Act,
2002, following a recommendation in the Odoki Report
on the need for the Council to regulate the provision
of legal education and provide for continuing legal
education by practising advocates.


Before the Odoki recommendation, the Uganda
Commercial Justice Sector Study of July 1999
had explained why the Commercial Justice Sector
had consistently failed to adequately serve the
needs of private-sector stakeholders: “Lawyers in
Uganda lacked ethical standards and provided an
inefficient service and … the legal professionals
lacked commercial expertise”. The Committee was
therefore expected to keep the lawyers abreast of
contemporary legal issues and improve the quality
of legal services they rendered to their clients. The
Committee has broadened the Law Council’s original
mandate to exercise general supervision and control
over professional legal education in Uganda to cover
continuing legal education for practising lawyers as
well (Uganda Law Society, 2008). 64


In addition, the Committee approves law-degree


programmes at universities in Uganda and recognizes
qualifications of Ugandan citizens who obtain law
degrees from foreign universities before they can
begin training for the Bar at the Law Development
Centre.


Since it was established in 2002 and commenced
work in 2004, the Committee has in the exercise
of this mandate inspected law faculties and
programmes at a number of Ugandan universities
and approved the following: Islamic University in
Uganda-Mbale, Nkumba, Kampala International
and the Uganda Christian University-Mukono. The
Uganda Pentecostal University in Fort Portal had its
law programme approved subject to a memorandum
of understanding. As a proactive measure to avoid
the practice of universities beginning law-degree
programmes and applying for approval in the
third or fourth year, the Committee also inspected
other universities that had not offered law degree
programmes. The universities were made aware of
the need to apply to the Council for approval of such
programmes before commencement.


One of the major functions of the Committee on
Legal Education and Training of the Council is to
establish the standards and courses for training
and recognition of paralegals and their functions. A
standardized training for paralegals would go a long
way in enhancing their capacity to give secondary
legal aid to indigent persons.


2. Regulation in the Legal Services
Sector


The Advocates Act, Cap. 267, is the applicable law
that governs legal practice in Uganda.


The Law Council


The Advocates Act establishes the Law Council and
designates it as the overall regulatory authority for the
legal profession in Uganda.


Composition of the Law Council – Section 2 of the
Advocates Act sets out the composition of the Council
consisting of the following members:


• A judge,appointedbytheAttorneyGeneralafter
consultation with the Chief Justice, chairperson of
the Council;


• The president of the Uganda Law Society, ex
officio;


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• Thedirectorof theLawDevelopmentCentre,ex
officio;


• The head of the department of law ofMakerere
University, ex officio;


• TwopractisingadvocateselectedbytheUganda
Law Society;


• Oneofficerwith legalqualificationsintheservice
of the Government, appointed by the Attorney
General.


The Advocates Act, section 3, spells out the functions
of the Council as follows:


• Toexercisegeneral supervisionandcontrolover
professional legal education in Uganda;


• Toapprovecoursesofstudyandprovide for the
conduct of qualifying examinations for any of the
purposes of this Act, without prejudice to the
generality of the previous point;


• To advise and make recommendations to the
Government on matters relating to the profession
of advocates;


• Toexercise,throughtheDisciplinaryCommittee,
disciplinary control over advocates and their
clerks;


• Toexercisegeneral supervisionandcontrolover
the provision of legal aid and advice to indigent
persons;


• To exercise any power or perform any duty
authorized or required by this or any other written
law. 65


The Uganda Law Society Act – In addition to the
Advocates Act, the legal framework within which legal
services are provided in Uganda includes the Uganda
Law Society Act (also referred to as Chapter 276).


The Uganda Law Society


The Uganda Law Society Act incorporates the Uganda
Law Society, and makes provision for its powers,
duties and responsibilities.


In Part II, section 3, the Act outlines the Society’s
objectives as follows: 66


• Tomaintainandimprovethestandardsofconduct
and learning of the legal profession in Uganda;


• Tofacilitatetheacquisitionoflegalknowledgeby
members of the legal profession and others;


• To represent,protectandassistmembersof the
legal profession in Uganda as regards conditions
of practice and otherwise;


• Toprotectandassist thepublic inUganda inall
matters touching, ancillary or incidental to the law;


• To assist the Government and the courts in all
matters affecting legislation and the administration
and practice of law in Uganda. 67


Membership of the Uganda Law Society is open to
all persons eligible to practise as public and private
advocates in Uganda and does not require admission
fees. However, once admitted into the Society,
members must pay annual subscription fees as
periodically fixed by the Society. 68


The Advocates Act, section 5 (2), prescribes both
eligibility and qualification requirements for persons
who can practice as advocates in Uganda. The Act
indicates that only Ugandan citizens or residents
and holders of a law degree granted by a university
in Uganda or any other degree or relevant legal
qualification granted by a university or institution
recognized by the Law Council or applicants with an
aggregate period of five years of prior legal practice
from any country recognized by the Law Council can
practise in Uganda.


3. Regulation Challenges in the Legal
Services Sector


Legal reform – There is an overdue need to reform
both pieces of legislation upon which the regulatory
framework and institutions for the legal services
sector are based, namely, the Advocates and Uganda
Law Society Acts. The commencement date for the
Advocates Act and the establishment of the Law
Council was August 1970, when there were only a
total of 189 enrolled advocates in Uganda, some of
whom were civil servants. The mandate of the Council
was therefore designed to meet the requirements of
a much smaller legal fraternity then mainly practising
within Kampala and the surrounding area. However,
over time (almost 40 years), the liberalization of the
economy and the development of the education
system and legal practice have resulted in a high
turnover of law graduates from Makerere University
and other universities both in and outside Uganda.
By the close of 2002, a total of 1,621 advocates
countrywide on the Advocates Roll were being
handled by the same structure set up in 1970 to cater


56 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Inadequate Funding


According to the Advocates Act, the Law Council is
funded from the Consolidated Fund by a decision
of parliament through the Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs. 70 As with most government
departments but especially those financed through
the Consolidated Fund, the funding to the Law Council
has hopelessly been inadequate, given the Council’s
broadened mandate and increased activities.


Key respondents from the Law Council reported
that inadequate funding, like the staffing levels, had
tremendously reduced the effective performance
of the Council, its committees and staff. This has
especially affected the performance of the Disciplinary
Committee, whose routine schedule includes
convening weekly to determine disciplinary cases.
The funding constraints suffered by the Council have
reduced the Committee’s work; its proceedings take
place only half a day per week and progress is often
hampered because of a lack of a quorum. This, like
elsewhere in Uganda’s justice system, has resulted
in a serious backlog of cases before the Disciplinary
Committee.


To guarantee the effectiveness, impartiality and
independence of the Committee, its operations should
be adequately and promptly facilitated to ensure that
they work above any temptation of compromise. Under
the law, the Disciplinary Committee has the powers
and status of the High Court. Many cases handled by
the Committee involve colossal sums of money. Other
statutory mandates, such as the regulation of legal
aid service provision, and the pro-bono scheme, have
equally been affected by the problem of underfunding
and understaffing.


Lack of a Registry and Computerized
Database


There is no proper registry for keeping Council
records, though as can be deduced from its wide
mandate the Council keeps a large number of files.
Without a proper registry and cataloguing system,
managing these files has posed many problems for
the Council. In addition the Council handles matters
concerning over 1,000 advocates in the Country
without a database. Government offices and other
organizations approach the Secretariat for information
on advocates, which cannot be readily accessed.


Given its staffing problems, the Law Council should
consider establishing a registry and a computerized


for 189 advocates in Kampala and its surroundings.
The Uganda Law Society Act is more antiquated
than the Advocates Act, having been passed before
independence in 1956. Uganda has had three
constitutions in the life of this Act, and the members
of this Society ironically were meant to interpret the
supreme law for their clients. The 2008/09 President of
the Uganda Law Society states in the Society’s Annual
Report: “The Uganda Law Society Act is archaic and
is not alive to the metamorphosis of the profession
since it was enacted”. 69


The Government should consider the proposed
amendments to the Uganda Law Society and
Advocates Acts to bring them and the structures
they create in tune with today’s demands made by a
larger legal fraternity and a more demanding clientele.
The new regulatory requirements likely to arise from
the coming into force of the EAC Common Market
Protocol and the related emerging challenges of
cross-border provision, practice and regulation make
these reforms more urgent.


Understaffing – The Council Secretariat, which carries
out the Law Council’s operational duties, is grossly
under staffed. During this assessment, the Council
Secretariat reported that a proposed administrative
structure for the Secretariat with 32 staff (including
18 professional staff and 14 support staff) had been
submitted to the Ministry of Public Service in March
2004 for approval to enable the recruitment of staff.
However, several years since, no action has been
taken in this regard. As a result, the Council Secretariat
is currently run by an acting Secretary backed by four
professional, and five support, staff, which is less
than one third of the ideal staffing levels as indicated
in the proposed organizational chart for the Council
Secretariat.


At its current staffing level, the council Secretariat
cannot carry out its work efficiently and effectively.


To meet the sector’s current needs, in addition to
the other operational demands on the Secretariat as
anticipated with the EAC Common Market, immediate
attention must be paid to the Council Secretariat’s
staffing situation. Adopting the proposed staffing
levels as a stop-gap measure would be advisable.
However, given the changes which have occurred
since the proposal was tabled and those anticipated in
the immediate future, a more comprehensive solution
would require a complete review of these staffing
levels with a view to increasing them beyond the
current proposals.


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database for all its business operations but in particular
an automated advocates database is a priority. This
catalogue and computerized database should be
online access-enabled, so that in future, Council
clients wishing to refer and consult these resources
do not have to physically visit the Secretariat.


Small office space and lack of a court room – The office
space allocated to the Council Secretariat within the
Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs is too
small. If the proposed staffing levels submitted to
the Ministry of Public Service several years ago were
approved, the current space would not accommodate
even a quarter of the staff.


In addition, the Council and its Committees do not
have a proper meeting place. The space currently
allocated to the Council at the Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs does not include a board room.
The meeting convened for the Secretary to the Council
and all her professional staff to interface with the
research team undertaking this study was held in her
office, because the Ministry board room and library
that would have been appropriate were not available.


This is not acceptable and was reported as being
particularly problematic to the Disciplinary Committee,
which sits as a court on a regular basis. Apparently, the
availability of meeting space is one of the reasons that
informed the decision for the Disciplinary Committee
to meet weekly. Meeting more frequently would have
saved the Committee from its present backlog.


Lack of autonomy – Currently the Law Council is
a Department within the Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs. This has created bureaucratic
bottlenecks in its operations, resulting in funding and
staffing challenges.


The Case for an Autonomous Regulator –
the Law Council


There is a consensus among the respondents to
this study on the need to increase the Law Council’s
autonomy. The Law Council has written extensively in
pursuit of this autonomy.


The Uganda Law Society, too, is in full support and
its Annual Report for 2008 accurately captures its
conviction that autonomy would lay the foundation
to overcoming the Regulator’s current challenges:
“We are of the considered opinion that the autonomy
would enable the Council to overcome its current
bottlenecks”.71 However, unlike the Kenya Law Society,


which is an independent regulator, it is generally felt
that the Law Council can remain a judicial public, but
autonomous agency in the Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs.


Perceived lack of independence of the Law Council –
The Council’s status as a department in the Ministry
of Justice and Constitutional Affairs is viewed
with a great deal of suspicion by many, including
advocates in Uganda and international bodies. The
issue of interference or perceived interference by the
Government is constantly raised. The argument in
favour of its autonomy is based on the international
basic principles on the role of lawyers, which
advocates for the independence of lawyers and the
regulatory body.


The Council reported an incident in 2004 that caused
international concern about its independence. The brief
facts of the incident are as follows: an advocate who
had filed a petition against the Government appeared
on a live radio talk show to discuss the merits and
demerits of a case in clear contravention of the sub
judice rule. The Council responded by issuing a press
release cautioning advocates against contravening
that rule. The relevant section of the law was cited
to strengthen the Council‘s argument. However, the
whole issue was misunderstood and politicized to
the extent that it attracted a query from the Special
Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the
right to freedom of opinion and expression and the
Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges
and lawyers on the allegations that the Government
of Uganda was using the Council to interfere with the
rights of expression of opposition lawyers. Although
there has never been any actual interference in the
running of the affairs of the Council, the Council
members are of the view that it should become
autonomous to allay these fears.


Self-Accounting Law Council – Financial
Independence


An autonomous self-accounting law council would be
freed from the constraints of the Ministry of Justice
and Constitutional Affairs medium-term expenditure
framework ceiling. This would allow the Council to
have its own vote outside the Ministry for budgeting
purposes, and would make it possible for the Council
to seek additional support to bridge the gap between
its budget and the allocation from the Consolidated
Fund. Moreover, any non-tax revenue the Council
collects on Government’s behalf could accrue directly


58 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




to the Council among other revenue possibilities
that this proposal may present to the Council. This
has not been possible in the present set-up, as the
Council was reported to have recently failed to access
funds earmarked by the Legal Aid Basket Fund for
carrying out some of its activities relating to legal aid
on the grounds that it would affect the medium-term
expenditure framework ceiling.


There was a consensus among the respondents from
both the Council and Law Society that changing the
funding relationship between the Council and the
Consolidated Fund would enable the Council to access
its funding allocation directly from the Consolidated
Fund and not through the Ministry of Justice and
Constitutional Affairs and would partly mitigate the
funding situation the Council has faced. Making
the Council self accounting with its own vote and a
direct relationship with the Consolidated Fund would
cushion it from what have become routine budgetary
deductions on the Council’s budget proposals to
comply with the medium-term expenditure framework
ceiling of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional
Affairs.


Once adopted, an autonomous self-accounting Law
Council will not be a panacea for all the challenges
facing the Council; it should complement the
Government’s commitment and willingness to
increase its funding and support to the Law Council.
Besides, the Government’s previous inaction on
recommendations of this kind has long frustrated its
partners and other stakeholders. This frustration is
echoed in the comments by the Uganda Law Society:
“We have for over years attempted to lobby and push
for the autonomy of the Council, but all in vain”. 72 A
case in point are the structural and staffing proposals
referred to elsewhere in this report, which have not
been considered for several years since they were
authored.


Separating the disciplinary function from the regulatory
and standard-setting mandates – It is recommended that
in establishing an independent and autonomous Law
Council, the Government should consider separating
the disciplinary function from the regulatory and
standard setting and enforcement mandate of the Law
Council. Adopting the best practice in other common
law jurisdictions where the disciplinary function is
vested in the Bar Association and only the regulatory
and standard-setting mandate is the responsibility
of the governmental judicial authority may be the
best way to proceed. This reform should empower


the Uganda Law Society to be the body responsible
for disciplining errant legal practitioners. The Law
Council’s disciplinary powers should be carried out
as an appellate body.


Uganda’s Legal Services and the Millennium
Development Goals


Interviews of key respondents and reviews of all
available policy documents and reports have
revealed no specific plans concerning the Millennium
Development Goals in Uganda’s legal services
sector, at least by its institutional players. Although
they are not tailored to the country’s efforts to achieve
the Goals, however, two fundamental initiatives will
make a massive contribution to Uganda’s campaign
to improve its governance indicators across the
Goal-response areas. These two outstanding areas
worth noting are the Legal Aid and Pro Bono Project,
and the Anti-Corruption Court.


Legal Aid Project


This 18-year project of the Uganda Law Society is
guided by its mission, which is to be the “leading
provider of legal services of choice in order to ensure
access to justice for the poor and vulnerable people
so as to promote the socio-economic development
of Uganda”. While the Legal Aid Project, currently
in its sixth three-year funding cycle, was developed
long before the Millennium Development Goals,
Uganda’s Millennium Development Goals story and
especially its governance (including justice) and
poverty indicators would not be complete without
the achievements of this amazing project. Moreover
the policy and institutional changes the project has
created will remain at the service of the poor many
years after the Goals have been reached.


The Legal Aid Project is a joint project of the Uganda
Law Society and the Norwegian Bar Association
funded with support from the Norwegian Agency for
International Development over the last 17 years. It has
striven to promote pro-poor access to justice policies
and spearheaded Uganda’s access to justice efforts.
The primary aim of this initiative is to identify effective
ways of ensuring access to justice to all in a country
where over one third of the population lives below
the poverty line and cannot afford conventional legal
services. Over the last two decades, the project has
attempted to provide legal aid services to those who
are unable to afford a lawyer on their own, targeting
the poor, the indigent and the vulnerable groups of


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society to meet their legal service needs.


Poverty – Conflicts and insurgency, limited coverage
of justice and law institutions, and archaic traditional
social and cultural norms that typically disadvantage
women and children have combined to deny quick
and affordable legal solutions to the majority of the
population (Uganda Law Society, 2008). The Legal
Aid Project has surpassed the expectations of its
benefactors; its contribution towards Uganda’s
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
relating to governance cannot be overemphasized,
and luckily for its beneficiaries, the next three-year
funding cycle will almost certainly be granted.


Establishment of a Pro Bono Scheme


Over a 15-year period, the project has attended to
the personal legal needs of a diverse range of people
among Uganda’s poor communities, including
offering free legal advice, guidance and counselling.
Many others have been helped by the project to sort
out their legal problems using alternative dispute
resolution through the mediation of various disputes
and claims as well as free court representation.


Through its paralegal prison-centred outreach and
decongestion programme, it has offered legal advisory
services to prisoners who otherwise could not afford
the services of private lawyers. A total of over 20,000
people are projected to have benefited from the legal
services of the project free of charge by the end of the
current funding cycle in December 2009.


The Project has justified the establishment of a
scheme designed as a form of corporate or individual
social responsibility to provide a platform for lawyers,
advocates and law firms outside the project scope
to offer free legal services to the poor, who normally
would not be able to afford their services. This was
a bridging arrangement to make up the shortfall
between the overwhelming need for legal services by
the poor and indigent persons, and what the project
could afford to extend within its limited resources. The
scheme allows lawyers to offer free legal services in
professional time to the poor. Since the amendment
was made, the Uganda Law Society has enrolled over
150 advocates to handle cases from September 2008
to September 2009, with support from the Danish
International Development Agency.


Pro Bono Fund


Law firms, advocates and lawyers who are unable


or unwilling to take up cases as proposed under the
scheme will have the option of contributing towards a
fund which would then be used to finance free legal
services for the poor and the indigent.


National legal aid policy – The Uganda Law Society
has effectively used the Legal Aid Project and its
membership in the Legal Aid Service Providers’
Network to lead efforts to mobilize all legal aid
service providers and other likeminded stakeholders
in advocating for the formulation of a national legal
aid policy. The policy would establish a framework
dedicated to addressing issues of access to justice
for the poor and the indigent. Once in place, the policy,
“will cause some form of fiscal commitment by the
Government to legal aid service provision, which will
boost the efforts of legal aid providers in advancing
the cause of access to justice for all”. 73


The National Legal Aid Open Week – In its efforts to
advocate and pursue the formulation of a national
legal aid policy, the Uganda Law Society convened
a National Legal Aid Open Week, on 18–22 August
2008 under the theme, Supporting the right to
legal aid in the justice system of Uganda. The Law
Council presented the terms of reference for the
development of the policy to civil society actors, and
a civil society task force was formed that will work
closely with the Council to develop the policy. It was
resolved that a National Legal Aid Open Week would
be held every year.


4. Trade Liberalization in Uganda’s
Legal Services Sector


Uganda’s legal services sector is liberalized,
allowing for cross-border practice to eligible foreign
practitioners subject to a residence requirement.
The Advocates Act, Cap. 266, section 8:5 (a) ii and
(b) allows people with foreign legal qualifications
to be considered for enrolment as advocates in
Uganda, provided they meet the requirements set
by the Law Council. 74


The Advocates Act, Cap. 266, section 13, further
allows the Chief Justice to issue special practising
certificates to eligible foreign practitioners to
represent their clients in Uganda subject to doing
so in partnership with an enrolled certified Ugandan
advocate. 75


The Uganda Law Society is a member of the East
African Law Society, whose current President, Allan


60 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Measures Undertaken


Advocates (Amendment) Act, 2002 – This amendment
to the Advocates Act followed a recommendation in
the Odoki Report on the need for the Law Council
to regulate the provision of legal education and
provide for continuing legal education for practising
advocates. The Amendment established the
Committee on Legal Education and Training under
the Law Council to oversee this widened Council
mandate.


The Committee’s primary task is to keep lawyers
abreast of contemporary legal issues and improve
the quality of legal services they render to their
clients.


Pro bono scheme – In its efforts to improve access to
justice by all, the Law Council took advantage of this
amendment to make explicit pro bono provisions by
making it mandatory for every advocate in Uganda to
give legal aid service to at least four indigent persons
per year.


The Advocates (Continuing Legal Education) Regulations,
2004 – Owing to these regulations, advocates have
been able to undertake continuing legal education in
the key areas of their practice, hence improving the
quality of the services offered to their clients.


The Advocates (Council Fees) Regulations, 2004 –
These regulations set the fees that should be paid
for the services offered by the Law Council. The
fees are collected by the Uganda Revenue Authority
on the Council’s behalf as non-tax revenue for
the Government. These fees are part of revenues
proposed to accrue directly to the coffers of a self-
accounting autonomous Law Council, as proposed
by this assessment.


Anticipated Measures


The Advocates (Legal Aid to Indigent Persons) Regulations
– These regulations are yet to be gazetted, but they
give effect to the pro bono scheme provisions in the
Act. They lay down the basic requirements and the
minimum standards that must be met by the legal
aid service providers and empower the Law Council
to license providers and monitor their performance.
This will go a long way in ensuring that indigent
persons obtain quality legal aid service.


Shonubi, is a former Vice-President of the Uganda
Law Society. 76


Despite its openness to foreign practice, Uganda’s
legal services sector has been found to be complying
inconsistently with the EAC Common Market full
liberalization requirements.


The EAC Common Market Protocol has identified
business services, including legal services, among
the seven sectors to be immediately subject to the
full freedom of movement of services when it goes
into force. An EAC report on the state of trade in
services liberalization noted that while, non-Ugandans
were not excluded from practising law in Uganda,
the recognized legal qualifications set out in the
Fifth Schedule of the Advocates (Enrolment and
Certification) Regulations, read together with the
Advocates Act, were short of full compliance, and
were obviously discriminatory. When listing the
recognized law qualifications, the Schedule identifies
only “degrees in law from either the University of
Nairobi or the University of Dar-Es-Salaam or the
University of Zambia”. 77


The Schedule does not recognize Burundi and
Rwanda’s law degrees in Uganda. In addition, the
Schedule was noted for being oblivious to the other
universities with accredited law programmes in both
Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania. By
explicitly recognizing law degrees from the University
of Zambia, the Schedule gives better treatment to
third parties than to Partner States of the EAC.


Burundi and Rwanda’s exclusion, as highlighted
above, will demand a thorough review from an EAC
context since it simply reflects the difference in legal
systems among the EAC’s Commonwealth and
Francophone Partner States, common and civil law
respectively. As part of their liberalization commitments
in the Common Market Protocol framework, the EAC
Partner States may need to agree whether they will
adopt a common legal system before free movement
of legal services across the region can be achieved.


The negotiations of the Mutual Recognition of
Academic and Professional Qualifications and
Harmonization of Education Provisions by the
High-Level Task Force negotiating the EAC Common
Market Protocol, Schedules and Annexes offer
the best opportunity to address these issues and
achieve coherence with respect to the recognition of
qualifications.


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5. Legal Services Sector: an Analysis
of Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats


5.1. Strengths


The Advocates Act and the Law Council – The law
establishes the Law Council as a single recognized
statutory regulator for legal services in Uganda with
detailed provisions on various regulatory mandates.
This has vested the regulatory responsibility for
all professional legal practitioners, despite their
multifaceted nature, in a single institution, by statute.


The Uganda Law Society Act and the Uganda Law Society
– Like the Advocates Act, the Uganda Law Society
Act establishes the Uganda Law Society to carry out
a number of tasks, mainly the following: to develop
and administer all matters regarding the conditions
of legal practice and to maintain and improve the
standards of the conduct of the legal profession
in Uganda. By legally establishing the Society as
a single platform to which all legal practitioners, or
advocates, must belong, the Act has guaranteed the
Society a big and rapidly growing membership base
of the entire legal fraternity.


The Uganda Law Society is an autonomous, highly
respected corporate institution with an executive
council in charge of its policy formulation and guidance
and a full-time secretariat of over 60 professional staff
to implement the Society’s programmes and the
policies of the Council.


The Society has attracted the goodwill and
strong support from a wide range of donors and
development partners as demonstrated through the
16-year continuous relationship with the Norwegian
Agency for International Development that sustains
the Legal Aid Project. In addition, the Society has
gained recognition as a key cooperating partner of
the Justice, Law and Order Sector of the Ministry of
Justice and Constitutional Affairs.


Common Law – The use of the English common law in
Uganda is an asset to the extent that it is the recognized
code of practice in many countries worldwide,
especially those of the Commonwealth. This has
widened the market horizons for Uganda’s legal
services providers and practitioners. The adoption of
a hybrid code containing elements from both civil and
common law by Rwanda will extend the reach of the
players even wider. This mitigates the challenges of


the mutual recognition of qualifications and simplifies
any complications related to cross-border practice
and its regulation as foreseen with deeper and wider
regional integration.


5.2. Weaknesses


Archaic basic legal education system – The traditional
basic legal training programme (LLB) is out of date
and has not been responsive to the market dynamics
making law graduates less relevant to the work place
and the needs of their potential clients. The Uganda
Law Society has pointed out that the curriculum is
not attuned to the emerging legal issues of the digital
age, including electronic evidence, identity fraud,
and climate change issues such as carbon trading,
petroleum, energy and environmental law. The
curriculum is out of step with traditional aspects of the
law. For instance, the company law being taught at
the Law School is four generations behind.


Low uptake of technology – The key respondents noted
that the legal profession in Uganda has been slow
in embracing information technology and taking full
advantage of the new possibilities of the digital age
in the delivery of legal services and subsequently, the
dispensation of justice and the court system.


This is reflected by the inadmissibility of electronic
evidence in Ugandan courts and accounts for the
backlog of cases the sector presently suffers. The
digital divide constitutes a comparative disadvantage
between Uganda’s legal practitioners and their
colleagues in other jurisdictions that have been more
responsive to these technological advancements.


Separating the disciplinary function from the regulatory
and standard-setting mandates – There is a general
feeling that the Law Council would have been
more effective had its mandate been restricted to a
regulatory and standard-setting and enforcement,
as is the common practice in other common law
jurisdictions. Adding the disciplinary function to this
traditional role has made the Council less effective
and is a fundamental weakness of the sector. In other
common law jurisdictions, this mandate is normally
vested in the Bar Association, with the regulatory and
standard-setting and enforcement mandate left to the
governmental judicial authority.


It has also been reported that subjecting legal services
providers in the civil service to a lower disciplinary
standard than that to which lawyers in private practice
are subject is unfair and creates double standards,


62 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




which is a weakness. The Uganda Law Society
reported that the Government Standing Orders to
which civil servants offering legal services are subject
does not measure up to the standards set for lawyers
in private practice; yet both categories of practitioners
owe the public the same degree of care and as such,
should uphold the same professional standards.


5.3. Opportunities


Review of the Advocates and Society Acts – The long
overdue review of the Advocates and Society Acts,
which is presently ongoing, will be leveraged to make
both institutions more effective, responsive to the needs
of their stakeholders and key clientele and relevant to
emerging trends. The review is timely, since it offers
an opportunity to harmonize the provisions in both
legislations, maximize the synergies between them and
address their shortcomings. At the end of the review,
each of the bodies should be better positioned to
undertake its mandate and to complement each other.


Legal education curriculum review – The review of the
basic legal training curriculum (LLB) is an opportune
moment to address the gaps identified and make legal
education more relevant to current, emerging legal
market trends (local, national, regional and global).


Justice, law and order sector – The recognition and
support the sector extends to the Uganda Law
Society is an opportunity for the principal actors in
legal practice to directly participate and be consulted
on all matters related to justice, law, security and
development in general and legal practice in particular
in Uganda both in the present and in the future. The
latter is particularly important given the sector’s
holistic approach that is designed to ensure that it will
determine all aspects of the sector for a long time.


5.4. Threats


Educational system and low technology utilization – An
outdated basic university legal training curriculum
(LLB) in Uganda and the low utilization of technology
has increased the vulnerability of Uganda’s law
graduates in comparison with their colleagues in
the region from institutions that are more sensitive
and adaptable to these trends, especially in view of
deepening regional integration. The case backlog
and the database challenges mentioned above are
proof of a systemic challenge demanding a holistic
approach, which if left unattended, constitutes a
threat to the survival of the whole sector.


Absence of a standard basic legal education curriculum
(LLB) – The proliferation of universities accredited
to offer university legal training without a standard
degree programme is a threat to the future of the
sector. The introduction of a Bar entry examination for
the Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice in the
face of an increasing number of failures testifies to
the gravity of this threat, which requires a long-term
solution and a possible departure from the common
practice of allowing universities the freedom to design
their own programmes.


F. CONSTRUCTION AND
ENGINEERING SERVICES
SECTOR


1. Trend Analysis


1.1 Contribution of the Construction and
Engi neering Services Sector to GDP


The contribution to Uganda’s GDP of the construction
and engineering sector, which covers public- and
private-sector construction services, reflects the
importance the Government has attached to the sector
in its reconstruction and growth efforts over the last 15
years. This emphasis on construction and engineering
explains the impressive GDP out-turns indicating that
over the last five years, the construction sector has
posted the highest contribution to GDP of any sector
in the industry category of the national statistics with
14.8 per cent, 9.5 per cent, 12.5 per cent, 24.6 per
cent, 10 per cent and 7.6 per cent from 2002 to 2007.
Only mining and quarrying had better returns, with 18.2
per cent in 2006. The economic growth statistics over
the same period illustrate a similar trend, reflecting
the importance of the construction sector’s increasing
contribution to GDP, as demonstrated in table II.8.


1.2. Supply Capacity for Construction and
Engineering Services Sector


It is the Government’s strategic objective that 90 per
cent of all services in the construction industry be
provided by the private sector by June 2014 (Ministry
of Works and Transport, 2008). 78


It is estimated that 50 per cent of non-farm
employment in Uganda is directly or indirectly
provided by the construction industry (Ministry of


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Works and Transport, 2008). 79 The policy and industry
preference for labour-based technologies would have
elicited higher employment returns than this estimate.
However, the industry remains generally fragmented,
without adequate support partly due to lack of both a
definitive government policy and a strong institutional
framework, which has encouraged the informal-sector
mentality approach to business in the sector without a
long-term view on work continuity on the part of local
contractors and consultants. Consequently, the sector
has not achieved its full potential for employment
generation and the accompanying multiplier effect.


2. Regulation in the Construction and
Engineering Services Sector


The regulatory framework for the construction and
engineering services sector currently comprises two
levels, namely, the statutory regulators of engineering
and the professional self, or peer, regulators. The
established statutory regulators include the Engineers
Registration Board and the Architects Registration
Board; the peer regulators include the Uganda
Institution of Professional Engineers, the Uganda
Association of Consulting Engineers, the Uganda
National Association of Building and Civil Engineering
Contractors and the Uganda Society of Architects.


Engineers Registration Board


The Engineers Registration Act, Cap. 271, of 1969
(amended, 1977) is the applicable law on the practice
of engineering in Uganda. Part II, section 2 of the Act
establishes the Engineers Registration Board as the
competent authority in Uganda with the mandate to


regulate and control engineers in Uganda and their
activities and advise the government in relation thereto.


The Act, Part IV, section 16, Registration of Engineers,
designates a registrar of engineers with the
responsibility to register and publish in the Gazette all
persons qualified and eligible to practise as engineers
in Uganda.


The Engineers Registration Act, section 20, sets
eligibility requirements for registration as engineers
in Uganda, limiting the practice to 25-year-olds
who are either members of the Uganda Institution
of Professional Engineers or other institutes of
engineers whose membership is recognized by the
Engineers Registration Board. In addition, they must
hold a degree, diploma or licence from a recognized
university or school of engineering and have received
at least two years’ adequate postgraduate practical
training as an engineer with two years’ experience in
a position involving responsibility as an engineer. In
the alternative, any additional period in a position of
responsibility as an engineer in excess of two years in
substitution for the two years’ practical training is also
accepted (Engineers Registration Act, 1969, 1977). 80


The Act requires all practising engineers to be
registered with the Engineers Registration Board
and has detailed provisions regarding who can use
the title “Registered Engineer” and the prefix “Eng”
before their name and the penalties for impersonating
engineers for those who do not fully meet the
requirements of the Act.


Table II.8. Industrial Sector GDP Growth Rates, 2003–2008 (Percentage)


Sector 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08


Industry 8.0 11.6 14.7 9.9 6.4


Mining and quarrying 1.7 27.2 6.1 19.4 0.8


Manufacturing 6.3 9.5 7.3 4.3 8.1


Formal 8.3 11.8 7.8 4.0 9.5


Informal 1.7 3.6 6.0 5.2 4.3


Electricity supply 7.7 2.1 -6.5 -4.0 6.0


Water supply 4.2 3.9 2.4 3.5 5.0


Construction 10.0 14.9 23.2 14.3 6.0


GDP at basic prices 6.4 6.6 10.3 7.4 8.9
Note: May not add exactly due to rounding off.
Source: Background to the Budget, Financial Year 2008/09, June 2008, p.12.


64 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers


The Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers is
a professional society for engineers. The Institution
consists of the following classes of membership:
fellows; members; honorary members; technologist
members; technician members; graduate members
and student members. As of 12 June 2009, it had
a membership of 1,038 persons, broken down
as follows: 25 fellows; 510 members; 6 honorary
members; 54 technologist members; 26 technician
members; 305 graduate members and 112 student
members.


The Engineers Registration Act recognizes the
Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers and
makes membership of the Institution an eligibility and
registration requirement for Ugandan engineers. 81


The Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers
is taking part in an ongoing study conducted by
the Institution of Civil Engineers (United Kingdom)
and funded by the Department for International
Development. The study is aimed at increasing the
capacity of the Uganda Institution of Professional
Engineers and bringing professional standards in
the country in line with development needs, global
markets and international trade obligations. The
obligations to work towards progressive liberalization,
coupled with the need to remove national barriers
to professional services as required under the WTO
General Agreement on Trade in Services, demand
that local professionals in general and engineers in
particular boost their competence, skill and efficiency
levels in their professional outlook and practices
and meet internationally agreed best practices and
standards in order to comply with cross-border
practice requirements.


The Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers
has positioned itself to implement such systems and
procedures so as to facilitate Uganda’s engineering
fraternity to meet these requirements and the ensuing
domestic challenges.


To date the Engineers Registration Board has only
390 registered engineers; yet the total number of
practising engineers in the country is estimated at
2,500. The Board faces a clear challenge to enforce
the Engineers Registration Act with due haste.
This challenge is graphically illustrated by the large
number of non-registered engineers in practice, more
than 2,000, according to the latest reports.


Ineffective legislation and regulators have seriously
undermined the authority of both the Engineers
Registration Board and the Uganda Institution of
Professional Engineers and compromised their
effectiveness in performing their regulatory mandate.
This will be exacerbated by the impending EAC
Common Market Protocol, which will increase the
demands on these regulators with the freedom
of movement of services, including construction
and engineering services, with a proliferation of
cross-border practice, and with it the need for
cross-border regulation.


Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers


The Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers
was set up in 1994 by a steering committee of seven
consulting firms and was officially recognized by the
Government as the sole organization responsible for
the promotion of the interests of consulting engineers
in Uganda. It is affiliated with the International
Federation of Consulting Engineers. The Association
runs seminars and lunchtime meetings with guest
speakers covering topics of interest to its members and
networks with other national associations of consulting
engineers in Africa and worldwide. It also lobbies the
Government, international lending agencies, donors,
the International Federation of Consulting Engineers
and the private sector on matters affecting them. Over
the last 15 years, the Association’s membership has
grown to 19: 6 small firms and 13 large firms out of
about 50 albeit small consulting firms, companies
and individuals. The most likely reason for the low
membership is the relatively high annual membership
fees of $800 for small firms and $1,200 for large firms.


Uganda National Association of Building and
Civil Engineering Contractors


The Uganda National Association of Building and Civil
Engineering Contractors is a voluntary association of
companies bound by a constitution and directives
authorized by the Association’s National Executive
Committee. Having ceased operations in 1973, it was
revived in 1993 to identify, promote and safeguard the
interests of building and civil engineering contractors.


The Association’s major functions consist of lobbying
government on policy issues that impact the national
construction industry and advocating for capacity-
building support from development partners and
the Government. With financial assistance from the
Norwegian Agency for International Development and


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government support, the Association has successfully
organized occupational health and safety training
for contractors and manufacturing firms. However,
a shortage of operational resources has limited the
extent to which it can deliver its promise and that has
kept many potential member companies from joining
the Association.


To date the Association has attracted only a small
number of contractors. Its membership of 300,
compared with an estimated 800 contractors in
the country, implies that it needs strengthening.
Relatively high annual membership subscription
fees and a lack of direct, tangible benefits may have
discouraged potential members from joining. Further,
stiff competition for the few available contracts at a
given time makes the Association ineffective, as the
sector is perceived as being too insecure and many
contractors find themselves going out of business
(Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008). 82


The Architects Registration Board


The Architects Registration Act, Cap. 269, of 1996 is
the applicable law on architects’ practice in Uganda.
The Act establishes the Architects Registration
Board as the competent authority on architecture in
Uganda. Section 4 of the Act spells out the functions
of the Board: to regulate and maintain the standard
of architecture in the country; to register architects;
to make bylaws for better carrying into effect the
provisions of the Act; to prescribe or regulate the
conduct of architects in Uganda; and to promote
training in architectural sciences. 83


The Act, Part III, sections 8 and 9, Registration of
Architects, designates a registrar of architects with the
responsibility to register, keep, maintain and publish
in the Gazette all persons qualified and eligible to
practise as architects in Uganda.


In addition, the Act limits architectural practice
to corporate members and sets qualification
requirements for registration as architects in Uganda
to include a degree or diploma awarded by a
recognized university or other institution, two years’
practical experience and passing a professional
examination conducted by the Board. 84


Uganda Society of Architects


The Architects Registration Act recognizes the
Uganda Society of Architects and reserves two thirds
of the members to the Architects Registration Board


for individuals nominated by the Society. 85


The Uganda Society of Architects enrols architects
according to their professional competencies and
specific criteria. It establishes guidelines for enrolment
and mentors, and sets examinations. The law makes
membership of the Society compulsory for all Ugandan
architects, and corporate membership of the Society
is a registration requirement for eligible practitioners in
Uganda (Architects Registration Act). 86


The Uganda Society of Architects boasts 246 honorary
members, 2 corporate members, 246 graduate
members, 50 student members and 57 technician
members. 87


3. Construction and Engineering
Services and the Millennium
Development Goals


Universal primary education and universal secondary
education – The introduction of universal primary
education in 1997 led to a 132 per cent rise in gross
enrolment compared with figures preceding universal
primary education, from 3.1 million in 1996 to 7.2
million children in 2006. 88 The Government adopted
the Education Strategic Investment Plan, which
devises policy and strategies for development of the
sector as a key vehicle for achieving quality universal
primary education by 2005 (Ministry of Works
and Transport, 2008). The Medium-Term Budget
Framework of February 1999 estimated that to achieve
the Plan’s ambitious target of accommodating over 6
million primary school pupils, it would be necessary
to build over 28,000 new classrooms and to expand
a further 12,000.


This underlies Uganda’s impressive record of meeting
the universal primary education target of the Goals
as indicated in a progress report issued by UNDP in
2007: “Uganda is on the right path to achieving the
Millennium Development Goal target of 100 per cent
by 2015” (UNDP, 2007). 89


Construction of new district health centres and
rehabilitation of hospitals – The District Health Services
Project has enabled the Government to deliver health
services to the communities through improved access
provided at the new subdistrict health centres and
at the rehabilitated government hospitals. Physical
construction works to deliver these subdistrict health
centres and rehabilitate government hospitals through
the District Health Services Project and other projects


66 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




4. Trade Liberalization in the
Construction and Engineering
Services Sector


Uganda has a liberalized construction and engineering
services sector with substantial foreign participation in
all facets of activities in the sector. To demonstrate the
extent of foreign presence in Uganda’s construction
and engineering sector, the draft National Construction
Industry Policy reports that “the industry heavily relies
on the services of foreign firms, even for repair and
maintenance work that could otherwise be handled by
local firms” (Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008).


However, despite this relatively liberalized
regime, there is a general consensus among the
stakeholders, which is not entirely wrong – that the
sector was opened up to competition before its time.
In the face of the likelihood of committing to this
autonomous liberalization with the conclusion of the
EAC Common Market negotiations, the stakeholders
in the construction and engineering-related sectors
requested the high-level task force negotiating the draft
Common Market Protocol for a five-year transitional
period for the sector to increase its readiness for full
liberalization (EAC, 2009). 92


Measures Undertaken


The applicable laws in the construction and
engineering sector do not restrict the participation of
foreigners in the sector. The Engineers and Architects
Registration Acts have specific provisions to facilitate
foreigners to register and practise as engineers and
architects in Uganda.


Recognition of foreign professional institutes and
societies – The qualification requirements set out in the
Engineers and Architects Registration Acts, Part IV,
section 20 (1) (a) and Part III, section 12, respectively,
recognize foreign institutes and societies, provided
they are recognized by the relevant regulators.


Temporary registration – In addition, both Acts have
specific provisions on temporary registration in section
21 and section 12 to allow non-resident foreigners to
be registered and allowed to practise as engineers
and architects in Uganda.


Anticipated Measures


Adopting a national construction industry policy –
Despite the importance of the construction and
engineering services sector to Uganda’s economy,


was made possible by the participation of a sizeable
number of local contractors. Uganda’s infant mortality
rate90 was reported at 76 deaths per 1,000 live births
by the end of 2007, having declined from 122 deaths
per 1,000 live births in 1991. The under-five mortality
rate measuring child deaths before the age of five,
however, declined from 167 to 137 deaths per 1,000
live births from 1991 to 2007 (UNDP, 2007). 91 While
Uganda’s infant mortality rate is still way off the
Millennium Development Goal target of 31 deaths per
1,000 live births by 2015, the progress made towards
reducing both its infant mortality rate and under-five
mortality rate cannot be denied. The contribution
made by the sector towards this marginal but critical
progress through the construction of new health
centres, the rehabilitation of old facilities and the
construction of new hospitals, both public and private
(profit and non-profit), cannot be underestimated.


Remove restrictive practices to allow the participation of
marginalized groups – None of the reports and policy
documents reviewed as part of this assessment
exercise have revealed any deliberate efforts to meet
the other Goals, apart from those referred to above.
However, the draft National Construction Industry
Policy has specific proposals relevant to the gender
and marginalized Goal indicators. The Policy proposes
that the Government should continue to advocate for
the removal of any restrictive practices prohibiting
marginalized groups such as women, youths,
physically challenged persons, elderly persons and
children from gainful employment in the construction
industry. In addition, it proposes the prohibition of
child labour in the construction industry.


A proposal concerning the implementation of the
draft National Construction Industry Policy focuses
on the following points: (a) integrating issues of the
marginalized groups; ensuring that their concerns are
explicit and verifiable in the policies, plans and budgets
of key stakeholders in the construction industry; and
that “policies, plans and budgets will take cognizance
of concerns of the marginalized groups”; and (b)
incorporating needs of the marginalized groups in the
design and execution of works and ensuring that their
concerns are addressed in the design and execution
of infrastructure works.


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the sector lacks a policy. The need for such a policy
was identified several years ago when in September
1999, the Danish International Development
Agency commissioned a preliminary study on the
development of the local construction industry in
Uganda. The study identified the necessary measures
and made recommendations to the Government on
how to strengthen the domestic construction industry.
Following the study recommendations, a task force,
comprising senior officers in the Ministry of Works and
Transport, was established in October 2000 to prepare
a policy framework, and to develop and strengthen
the domestic construction industry.


A select team of experts from the task force and
the private sector, namely, the Uganda National
Association of Building and Civil Engineering
Contractors, the Uganda Association of Consulting
Engineers and the Uganda Institution of Professional
Engineers, visited South Africa, the United Republic
of Tanzania and Sri Lanka in August 2001 and 2003
to share experiences with countries having strong
and well-established domestic construction industries
founded on positive and enabling government policies
and strategies. A draft National Construction Industry
Policy, the outcome of this elaborate process, has
neither been adopted nor implemented since 2005.
The transitional time frame referred was established
to allow for time to adopt and implement the National
Construction Industry Policy before Uganda’s
construction and engineering services sector would
be subject to the freedom of movement of services in
the EAC Common Market Framework.


Establishment of the Uganda Construction
Industry Commission


Among the many proposals of the National
Construction Industry Policy is the proposal to establish
a Uganda Construction Industry Commission by an
act of Parliament with funding from the Consolidated
Fund to regulate the construction industry.


If set up, the Commission would manage a
construction levy that would supplement its allocation
from the Consolidated Fund to run its programmes
and initiatives aimed at developing the national
construction industry. There is a gap for the Uganda
Commission to fill. This assessment has revealed that
the policy issues in construction in general and the
trade dimension of the sector in particular have neither
been attended to, nor is there a competent authority
to play this important oversight role.


The existing regulatory framework is entirely
dependent on professional councils, whose
effectiveness has been demonstrated to be extremely
inadequate. Experience from successful liberalization
arrangements elsewhere has proven that the success
of liberalization at whatever level – multilateral, regional
or domestic – hinges to a great extent on the capacity
to regulate and monitor the achievement of the set
liberalization objectives. Without effective regulatory
frameworks, services liberalization tends to run into
difficulties.93 Even when established by statute,
professional councils may not be the best platforms
for services regulation, and liberalization commitments
premised on the existence of these professional
councils may not be as effectively delivered as those
founded on well-established regulatory institutions.


Independent government regulatory authorities have
tended to be better streamlined, better funded, better
staffed and more effective than professional councils
and boards.94


Establishing a construction guarantee fund – The
draft policy proposes the establishment of a
construction guarantee fund, managed by the
Uganda Construction Industry Commission, to
assist contractors and consultants in obtaining
bid securities, performance bonds and advance
payment guarantees. It is planned that the Fund will
also support the training centres and institutions to
provide training for contractors and consultants.


If adopted, and implemented, the construction levy
proposed above will provide seed money for the
proposed construction guarantee fund. In addition,
contractors and consultants will be compelled
to contribute to the Fund using clauses built into
standard tender documents and contract agreements
for all construction procurements for both the public
and private sectors.


The mandatory deductions should be implemented
using the same formulae as withholding taxes or fuel
levies, which has worked effectively to finance the
Road Fund. Government should provide the fund with
U Sh 500 million to start up the Fund.95


Strengthen and support regulatory, professional and
business support organizations – The Policy proposes
government support to strengthen both the regulatory
and institutional framework for the construction and
engineering services sector. This support should
extend across the whole spectrum of the institutions
and structures comprising the framework, including


68 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




the statutory regulators and the recognized institutes,
societies and associations and their operations. In this
regard, the Government should increase its financial
support by granting subsidies to the secretariats of
these bodies to enable them to perform their regulatory
functions more effectively. The bodies should be
facilitated for full-time work with full-time professional
staff. A robust construction sector cannot continue
to be superintended by a one-person secretariat
presently manning the Engineers Registration Board.


Enacting the Building Control Bill – The need for a
legislative review in the sector is long overdue and
has been identified by both the stakeholders and the
Government as a top priority. The Building Control Bill,
drawn up in 2001 and subjected to Cabinet scrutiny in
June 2009, proposes to consolidate, harmonize and
amend the law relating to the erection of buildings;
it will also establish building standards. Among
its objectives is the promotion of planned, decent
and safe building structures developed in harmony
with the environment. The Bill intends to establish
a National Building Review Board and building
committees. It provides for the establishment of a
national building code with specific provisions on
building standards, structural designs, plumbing and
electrical installations.


Approval and gazetting of the Building Control Regulations
– The Building Control Bill intends to establish a more
effective regulatory regime in Uganda’s construction
sector and in Part VII, clause 53, specifically provides
for regulations. The Ministry of Works and Transport, in
association with SABA Engineering and FINNROAD,
developed the draft Building Control Regulations in
July 2004, which to date have neither been approved
nor gazetted. Approving these regulations will go
a long way in addressing the regulatory gaps to
which the many collapsed buildings and shoddy
construction works are widely attributed.


5. Uganda’s Construction and
Engineering Services Sector: an
Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats


5.1. Strengths


The Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers
claims that local knowledge and the advantages that
come along with proximity are a fundamental strength
of the domestic players, including contractors and


consultants. They possess a better understanding
of the social dynamics in the country allowing them
to deal more effectively with sociocultural issues;
in a practical sense, they are better placed to
more easily interpret the wishes of the clients. The
Association further pointed out that, unlike foreign
contractors, domestic firms can be depended upon
for swift mobilization. Equally, collectively they can
count on a range of skilled operatives and trades.
This is important in a country where there is little or
no formal training available for artisans and skilled
workers in the construction sector. In addition, they
are able to offer more competitive prices than their
foreign counterparts.


Local construction contractors and consultants
provide further training to young engineers at the
start of their careers in the construction industry. The
Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers reported
that these training possibilities, coupled with the
Government’s privatization policy, which emphasizes
the private sector and the reduction of staff in the public
sector, were attracting young graduate engineers
previously drawn to the public sector. This cadre of
graduates has laid a firm professional foundation for
the infant private-sector-driven construction industry.


Uganda National Association of Building and Civil
Engineering Contractors and the Uganda Association of
Consulting Engineers – The existence of established
business support organizations, namely, the Uganda
National Association of Building and Civil Engineering
Contractors and the Uganda Association of
Consulting Engineers (for contractors and engineering
consultants) is a great asset to the sector. The
Government’s recognition of these business support
organizations is an added advantage. Moreover, the
Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers is a
member of the International Federation of Consulting
Engineers, a worldwide authority on engineering
consulting. The Association has leveraged its
membership to the International Federation to
increase its profile, credibility and effectiveness. Both
the Uganda National Association of Building and Civil
Engineering Contractors and the Uganda Association
of Consulting Engineers are a critical reference point for
the private-sector players in the construction industry
to dialogue with the public sector and promote their
views and concerns to their clients.


The Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers
has a strong relationship with the Uganda Institution
of Professional Engineers and members of the


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Association serve on the Board. This strengthens
their advocacy role and their credibility with the public
sector.


These industry platforms have proven to be
an effective interlocutor between the domestic
construction and engineering consulting industry with
various players and stakeholders at the local, regional
and international levels. The Uganda Association of
Consulting Engineers recently hosted a conference
and training workshop of the International Federation
of Consulting Engineers in Uganda. The Federation’s
regional chapter, GAMA, offers its members the
possibility to benefit from the experiences of other and
better-established associations in the region. As part
of this assessment exercise, the Uganda Institution
of Professional Engineers reported that the two
organizations have been very helpful in addressing
safety concerns, which have been heightened by the
recent increase in collapsing buildings and accidents
on construction sites.


5.2. Weaknesses


Limited capacity – The key respondents to this study, in
particular the Uganda National Association of Building
and Civil Engineering Contractors, were concerned
about the extreme capacity constraints faced by the
domestic construction industry. As a result, most of
the big construction projects are reportedly being
carried out by a handful of international firms. Only
a small percentage of the local firms are able to
compete successfully, or work on joint-venture basis
with international firms.


There is relatively little involvement of local contractors
with their foreign counterparts, apart from some
informal subcontracting. Therefore, local contractors
are missing an opportunity to learn from them,
enhance their skills and expand their market share to
develop into medium-sized or large-scale companies.
As a result, the small firms have been confined to
undertaking only small buildings and occasionally
minor civil engineering works, owing to their limited
size and resources. Restricted access to equipment
leads to poor performance and yet equipment
enhances performance and is a criterion for the
registration and classification of contractors (Ministry
of Works and Transport, 2008).


Because the firms do not have comprehensive skill
coverage, they are unable to cover more than one
sector and even in that sector they may not have


staff to cover the whole range of skills required. An
additional factor is the short supply of specialist staff,
making their hiring costly to firms. Consequently,
most construction firms do not have the resources
to retain this calibre of staff on a long-term basis. It
was reported that there are only some four or five
materials engineers in the whole country (Uganda
Institution of Professional Engineers, 2009). One of
the practical problems, as reported by the Uganda
National Association of Building and Civil Engineering
Contractors, is the acute shortage of plant operators
and mechanics. There are no vocational training
courses for these skilled workers. As a result, skilled
workers rarely stay with one company, as their unique
skills are in very high demand. In addition, because
some unskilled workers are employed as plant
operators, they may end up working inefficiently or
under dangerous working conditions.


The Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers
reported that consulting firms lack business skills,
often leading to poor financial management. The
Institution attributed the high mortality of local
engineering consulting firms to poor managerial
and financial management skills. The records of the
Institution indicate that firms are set up, and while they
may be successful, they split into smaller less efficient
companies, mainly sole proprietorships. Moreover,
the lack of succession planning means that when
proprietors retire, firms more often than not go out of
business.


Limited access to credit – Limited access to credit and
loan facilities is identified as a fundamental weakness
for Uganda’s construction industry, requiring specific
measures in the draft National Construction Industry
Policy. The draft policy states that the industry has a
critical need for short-term bridging finance for project
implementation and long-term capital to cover the cost
of business establishment and growth, which are turning
into a serious barrier to the capacity development of
private construction and consulting firms.


The Uganda National Association of Building and
Civil Engineering Contractors reported that the credit
situation had been worsened by a common practice,
especially in the road construction category to delay
payment of monthly invoices, an issue which the
Uganda National Roads Authority is committed to
addressing. The study has revealed that contractors
are considered to be high-risk clients by commercial
banks; as a result, performance guarantees for
construction contracts are typically issued against


70 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




the deposit of equal sums, in a process negating the
whole purpose of obtaining guarantees. High interest
rates, coupled with late payments, means that often
the interest charged wipes out any profit that could be
made on these contracts.


Lack of access to equipment – One of the biggest
issues within the industry in general and in the road
sector in particular is access to equipment. In 1994
the Government commissioned a study to determine
the feasibility of establishing a plant hire pool as a way
of supporting the industry, initially starting with road
construction and maintenance, and subsequently,
to support the entire industry. The Uganda Institution
of Professional Engineers reported that contractors
have tremendous difficulty in obtaining equipment,
which is made worse by the infrequent work flow.
There are only two equipment suppliers in the whole
country: Caterpillar and Komatsu. There is no plant
pool and leasing is not financially feasible. The study
recommended the creation of a plant hire pool run on
commercial principles. 96


Weak regulatory and business support institutions –
The Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers
highlighted its frustration with the small number of
registered consulting firms or consultants, compared
with the net demand for design and supervision of
construction projects. The inference is that in the
consultancy industry there is an informal sector to
cope with the overwhelming demand for consultancy
services. This is largely attributed to practical difficulties
faced by the respective Statutory Registration Boards
in enforcing their mandate. These difficulties have
been mentioned above.


There is a general consensus that the ineffectiveness
of the regulators is a reflection of the shortcomings of
the laws that established the institutions and defined
their mandates. A combination of laws that do not
empower institutions to act and a narrow scope of
mandate have rendered them even weaker. The
preliminary reports on the recent spate of collapsed
structures and accidents on construction sites have
revealed the underbelly of a regulatory regime without
any specific provisions on structural design and
construction project supervision.


The Architects Registration Board pointed out that
the Architects Registration Act limits the Board’s
regulation mandate solely to registered architects who
constitute a mere 40 per cent of those in business,
leaving unregulated the bulk of those who in practice


offer architectural services. The Board reported further
that the limited scope is worsened by inadequate
provisions on sanctions against professional
misconduct.


These difficulties are not limited to statutory regulators
but extend to business support organizations, as well.
While it has credibility, the Uganda Association of
Consulting Engineers has several weak points.


It has a small membership and a limited capacity to
attract members because it is not seen as providing
much benefit to its members, other than being a club
of likeminded companies. It is estimated that there are
at least another 10 companies outside the Association
operating in the road sector. The Uganda Association
of Consulting Engineers does not have regulatory
powers, even though it is officially recognized by the
Government.


Moreover, its ability to lobby for its members is
compromised by a fear that to be seen to complain to
the client will result in an inability to win jobs. Although
the Uganda National Association of Building and Civil
Engineering Contractors is operational, it has relatively
little interface with the public sector. This has generally
excluded the Association from discussions on the
most lucrative sector in construction, namely, the road
sector, at the expense of the domestic construction
industry in general and its members in particular. The
Association, however, feels it has a legitimate claim
as the recognized private-sector voice of the industry
to be represented on the boards of both the Uganda
National Roads Authority and the Road Fund.


The limited budget of the Association has severely
limited its ability to carry out its defined mandate and
has weakened its case to attract contractors to seek
membership in the Association.


A weak regulatory framework and the delayed enactment
of the Building Control Bill – The weak regulatory
framework in the construction sector is one of the
fundamental weaknesses in the sector demanding
immediate attention. There is a consensus that the
Public Health Act is too generic and out of date to
address the sector’s special needs. The Uganda
Society of Architects reported its frustration with the
delayed enactment of the Building Control Bill, which
like the construction policy, has remained on the
drawing board since 2001.


The Building Control Bill proposes to address the
shortcomings of the Public Health Act by consolidating,


71PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




harmonizing, and amending the law relating to
the erection of buildings and establishing building
standards. Among its objectives is the promotion
of planned, decent and safe building structures
developed in harmony with the environment. The
Bill intends to establish a National Building Review
Board and building committees. It also provides for
the establishment of a National Building Code with
specific provisions on building standards, structural
designs, plumbing and electrical installations.


As part of this policy review exercise, the Uganda
Association of Consulting Engineers emphasized
the need to make construction regulations more
effective and to explore the possibility of introducing
specific provisions on structural design and
construction project supervision. This would include
the establishment of a separate institution to regulate
design and engineering consulting with a specific role
for the Association in line with the best practices of
public-private partnership.


Building control regulations – In addition to the
Building Control Bill, the Uganda Society of Architects
proposed the adoption of the Building Control
Regulations developed by the Ministry of Works and
Transport in 2004 as part of a more comprehensive
regulatory review.


Tendering – Respondents to this study were
unanimous about the effect of the lack of an
agreed approach to tendering and procurement
of construction and engineering services. Both the
Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers and
the Uganda National Association of Building and
Civil Engineering Contractors were apprehensive
about the current classification of contractors and
consultants in government departments without a
legal basis. The draft National Construction Industry
Policy is specifically critical of the classification
scheme presently in use, which does not differentiate
between foreign and local firms to minimize unfair
competition for jobs.


Local contractors are often disbarred from tendering
for rehabilitation work on the grounds that they do not
meet technical capacity requirements. Paradoxically,
however, they will not obtain that technical capacity
if they are not allowed to tender for these works.
Under the current scheme, government departments
carry out registration and classification of firms using
differing criteria and review periods. Further, the
criteria are not stringent enough to bar ill-equipped


and inexperienced firms (Ministry of Works and
Transport, 2008).


The lack of a common approach to the tendering
and procurement of construction and engineering
services has led to the extensive use of the least-cost
approach as the widely preferred criteria for the award
of tenders. This approach is oblivious to associated
problems, including underpricing and failure to do
the work; it typically leads to too many claims, which
are often cumbersome to evaluate and agree upon;
does not allow growth of providers, often leading
to insolvency and bankruptcy; and moreover, the
Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets
Regulations do not clearly state how to avoid
underpriced bids.


According to the Uganda National Association of
Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, the lack
of a clear approach to tendering and procurement of
services in the sector has resulted in several contracts
being awarded to businessmen rather than to actual
contractors without any long-term commitments to
the industry.


Often these transient firms deliver substandard work,
which damages the credibility of the whole industry,
especially for those firms that are committed to the
industry. The situation is worsened by the limited
capacity of local contractors to prepare qualifying
bids that meet requirements. This is also reflected in
their poor understanding of the conditions of contract.


5.3. Opportunities


National Construction Industry Policy – All the study
respondents from the construction sector and
the institutions (regulators and business support
organizations) considered the implementation of the
draft National Construction Industry Policy and its
package of proposals to be a great opportunity for the
construction industry. Of particular significance are
the institutional proposals in the policy, especially the
establishment of the Uganda Construction Industry
Commission, which would fill the current massive
policy and regulatory gap regarding business in the
construction industry.


The Building Control Bill and the Building Control
Regulations – The consensus among the respondents
is that enacting the Building Control Bill along with the
gazetting of the Building Control Regulations by the
Government is a timely opportunity that should not
be missed.


72 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Moreover, the Bill and Regulations have already been
subject to Cabinet scrutiny and the challenge for the
industry is sustaining the momentum to have both
instruments adopted to address the regulatory gaps
identified in the sector.


The Road Fund and the establishment of the Uganda
National Roads Authority – The present Government’s
consideration of the road sector as a priority, as
indicated by a phenomenal increase in funds to the
road sector (U Sh 1 trillion was allocated to the sector
in the 2008/09 fiscal year alone), is seen as a major
opportunity for local contractors and consultants
to expand their businesses and improve their own
business and technical skills. If sustained over time,
the injection of these large sums of money into the
sector could conveniently be used to fast-track the
introduction of both the construction levy and the
construction guarantee fund, as proposed in the draft
National Construction Industry Policy. The Uganda
Institution of Professional Engineers considers the
creation of the Uganda National Roads Authority and
of the Road Fund as having the potential for improved
continuity of work.


The Uganda National Roads Authority is expected to
adopt a professional approach to the contracting of
work, as the Road Fund will provide a predictable and
continuous flow of funds into the sector in general and
road maintenance in particular.


The draft National Construction Industry Policy
identified limited work continuity as a critical weakness
of the construction industry requiring appropriate
measures to “continuously generate work for the
contractors”. The Road Fund offers an opportunity to
meet this challenge.


The respondents were impressed by the setting up
of a task force to standardize consultant fees as a
step in the right direction to regulate the consulting
industry. Of particular interest to both the Uganda
Institution of Professional Engineers and the Uganda
Association of Consulting Engineers is the proposal
that membership of the Association should be
required for engineering consultants to tender for jobs
and take advantage of the additional proposal to have
30 per cent of the cost of all internationally tendered
consultancy work reserved for local consultants. A
comprehensive legal reform with a statutory provision
for an Association role in the regulation of consulting
engineering in general and structural design and
supervision of construction projects in particular


would make these proposals legally binding and
easier to enforce.


5.4. Threats


The focus of bid-evaluation procedures on the
least cost is viewed as a major impediment to the
development of a core of qualified and committed
consulting companies. Donor-funded projects are
considered to provide the highest potential for
substantial work. However given the scarcity of staff
with the requisite skills, the qualifications required
for local consultancy staff are often prohibitive for
the local Ugandan consultants to break into what
is a lucrative domestic segment of the engineering
consulting market.


Given the high demand for engineers in the region,
coupled with their scarcity, there is a migration of
engineers out of the country. In addition, there is a
lack of national agencies and institutions capable
of providing in-service management and technical
training for practising engineers.


The lack of a common, recommended approach to
tendering and processing construction procurements
is not only a weakness, but also a threat to Uganda’s
construction and engineering services sector. While
it is a common requirement for bidders to specify
that they have a registered engineer on the project
team, this is rarely followed through and not normally
monitored in the implementation of the works. This
has been reported to have contributed substantially to
the rise in construction site accidents and collapsed
buildings the industry has recently suffered.


As a result of this relaxed attitude to this staffing
requirement, contractors have tended not to attach the
requisite importance to having registered engineers
among their ranks, and this is reflected by the quality
of their work and the reputation of the industry both
locally and in the region.


In addition, unit rates for works are considered to
be comparatively unrealistically high possibly due to
collusion between dominant foreign contractors who
are taking advantage of both the lack of an effective
competition and anti-trust legal regime in addition to
the lack of a recommended approach to tendering
and procurement of construction and engineering
services in Uganda. The Uganda National Association
of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors reported
its concerns about an emerging tendency to award
large maintenance contracts to foreign contractors;


73PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




yet these contracts are the best affirmative opportunity
to build the capacity of the local contractors.


G. RECOMMENDATIONS


As provided for in the methodology of the National
Services Policy Review, a second national workshop
was convened on 18 and 19 November 2009 at
the Metropole Hotel in Kampala to validate the
assessment report by (a) reviewing the findings of the
National Assessment Study and (b) proposing and
adopting the final recommendations for Uganda’s
National Services Policy Review. The workshop
participants were drawn from all the key stakeholder
institutions from the public and private sector covered
in the scope of this exercise, including government
agencies, regulators, business support organizations
and associations from the accounting, insurance
and construction sectors reviewed in this National
Services Policy Review exercise. The list of participants
in this national workshop is included in this report
as annex 7.


In addition, separate arrangements were made after
the national validation workshop took place to allow
stakeholders, especially those from the legal services
sector who could not participate in the workshop, to
make further input to the recommendations of this
National Services Policy Review, The construction
sector leveraged this opportunity to widen its validation
with two consultative meetings with the Uganda
National Association of Building and Civil Engineering
Contractors and a Special Session of the National
Council of the Uganda Society of Architects on 5
December 2009 and 13 January 2010, respectively.


These recommendations were developed and adopted
by the Workshop and subjected to further consultation
and scrutiny by the meetings referred to above.


1. Accounting Services


Accounting Services Legislative Reforms


Coherence between the statutory responsibilities and
jurisdiction of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants
of Uganda – The Accountants Act should be amended
with a view to achieving coherence between the
statutory responsibilities of the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Uganda and its jurisdiction.
Once achieved, this coherence will effectively compel


all accounting practitioners in Uganda to seek
membership of the Institute and accept its control and
code of practice. This will increase professional and
ethical compliance in the country by granting a legal
mandate to the Institute’s regulatory authority over the
accounting sector in Uganda.


Amending financial reporting legislation for coherence
with the reporting requirements of the Institute of
Certified Public Accountants of Uganda – The Institute
has adopted the International Financial Reporting
Standards developed by the International Accounting
Standards Board for application in Uganda as the
country’s National Accounting Standard without
any modifications. As a result, Ugandan financial
statements and reports meet international reporting
standards and do not require adjustment, as
compared with those from other jurisdictions applying
local standards and practices. Although most
reporting entities (companies) apply the International
Financial Reporting Standards, the Companies Act
does not require submission of financial statements
complying with those standards. The Companies
Act, Insurance Act (Cap. 213), Uganda Securities
Exchange Listing Rules (2003), the Public Finance
and Accountability Act (2003), the Value-Added Tax
Act (Cap. 349), the Income Tax Act (Cap. 340) and
other related legislation with elements of financial
reporting should be amended for consistency with
the Institute’s reporting requirements to give full legal
effect to Uganda’s financial reporting standards.


Mutual recognition – Uganda should utilize the
agreed five-year transitional period for progressive
implementation of its liberalization commitments on
trade in services to conclude a mutual recognition
agreement with the competent authorities on
accounting and auditing among EAC Partner States.
Whereas the Institute of Certified Public Accountants
of Uganda automatically recognizes members
of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
Kenya and the National Board of Accountants and
Auditors of the United Republic of Tanzania, these
bodies do not accord similar treatment to Uganda’s
members. The Fifth Schedule of the Accountants
Act should be amended to include the accountancy
institutes of Rwanda and Burundi; this will address
the compliance issues raised against the Institute of
Certified Public Accountants of Uganda in the EAC
Common Market negotiations.


The Institute currently carries out audit monitoring
and quality assurance on behalf of its members to


74 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




meet the requirements of the International Federation
of Accountants. Kenya and the United Republic of
Tanzania each have their own quality assurance
schemes. To fully achieve the free movement of
accounting services, the competent accounting
authorities among the EAC Partner States should
work towards common regulatory and compliance
programmes, including audit monitoring and quality
assurance reviews across the whole region.


Government sponsorship of accounting students in public
practice – The reduction in government sponsorship
of accountants in public practice is likely to affect the
full implementation of the International Public Sector
Accounting Standards and the sustainability of the
Public Sector Accounting Reforms currently being
implemented because of the inadequate supply of
qualified accountants with the appropriate skills. The
Accounting Technicians Course was designed to
provide a fast-track foundation for graduates of the
course to progress to full professional qualification.


The Government needs to maintain sponsorship
of its staff to gain full professional qualification in
order to sustain the public financial management
improvements that have been achieved so far and
keep the Public Sector Accounting Reforms on track.


Apprenticeship and work experience – In order for
accounting and auditing graduates to acquire the
professional qualifications they will need in the
workplace, they should be given the opportunity to
gain practical work experience through internship
and apprenticeship programmes. Employers
should receive government incentives in the form
of subsidies, levies and tax legislation to introduce
those programmes.


2. Insurance Services


Statutory Insurance Lines


Motor third-party liability insurance – A comprehensive
overhaul of the legislation relating to motor third-party
liability insurance should be carried out with a view to
increasing its enforcement and making the penalties
more attuned to the current times. This review
process should be informed by the growing number
of motor vehicles on the road since the enactment of
the legislation and the lessons learned by both the
regulator and the industry since 1992.


Workers’ compensation regulations – Since the
enactment of the Workers’ Compensation Act, the


regulations to enable its enforcement have never been
developed, hence its lack of effective enforcement.
These enabling regulations should be developed and
passed to allow for its enforcement. The process of
drawing up the regulations should be informed by
the lessons learned from the enforcement of other
worker-related legislations, such as the National
Social Security Act. In addition, the developments and
dynamics of the sector over the last 15 years since the
legislation was passed should be taken into account.
This may require amending the Act if the enforcement
of the regulations is to be effective.


Policyholders’ compensation fund – The industry should
utilize the five-year transitional period for progressive
implementation of Uganda’s EAC Common
Market commitments in insurance to work towards
standardizing the prudential and capital requirements,
including the policyholders’ compensation fund,
with the other EAC Partner States. In achieving
common EAC insurance prudential and capital
requirements, the industry should specifically aim at
improving and increasing the amount of the existing
compensation fund.


Training - the Insurance Institute of Uganda – There is an
immediate need for specific measures to address the
dire professional and technical capacity constraints of
the insurance sector (the insurance industry and the
Insurance Commission).


These measures should comprise a consolidation of
the industry’s training activities and their transferral to
the Insurance Institute of Uganda.


Insurance training levy – A mandatory insurance
training levy should be introduced and charged as
part of all premiums written by the industry ceded
directly to and managed by the Insurance Institute
of Uganda to make training sustainable in the long
term. The training levy will make these measures
sustainable and the Institute viable.


Dedicated training fund – The Uganda Insurers
Association should consider establishing a special
training fund as an interim measure in the medium
term to bridge the funding gap before the above-
mentioned training levy is introduced and fully
established.


The insurance industry should leverage the wider
and deeper penetration of other services sectors
in general, and the service providers in particular,
with a deeper and wider reach in the countryside to


75PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




autonomy and self-accounting. A self-accounting
Law Council will have an opportunity to have its own
budget and a separate vote from the consolidated
fund. This will allow the Council the flexibility of
seeking alternative sources of funds and assistance
that it cannot currently utilize to mitigate the chronic
funding gaps it has constantly suffered in the past.


Separating the disciplinary function from the regulatory
and standard-setting mandates – Reforming the Law
Council should include an overhaul of its mandate with
a view to increasing its effectiveness. The regulatory
role of the Law Council should be limited to standard-
setting and enforcement.


The disciplinary role of enforcing the ethical and
professional code of practice for all legal practitioners
should be delineated from the Law Council and vested
with the Uganda Law Society, as is the practice in other
Common Law jurisdictions, where it is the responsibility
of the Bar Association. Since membership of the
Uganda Law Society is a legal requirement for all legal
practitioners, and the Society is the de facto custodian
of this code, it is the best-placed institution to enforce
the code among its members.


A common ethical and professional code of practice
– The standing orders of the civil service should be
brought into line with the lawyers’ professional code
because lawyers practising in the civil service are
subject to a lower disciplinary standard than that of
their colleagues in private practice. Therefore, it is
recommended that all legal practitioners, irrespective
of their field of practice in the public or private sector,
should be governed by the same professional and
ethical code enforced by the Uganda Law Society to
ensure that all legal services providers owe the public
the same degree of care and service.


Review of the Advocates and Society Acts – The
ongoing review of the Advocates and Society Acts
presents the earliest opportunity to implement the
recommendations made above.


A standard basic legal education curriculum – Without
compromising the independence of the governing
bodies of the universities and other institutions
providing basic legal training, the Law Council, in
exercising its standard-setting mandate, should
develop a common training menu taking into account
all market dynamics and emerging trends. This
measure is aimed at updating the traditional basic
legal training, increasing the utilization of information
technology in legal training and practice, and adapting


address the dominant perception of insurance as an
urban service, which underpins the so-called trade-
in-services divide between the urban and rural areas.
This demands immediate attention. The prospects
for microinsurance to piggyback-ride on the success
of the microfinance industry and the mobile phone
companies in penetrating the rural areas in Uganda
were earmarked for special attention.


Integrating insurance into the education curriculum
– There is a need to mainstream insurance into the
education curriculum. This will introduce the industry
to the next generation of its clientele and supplement
the industry’s efforts to increase awareness of
the insurance sector in addition to laying a strong
foundation for the industry’s efforts to mitigate its
human resource constraints.


National Health Insurance Plan – The proposed
mandatory National Health Insurance Plan should
be designed for long-term sustainability and aim at
providing medical insurance cover to the majority
of the Ugandan population, largely in the informal
sector. Current proposals are targeting people in
formal employment, most of whom have some
type of medical coverage. The Plan should aim at
improving medical insurance coverage with an inbuilt
opt-out option for those who are members of
approved existing medical programmes. To the extent
possible, the Plan should complement, not displace,
existing schemes.


When finally adopted, the Plan should be implemented
on a public-private partnership basis with the
Government’s role limited to its regulation, and the
actual running of the Plan left to the insurance industry.


Risk management – A body should be set up to advise
the Government and other relevant authorities on
appropriate risk management policies.


Alternative risk-transfer mechanisms such as
catastrophic bonds (“cat bonds”) and derivatives
should be introduced by the capital market authority as
a proactive effort towards alternative risk management.


Professional liability – It should be mandatory for
professional bodies and associations to require their
members to cover themselves and their professions
through liability insurance.


3. Legal Services
Reforming the Law Council – The Law Council should be
reformed with a view to developing its independence,


76 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




legal training and practice to the emerging legal issues
of the digital age: electronic evidence, identity fraud
and climate change issues such as carbon trading,
petroleum, energy and environmental law.


4. Construction and Engineering
Services


Adoption and Implementation of the National
Construction Industry Policy


The draft National Construction Industry Policy,
whose current version was issued in 2005, should
be updated and adopted for implementation. The
policy has a package of proposals, which when
implemented, will address a large number of policy,
regulatory, institutional and capacity gaps highlighted
in this report.


Uganda Construction Industry Commission – Among
the institutional regulatory proposals made in the
draft National Construction Industry Policy is the
establishment of the Uganda Construction Industry
Commission as Uganda’s competent authority on
construction. The Commission should be established
with a clear mandate over the construction industry
with specific provisions for the Commission to work in
partnership with statutory bodies in the industry.


As set out in the draft National Construction Industry
Policy, statutory recognition should be granted to the
Uganda National Association of Building and Civil
Engineering Contractors and the Uganda Association
of Consulting Engineers. While the Government
appreciates and recognizes their roles, they have
no legal status. If they are to fulfil their proposed
mandate effectively, statutory status for each of these
institutions is essential. Such recognition will make it
easier for the Government to provide the mandatory
subsidies, financial provisions and support referred to
in this report.


Fast-tracking the construction guarantee fund – There is a
need to expedite the formulation of an implementation
framework for the construction guarantee fund to
be managed by the Uganda Construction Industry
Commission, once it is established. The lack of such a
mechanism has made it impossible for the Road Fund
to disburse funds it has put aside for this purpose
under its research and training provisions. These
allocations would conveniently kick-start the operation
of the fund.


Establishing a State construction company – It was
recommended that the Government reconsider its
plans to set up a State construction company on
the grounds that such a development is inconsistent
with the existing government policy emphasizing
a private-sector-driven economy that limits the
Government’s role to regulation. In addition, the
establishment of such a company would contradict
the Government’s strategic objective enshrined in the
draft National Construction Industry Policy to have 90
per cent of all services in the construction industry
by June 2014 provided by the private sector. The
draft Policy specifically provides that “Government
shall decrease involvement of the public sector in
actual service delivery and effectively disengage
from implementation of physical infrastructure
construction”. 97 On the contrary, the draft Policy
further states that “Government shall ensure that
local contractors and consultants access equipment,
credit and work”. 98


Partnerships – The Uganda National Association of
Building and Civil Engineering Contractors reported
that the bulk of the construction business in the
country is undertaken by very few foreign-owned firms.
These firms, which barely make up 2 per cent of all the
players in the sector, currently carry out 85 per cent of
the civil works in Uganda each year. This leaves 98 per
cent of the industry striving for a marginal 15 per cent
of the remaining share.


Mandatory subcontracting – amending the Public
Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act – To mitigate
this unfortunate scenario, it is recommended that the
Government adopt a mandatory subcontracting policy
to enable the local construction firms to participate in
the country’s lucrative construction market.


As part of this initiative, joint ventures between local
and foreign firms and among local firms should be
given a margin of preference over foreign contractors
in the tendering process. This will lead to a genuine
transfer of technology (expertise, experience and
equipment) and increase the real market share of the
domestic players in the construction industry.


Pilot projects – To take advantage of the proposed
mandatory subcontracting, it is necessary to
undertake aggressive capacity-building for the infant
local construction industry dominated by SMEs
and start-up contractors. Pilot projects should be
specifically provided for as a portion of major civil
works and other construction-related contracts


77PART II: NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA: INSURANCE, LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, & CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING SERVICES




and reserved for pre-qualified SMEs and start-ups.
This commitment should be negotiated from the
outset as part of the financing arrangements for
construction works. Pilot projects will spur the
growth of the infant local construction industry and
eventually turn it into a viable base for joint ventures
and other partnership opportunities.


Giving legal effect to these proposals requires
an amendment to the Public Procurement and
Disposal of Public Assets Authority Act, especially
given that Government is the biggest consumer of
these civil works.


Training – This assessment has revealed a fundamental
capacity gap at all levels of the construction industry.
The gap is at its worst at the lowest end of the industry,
as explained by the lack of a machine operators institute
in the country. The Uganda National Association of
Building and Civil Engineering Contractors is in the
process of establishing a training institute to address
this shortage.


Supporting the Construction Training Institute – It is
recommended that in the short term, the Institute
should receive government support, including
financial and technical assistance. In the long term,
the Institute should be granted a specific allocation
from the training levy provided for in the draft National
Construction Industry Policy.


Regional vocational centres – The Government should
establish regional vocational centres tailored to meet
the construction industry’s special needs. These
centres should be developed and run in partnership
with the industry to avoid a repeat of the recent
developments in which, without any regard to industry
wishes, the Government turned all public vocational
training institutes into universities, exacerbating the
capacity crisis the industry is presently facing.


Architectural technicians – The existing regulatory
framework for architectural practice as established by
the 1996 Architects Registration Act, Cap. 269, has no
provision for architectural technicians.


As a result, a significant number of people are offering
unregulated architectural services, since the legal
mandate is limited to architects. The Architects’
Registration Act, Cap. 269, should be amended with
new provisions to regulate architectural technicians
with input from the Architects Registration Board.


Enacting the Building Control Bill – The need for a
legislative review in the sector is long overdue and
is considered by both the stakeholders and the
Government to be a top priority.


Approval and gazetting of the Building Control Regulations
– The Building Control Bill intends to establish a
more effective regulatory regime in Uganda’s
construction sector; Part VII, clause 53, of the Bill
specifically provides for regulations to give the Act
regulatory effect.


Single-envelope quality-based bidding system – The
Uganda Society of Architects has recommended the
adoption of a single-envelope quality-based bidding
system for tendering for consultancy services in
the construction services sector, as opposed to the
current quality and cost-based bidding system. Such
a system could be based on the same principles
as the recently passed Statutory Instrument on the
Conditions of Engagement and Scale of Fees for
Architectural Services of 2009. This legislation is
premised on a standard scale of fees for procuring
architectural services for all categories of building
works. The system attempts to mitigate the shortfalls
of the quality and cost-based bidding system,
which puts a high premium on low prices and has
encouraged firms to undercut the competition when
bidding for consultancy contracts, including for
architectural services. The recommendation seeks to
ensure full implementation of the Statutory Instrument
on the Conditions of Engagement and Scale of
Fees for Architectural Services by all players in the
construction sector, including the World Bank and
other large financiers of the sector whose procurement
guidelines fail to meet requirements of the Instrument.


78 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




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East African Community (2008). Liberalization of Services in Uganda: Priority Sectors and Uganda’s Readiness.


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Publishing. London.


Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (2008). The Uganda Accountants Newsletter, 14: 2, December.


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Mangeni F (2008). CARIFORUM EPA and Beyond: Recommendations for Negotiations on Services and Trade-
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Trade Policy and Investment Promotion. GTZ GmbH. Eschborn, Germany. Available at http://www.gtz.de.


Mangeni F (2008). Liberalization of Services in Uganda: Priority Sectors and the Readiness of Uganda. Prepared
on behalf of the RTFP for the EAC Secretariat as part of the Series, Services Negotiations in the EAC Common
Market, the EPA and the WTO.


Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development (2008). Background to the Budget, 2008/09 Fiscal
Year.


Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry (2008). National Trade Policy – Trading Out of Poverty into Wealth and
Prosperity. August.


Ministry of Works and Transport (2008). National Construction Industry Policy – Draft.


Ruuskanen O. P., Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Insurers Association, Presentation on Uganda insurance
services sector made at First UNCTAD-Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry Uganda National Stakeholder
Workshop on Services, Kamapala, September 2008.


Tumuhaise D (2008). Statutory Insurance in Uganda and Its Enforcement Problems. Uganda Insurers Association
Annual Report.


United Nations Development Programme (2007). Human Development Report.


United Nations Development Programme (2007). Millennium Development Goals – Uganda’s Progress Report.


Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2008). National Statistical Abstract of Uganda.


Uganda Insurers Association (2008). Annual Report.


Uganda Law Society (2008). Uganda Law Society Annual Report.


Uganda Law Society (2008). Legal Aid Project of the Uganda Law Society, Annual Report.


Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (1996). The Architects Registration Act 1996, Cap. 269 of the Laws
of Uganda.


Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (1977). The Engineers Registration Act, Cap. 271 of the Laws of
Uganda, 1969, (amended 1977).


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Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (1977). The Advocates Act, Cap. 267 of the Laws of Uganda, 1977.


Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (1992). The Accountants Act, Cap. 266 of the Laws of Uganda,
1992.


Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (2007). The Accountants Bill Final Draft, 25 April.


Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (2009). The Architects Registration (Conditions of Engagement and
Scale of Fees) Bye-Laws, 2009.


UNCTAD (2008). UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2008. United Nations Publication. Sales No. E/F.08.II.D.18.
New York and Geneva.


UNCTAD (2008). UNCTAD Note, Strategies for advancing development of the services sectors of Uganda.


UNCTAD (2005). Issues note and Report of the expert meeting on the trade and development aspects of
professional services and regulatory frameworks. TD/B/COM.1/EM.25/2, TD/B/COM.1/EM.25/3.


UNCTAD (2005). Issues note and Report of the expert meeting on the trade, development and regulatory
implications of insurance services. UNCTAD/DITC/TNCD/2005/17 , UNCTAD/DITC/TNCD/2006/1


Walusimbi-Mpanga G and Crosby D C (2006). Services Capacity Report. Project Number INT/72/04. International
Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO and United States Agency for International Development. Geneva.


World Bank Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008


Zutshi B K and Self R (2002). Temporary Entry of Natural Persons as Service Providers: Issues and Challenges
in Further Liberalization under the Current GATS Negotiations. Joint WTO-World Bank Symposium, Working
Paper. Geneva. 11–12 April.


I


80 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




ANNEXES AND NOTES




A. Recommendations
Accounting services sector: The need for reforming
legislation that grants a legal mandate to the Institute
of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda was
highlighted as a means of increasing professional
and ethical compliance. Coherence should be
achieved in financial reporting legislation and the
Institute’s reporting requirements, which are based
on key international standards. If necessary, financial
reporting legislation may need to be amended to
ensure coherence. To develop human capacity in
the sector, there is a need to equip accounting and
auditing graduates with the requisite professional
accounting skills, not just qualifications. There is
also a need to obtain government support in the
form of subsidies, levies and tax legislation, which
would enable employers to introduce internship and
apprenticeship programmes.


Insurance services sector: Plans to adopt a mandatory
national health insurance plan requiring workers in
formal employment to make compulsory contributions
to insurance plans in exchange for health-care benefits
from gazetted heath centres should be implemented
in a sustainable manner so as to ensure coverage
of the majority of the Ugandan population, largely in
the informal sector. While industry is excited about
new opportunities, it is also apprehensive about the
possibility of establishing a governmental parastatal
institution that could displace existing players to
manage the plan.


A number of companies often fail to comply with the
minimum eligible requirements during the course of
their business operations. The law does not allow the
Commission to take over these distressed providers
with a view to either winding them up or turning
them around; however, it allows it to withdraw their
operating licence. The inadequate provisions of the
law regarding the takeover of distressed companies
should be addressed. Commercial services whose
nature of contracting and operation exhibit the
characteristics of insurance services, such as health
services, management programmes and funeral
services plans, need to be brought within the scope of
the current insurance regulatory framework.


The insurance industry should utilize the five-year
transitional period for progressive implementation
of Uganda’s EAC Common Market Commitments
in insurance to (a) harmonize prudential and


Annex 1. Report on the Meeting on National Services Policy Reviews, Geneva, 16 March 2010


H.E. Ambassador Kiwanuka of Uganda expressed
his appreciation to UNCTAD for its financial and
technical inputs in the Uganda National Services
Policy Review process. The process has been
of great value to policymakers in Uganda, as it
has focused discussion on the selected services
subsectors, enabled sharing of information at
the national level, created awareness of regional
developments, including the process of the East
African Community and the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa, the General Agreement
on Trade in Services, stakeholder roles and how
government can stimulate economic activities in
the services sector. There is a need to consider
additional key services sectors for the Ugandan
economy, in particular, energy, distribution, tourism,
ICT, inland waterways, railways works and airways.
UNCTAD has helped develop and shape an overall
master plan for the services sector in Uganda.
United Nations programmes, UNCTAD and WTO
should gear their efforts towards the LDC fight
against poverty through initiatives such as the
current one which would prepare LDCs and develop
their capacity for trade.


Presentations were made by Mr. Cyprian Batala,
Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of Tourism, Trade
and Industry; Mr. Laurean Bategana, NSPR focal
point and Senior Trade Advisor, Ministry of Tourism,
Trade and Industry; and Mr. George Walusimbi-
Mpanga, National Expert and Executive Secretary,
Uganda Services Exporters Association. Mr.
Walusimbi-Mpanga and Dr. Francis Mangeni were
the national consultants responsible for the Uganda
sectoral studies on the accounting, insurance, legal
and construction services sectors. Following the
NSPR methodology, a second National Workshop
was convened in Kampala, Uganda, on 18 and
19 November 2009 to validate the assessment
report by (a) reviewing findings from the national
assessment study and (b) proposing and adopting
final recommendations for the Uganda NSPR. Mr.
Walusimbi-Mpanga presented the findings and
recommendations made by national stakeholders in
the sectors concerned. Mr. Batala and Mr. Bategana
outlined the role of Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism,
Trade and Industry in the NSPR process and the


Government’s proposed actions.


82 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




capital requirements including the policyholders’
compensation fund with the other EAC Partner states
and (b) conclude a mutual recognition agreement with
the competent authorities on accounting among the
EAC Partner States and on common regulatory and
compliance programmes, including audit monitoring
and quality assurance reviews, across the Region.


Legislation regarding motor third-party liability
insurance should be comprehensively overhauled
with a view to increasing its enforcement and taking
into account changes the sector has undergone. This
review process should be informed by the increase
in cost, the number of automobiles on the road and
penalties since the enactment of the legislation and
the lessons learned by both the regulator and the
industry since 1992.


Legal services: The reform of the Law Council was
stressed as an important step towards strengthening
its independence, autonomy and accountability. There
is consensus that the Law Council would be more
effective if its mandate were restricted to regulation,
standard-setting and enforcement, as is the common
practice in other common-law jurisdictions. The
traditional basic legal training programme (LLB)
should be updated.


Construction services: There is a need to expedite
the establishment of the construction guarantee
fund managed by the Uganda Construction Industry
Commission in order to assist contractors and
consultants obtain bids, securities, performance
bonds and advance payment guarantees.


The need for a legislative review in the sector is long
overdue and has been identified as a top priority
by both the stakeholders and the Government. The
Building Control Bill drawn up in 2001 and reviewed
by the Cabinet in June 2009 proposes to consolidate,
harmonize, and amend legislation relating to the
erection of buildings and to establish building
standards. A direct outcome of the NSPR process
is the early harvest of the approval and gazetting of
Building Control Regulations. The Building Control Bill
intends to establish a more effective regulatory regime
in Uganda’s construction sector.


The Government should reconsider its plans to
set up a State construction company, since such a
development contradicts the existing government
policy that emphasizes a private-sector driven
economy and limits the Government’s role to
regulation. The existing regulatory framework for


architectural practice as established by the Architects
Registration Act of 1996 has no provision for
architectural technicians, leaving a significant number
of people offering unregulated architectural services,
since the legal mandate is limited to architects. The
Architects Registration Act should be amended with
new provisions to regulate architectural technicians
with the input of the Architects Registration Board.


B. Action Plan
The Government considers that the great potential of
the services sector should be harnessed to increase
private investment, build supply and competitive
capacity to compete in international markets.
While Uganda can develop export opportunities in
the services sector globally, there are immediate
opportunities in the region. Planning institutional
responses and sequencing liberalization commitments
in line with regulatory and institutional objectives is
key. Coordination of inter-institutional processes –
the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry is taking
the lead in coordinating trade-related aspects of the
services sector to put in place policies, laws and
regulations, and promote necessary reforms.


Negotiating increased market access presupposes
the existence of products to supply; it is necessary
to address supply-side constraints and build
competitive capacity at all levels. Standards must
be developed through appropriate institutional and
regulatory frameworks. The demand-and-supply
conditions for services and service suppliers must
be ascertained in order to ensure export readiness.
Remedial measures aimed at tackling regulatory and
institutional challenges and supply-side constraints
should be identified.


In order to build services exports, it is necessary to
develop a matrix of exportable services products
and an inventory of priority export countries. Further,
market barriers should be removed and sectors
where progressive improvements can be achieved
should be identified. There is a need to pinpoint
the interests at stake, focussing on the businesses
that are involved in trade, their competitiveness
and necessary complementary reforms. Interlinking
the services sector with other economic sectors
is critical. Against this background, it is important
to project the possible impact of any additional
commitments and current commitments in terms of
their potential impact.


83PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES




As far as bilateral and regional trade negotiations
are concerned, services negotiations should lead to
increased services trade in the region and regional
programmes should build on sectoral, institutional
and regulatory capacities in order to achieve a win-win
situation for all participants. Uganda should utilize the
EPA umbrella negotiations to provide sufficient levels of
technical and financial assistance. Moreover, it should
focus on capacity-building measures to strengthen
and modernize its institutional and regulatory
framework with respect to services supply and trade.
Development assistance, including financial facilities,
education and training, qualification recognition
and regulatory reform assistance, is regarded as
being integrally related to services liberalization
commitments. In the absence of the assistance
that is necessary to translate potential EPA services
commitments into poverty alleviation, liberalization by
the European Commission is inadequate.


At the national level, there is a need to reform existing
policies, administrative requirements, and regulatory,
legislative, and institutional frameworks of the services
sectors. Laws and regulations need to be updated and
modernized. Regulatory bodies must be improved
and strengthened so as to be able to fully implement
and enforce respective laws and regulations.
Lastly, national institutional arrangements suffer
from a capacity problem to monitor and coordinate
services sector activities and policy issues, and to
ensure compliance of services-related policies with
international commitments.


In conclusion, the NSPR results have clearly shown
that Uganda has the following needs: a development-
oriented outcome for which retaining development
flexibilities is important; secure retention of regulatory


prerogatives and autonomy; protection of policy
space; and binding commitments for technical
assistance and support for capacity-building in
services. In addition, there is a need to mainstream
technical assistance to develop export and regulatory
capacity. Uganda has to be equipped to develop its
own home-grown solutions while remaining aware of
its unique situation. It should not blindly follow other
countries’ models or adopt off-the-shelf generic
solutions developed elsewhere.


C. Questions Raised
The delegations of Rwanda, the United Republic of
Tanzania and Kenya expressed interest in undertaking
an NSPR process of their own. Rwanda asked how to
ensure implementation of the process, especially in
terms of financial support. A question asked on how
to reconcile common-law and civil-law jurisdictions,
both of which form part of the regional processes in
Africa.


The Kenyan delegation spoke of the regional EAC
process and its development; it raised the issue as
to how negotiations could be best sequenced at
the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. The
delegation of the United Republic of Tanzania asked to
what extent the NSPR process of Uganda contributed
to the its EAC negotiating position.


In response, it was pointed out that the NSPR process
had greatly assisted the EAC and other negotiations
processes by bringing together stakeholders and
ensuring that informed decisions and negotiating
positions could be achieved. Implementation was key,
much of which depended on financial assistance from
donors as well as technical inputs from UNCTAD.


84 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Annex 2. Interview Guide


1. The role and performance of the selected service sector in the national economy: Please examine the trends of
trade, investment, employment, the contribution of the sector to the national development such as economic
diversification over the last 8–10 years.


2. Contribution to Uganda’s GDP: Review the sector’s contribution to Uganda’s GDP over the last 8–10 years.
(Please indicate your authorities for ease of authentication and future reference.)


3. Supply capacity: Review the sector’s efforts in building the supply capacity to meet both domestic and foreign
market demands for services in the sector.


4. Millennium Development Goals


(a) Evaluate the extent to which the national Millennium Development Goals are being advanced through
economic activity in your sector;


(b) Suggest policy recommendations that may improve the performance of the sector in achieving the
Millennium Development Goals to which you have made reference in (a) above.


5. Regulation, institutions and policy measures: Identify to the extent possible the regulations, institutions and
policy measures affecting your sector.


How have the regulations, measures and institutions affected the competitive environment in the sector?


How effective have these regulations, measures and institutions been? Make recommendations on how to
improve the performance of the regulations, measures and institutions with a view to achieving the Millennium
Development Goals referred to 4 above and other national economic development objectives.


6. Trade liberalization: Describe trade liberalization in the sector, including an account of trade liberalization
measures (both undertaken and anticipated) in relation to regional and bilateral agreements (including at the
EAC and Economic Partnership Agreements currently being negotiated between the EAC and the European
Union). This section should also provide an evaluation of export opportunities and potentials to the sector
presented by these emerging EAC, EPAs and bilateral developments.


7. A SWOT (strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats) analysis of the sector.


85PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES




Annex 3. Key Respondents


Accounting services


Mr. Gerard Mbalire-Kasanya
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda


Mr. John Bosco Ntangaare
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda


Mr. Naru A. Thakkar
Vice-President and Chairman
Education Committee, Institute of Certified Public
Accountants of Uganda, A.H. THAKKAR and Sons


Mr. Mark Omona
Technical Officer
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda


Ms. Irene Kunihira
Business Relationship Manager
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants – Uganda


Ms. Lucille Isingoma
Country Manager
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants – Uganda


Insurance services


Ms. Evelyn Nkalubo
Commissioner
Uganda Insurance Commission


Mr. George Okotha
Deputy Commissioner
Uganda Insurance Commission


Mr. Bernard Obel
Assistant Commissioner


Ms. Rachel Kabala
Senior Legal Officer
Uganda Insurance Commission


Dr. Olli-Pekka Ruuskanen
CEO
Uganda Insurers Association


Mr. David Tumuhaise
Technical Manager
Uganda Insurers Association


Legal services


Ms. Helen Obura
Secretary
Uganda Law Council


Ms. Stella Nyandria State
Attorney
Uganda Law Council


Mr. Tito Byenkya
Executive Director
Uganda Law Society


Construction services


Eng. Anania Mbabazi
President
Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers


Eng. Julius Musimenta President Uganda Association of
Consulting Engineers


Mr. Pius Mugerwa
Secretary General
Uganda National Association of Building and Civil Engineering
Contractors


Ms. Flora Ahaisibwe Runumi
Association of Professional Societies of East Africa
Calderia Architects


Ms. Harriet Nakisanja
Ag. Registrar
Architects Registration Board


Ms. Julliet Kasaija
Administrator
Uganda Society of Architects


86 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




87PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES


Annex 4. National Services Policy Review - National Workshops and Participants / Agenda, First UNCTAD-Ministry of
Tourism, Trade and Industry Uganda National Stakeholder Workshop on Services
Kampala, Uganda, 8–12 September 2008


Day 1


Time Session


10.00 – 10.30 Opening session
Opening remarks
• H. E. Ambassador Arsene Balihuta, Uganda Mission
• Mr. Silver Ojakol, Commissioner of Trade, Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry, Government of


Uganda Mr. Robert Hamwey, UNCTAD
10.30 – 11.15 Session I – National Services Policy Review for Uganda


Chair: Mr. Cyprian Batala – Assistant Commissioner – External Trade
• Mr. Laurean Bategana, Senior Commercial Officer, Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry
• Mr. Robert Hamwey, UNCTAD
UNCTAD will introduce its National Services Policy Reviews Country Projects. Uganda’s NSPR
Project will produce a country report, including an overall assessment of Uganda’s services sector
with a specific focus on the construction and engineering services, professional services and
insurance services sectors. (15 minutes)
The Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry will discuss the relevance of the project within the
context of national development objectives and ongoing regional and multilateral trade negotiations.
An overview of previous studies and other ongoing work will be provided. (15 minutes)
The aim of the session is to provide an understanding of the project’s scope, purpose and intended
outcome, and open the floor for discussion or suggestions on approach and methodology.
Interactive discussion encouraging comments and views of stakeholders.


11.15 – 13.00 Session II – Uganda’s Services Economy: Prospects and Challenges
Based on economic and market analysis, and taking into account national development objectives,
this session will present its preliminary appreciation of issues and options for Uganda’s services
sector based on a draft UNCTAD study distributed to participants in advance of the meeting. (20
minutes)
Chair: Mr. Cyprian Batala – Assistant Commissioner – External Trade


H. E. Ambassador Arsene Balihuta, Uganda Mission, Linkages between the International
Negotiations and Uganda’s National Services Regime


• Mr. Robert Hamwey, UNCTAD and Ms. Deepali Fernandes, UNCTAD
• Mr. George Walusimbi-Mpanga, Executive Secretary of the Uganda Services Exporters


Association
• Mrs. Florence Kata, Executive Director, Uganda Export Promotion Board
The working session will:
(a) Identify overall challenges and opportunities for Uganda’s services sector;
(b) Make related suggestions for Uganda’s NSPR Project.
Interactive discussion encouraging comments and views of stakeholders


13.00 – 15.00 Break for lunch




(Annex 4. Continued)


15.00 –16.30 Session III – Construction and Engineering Services
UNCTAD will provide an overview of the economic, development and regulatory issues for the
construction and engineering services sector, including how progress can be made to build supply
capacity. (20 minutes)


Moderator: Mr. George Walusimbi-Mbanga
• Eng. Paul Mwirumbi, Engineers Association
• Mr. Robert Hamwey, UNCTAD
• Ministry of Works


The working session will:
(a) Identify specific challenges and opportunities for construction and engineering services sector;
(b) Make related suggestions for Uganda’s NSPR Project.


16.30 –18.00 Session IV – Professional Services
UNCTAD will provide an overview of the economic, development and regulatory issues for the
construction and engineering services sector, including how progress can be made to build supply
capacity. (20 minutes)


Moderator: Mr. George Walusimbi
• Ms. Deepali Fernandes, UNCTAD
• Dr. Francis Mangeni, COMESA Secretariat
• Mr. Laurean Bategana


The working session will:
(a) Identify specific challenges and opportunities for the professional services sector;
(b) Make related suggestions for Uganda’s NSPR Project.


88 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




89PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES


(Annex 4. Continued)


Day 2


Time Session


10.00 – 11.30 Session V – Insurance Services
This session will provide an overview of the economic, development and regulatory issues of the
financial services sector focussing specifically on the insurance services sector. This will include
suggestions as to how progress can be made to build supply side capacity.


Moderator: Mr. Cyprian Batala


• Ms. Deepali Fernandes, UNCTAD


Chair, Uganda Insurance Commission


• Mr. Solomon Rubondo - Uganda Insurers Association


The working session will:


(a) Identify specific challenges and opportunities for the insurance services sector;


(b) Make related suggestions for Uganda’s NSPR Project.


11.30 –13.00 Session VI – Regulations and Institutions
This session will provide an overview of the findings of UNCTAD expert meetings on regulatory and
institutional issues for the service sector, including in terms of best practices, lessons and sector-
specific issues. The Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry will give a presentation on issues of
concern and areas of possible inter-institutional cooperation, especially in the context of achieving
coherence in policy, regulation, trade negotiations and enhancing intersectoral linkages.


Chair: Mr. Cyprian Batala


• Ms. Deepali Fernandes, UNCTAD


• Mr. Laurean Bategana, Senior Commercial Officer, Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


• Dr. Francis Mangeni, COMESA Secretariat


Interactive discussions, comments and views of stakeholders


13.00 – 15.00 Break for lunch


15.00 – 16.30 Session VII – Building Supply Side Capacity and Export Potential
This session will focus on how supply capacity and export potential can be built in the context of
Uganda’s services sector.


Moderator: George Walusimbi-Mpanga, Executive Secretary of the Uganda Services Exporters
Association


• Mr. Laurean Bategana, Senior Commercial Officer, Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry, on
policy challenges in building supply-side capacity and export potential


• Mr. Robert Hamwey, UNCTAD


Interactive discussions, comments and views of stakeholders




90 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA


(Annex 4. Continued)


16.30 – 18.00 Session VIII – Considerations of Modes 1, 2, 3 and 4: Uganda’s Experience
Mr. Elly Kamahungye, Uganda Geneva Mission
Dr. Francis Mangeni, COMESA Secretariat
Chair: H. E. Ambassador Arsene Balihuta, Uganda Mission to the United Nations
Comments: UNCTAD


Interactive discussions, comments and views of stakeholders


Day 3


Time Session


10.00 – 12.30 Session IX – Considerations of WTO, Bilaterals and Regional, Uganda’s Experience
Chair: H. E. Ambassador Arsene Balihuta, Uganda Mission


Mr. Elly Kamahungye, Uganda Geneva Mission


• Dr. Francis Mangeni


Comments: UNCTAD


Interactive discussions, comments and views of stakeholders


12.30 –13.00 Session X – Next Steps for the Uganda’s NSPR Project
UNCTAD will discuss the way forward in terms of timelines and peer review, outlining a date for the
second national stakeholder workshop


Chair: Mr. Cyprian Batala


• Mr. Robert Hamwey, UNCTAD


• Mr. Laurean Bategana, Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


Interactive discussions, comments and views of stakeholders


13.00 Workshop adjournment
Closing remarks by a representative of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry




# Name Organization


1 Mr. Patrick Okilangole Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


2 Dr. Francis Mangeni Integration Africa


3 Mr. G. Mbalire Kasanya Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda


4 Ms. Elizabeth Tamale Ministry of Tourism ,Trade and Industry


5 Mr. F. X. Mubuuke Uganda National Association of Builders and Construction Engineers


6 Mr. Kavulu Musa Uganda Network of Businesses


7 Mr. Medi Kawuma Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council


8 Mr. Olli-Pekka Ruuskanen Uganda Insurers Association


9 Ms. Jane Nalunga SEATINI (U)


10 Mr. Patrick Gitta Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development


11 Mr. Aloysius O. Mugalu Cayman Consults Ltd.


12 Mr. Shadraque M. Wasike Ministry of Foreign Affairs


13 Mr. Aggrey Dhamuzungu Ministry of Foreign Affairs


14 Ms. Grace Babihuga Uganda Law Society


15 Mr. Peter Kikuyo Ministry of Works and Transport, Entebbe


16 Mr. Ongemat Uganda Network of Businesses


17 Eng. Julius Musiimenta Uganda Allied Construction Engineers


18 Eng. Dr. Anania Mbabazi Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers


19 Ms. Anne Teddy Awori Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


20 Mr. Huzaifa Mutazindwa Directorate of Education Standards, Ministry of Education


21 Mr. Daniel Okello Faculty of Economics and Management, Makerere University


22 Mr. Cyprian Batala Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


23 Mr. Laurean Bategana Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


24 H.E. Ambassador Arsene Balihuta Uganda Mission, Geneva


25 Mr. Elly Kamahungye Uganda Mission, Geneva


26 Mr. Kiyimba Musisi Uganda Artists Association


27 Mr. George Walusimbi-Mpanga Uganda Services Exporters Association


28 Dr. Geoffrey Bakunda Makerere University Business School


29 Mr. Moses Khabi Lubangam Institute of Public Relations and Management


30 Mr. Maurice Ndyanabo Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs


31 Mr. Samuel Komunda Ministry of Internal affairs


32 Ms. Grace Nandutu National Curriculum Development


33 Mr. George William Katatumba Uganda Society of Architects


34 Ms. Georgina Nampeera Ministry of Tourism, Trade Industry


35 Mr. Amos Tindyebwa Uganda Exports Promotion Board


36 Mr. Alex Bigirwa Cayman Consults Ltd.


Annex 5. List of Participants: First UNCTAD/Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry Uganda National Stakeholder
Wokshop on Services - Kampala, Uganda, 8–12 September 2008


91PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES




# Name Organization


37 Mr. Frank Mature Mwebaze Trade and Business Development Centre


38 Mr. Abubakar Muhammad Moki Ministry of East African Community Affairs


39 Mr. Oscar Okwo Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


40 Mr. Stephen Kasangaki Ministry of Information Communication and Technology


41 Mr. James Tibenkana Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development


42 Mr. Richard Wansambo National Planning Authority


43 Ms. Carol Lwabi Ministry of Foreign Affairs


44 Ms. Rachel Kabala Uganda Insurance Commission


45 Ms. Grace Ssebugwawo National Council of Uganda Small Business Organizations


(Annex 5. Continued)


92 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




Annex 6. Agenda - Second UNCTAD-Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry National Stakeholder Workshop on
Services- Kampala, Uganda, 18-19 November 2009


Day 1


Time Session


09.30 Registration


10.00 Session I – Opening statements
Opening statement of Mr Patrick Okilangole, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Economic Trade, Tourism
and Industry
Opening statement, Mr. Robert Hamwey, UNCTAD
The role of the services sector in the economy of Uganda,
• Ms Lisa Cummins, Trade Policy Analyst, Commonwealth Secretariat
Impact of the economic crisis on the Uganda’s services sectors,
• Ms Deepali Fernandes, UNCTAD


10.30 Coffee break


Session II – National Experts’ presentations on the NSPR study
Introduction by Mr George Walusimbi-Mpanga, National Expert and Executive Secretary of the
Uganda Services Exporters Association
The state of the accounting and legal services sector in Uganda and ways forward
The state of the insurance services sector in Uganda and ways forward
Mr George Walusimbi-Mpanga, National Expert and Executive Secretary of the Uganda Services
Exporters Association


13.00 Lunch


14.30 – 17.00
(parallel


sessions)


Session III – Working Group discussions with the participants (led by Mr George Walusimbi-
Mpanga)
Group 1: The accounting and legal services sectors of Uganda
Group 2: The insurance and construction services sectors of Uganda


Day 2


Time Session


Session IV – Presentation of Working Groups’ resolutions


09.30 Presentations by Working Group Chairs


10.30 Perspectives of UNCTAD representatives


11.00 Coffee break


11.30 Perspectives of Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry representatives


12.00 – 13.00 General discussion of ways forward; development of action plan


13.00 – 15.00 Lunch break followed by individual meetings


93PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES




# Name Institution


1 Mr. Gordon Sentiba Astor Finance


2 Mr. Bernard Obel Uganda Insurance Commission


3 Eng. Julius Musimenta Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers


4 Eng. Anania Mbabazi Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers


5 Mr. Pius Mugerwa Uganda National Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors


6 Ms. Flora A. Runumi Association of Professional Societies of East Africa


7 Dr. Olli-Pekka Ruuskanen Uganda Insurers Association


8 Mr. David Tumuhaise Uganda Insurers Association


9 Ms. Miriam Magala Uganda Insurers Association


10 Ms. Irene Kunihira Association of Chartered Certified Accountants – Uganda


11 Mr. John Atenu Bank of Uganda,Research Department


12 Mark Omona Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda


13 Mr. Naru A. Thakkar Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda


14 Ms. Lucy Palia Consumer Education Trust


15 Mr. Patrick Okilangole Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


16 Ms. Lisa Cummins Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


17 Ms. Elizabeth N. Tamale Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


18 Ms. Georgina Nampeera Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


19 Mr. Richard Okot Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry


20 Ms. Deepali Fernandes UNCTAD


21 Mr. Robert Hamwey UNCTAD


22 Mr. George F.Walusimbi-Mpanga National Expert


Annex 7. List of Participants: Second UNCTAD-Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry National Stakeholder
Workshop on Services- Kampala, Uganda, 18–19 November 2009


94 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




NOTES


1. UNCTAD, 2005, Trade in Services and Development Implications, Doc. No. TD/B/COM.1/71, 20 January.


2. Lall S, 2000, Strengthening SMEs for International Competitiveness, Working Paper No. 44, The Egyptian
Centre for Economic Studies.


3. Uganda, Country Profile, 2008, Economist Intelligence Unit.


4. UNCTAD, An Investment Guide to Uganda, 2004.


5. WTO Secretariat Report, 2001, Uganda Trade Policy Review.


6. UNCTAD, 2007, Handbook of Statistics 2007.


7. Budget Speech, Financial Year 2007/08 Re-orienting Public Expenditure Towards Prosperity For All, June
2007.


8. Budget Speech, Financial Year 2008/09 Strategic Priorities to Accelerate Prosperity for All, June 2008.


9. PEAP Revision Website, available at http://www.finance.go.ug/peap/index.html.


10. MDGs in Uganda, 2008, available at http://www.undp.or.ug/mdgs/25.


11. Travel and Tourism Economic Research Factsheet for Uganda, 2008, World Travel and Tourism Council.


12. Andrews R et al., 2004, Tourism and Economic Development in East Africa: The Case of Uganda, Southwestern
Economic Review Proceedings.


13. Now Zain Uganda, a subsidiary of the multinational Zain Group.


14. Ministry of Works, Housing, and Communications, 2000.


15. Information and Communications Technology, 2007, Uganda Investment Authority, available at www.
Ugandainvest.com.


16. Nearly all of Africa’s international bandwidth is provided by satellite. Except for those countries which
are connected to and utilizing submarine fibre-optic cables (Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco,
Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Cape Verde), satellite presents the only means of transmitting international
communications other than terrestrial or microwave links African countries might have with their neighbours.
As a result, they are highly dependent on satellites, with more than 90 per cent of international traffic carried
by satellite.


17. Lubwama S, 2007, ICT fighting poverty in Uganda, Connect Uganda.


18. Makerere University Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, 2008, available at http://www.cit.
ac.ug/cit/projects.php.


19. National Statistical Abstract of Uganda, 2008, Uganda Bureau of Statistics.


20. The National Employment Policy, June 2002, p 12.


21. WTO, 1994, Uganda: Schedule Commitments, 15 April 1994, WTO Doc. No. GATS/SC/89 and subsequent
revisions and supplements.


22. UNCTAD, 2007, GlobeStat Database.


23. Mattoo A, Rathindran R, and Subramanian A, 2001, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series,
Working Paper 2655.


24. UNCTAD, 2006, Trade in Services and Development Implications, 16 January, Doc. No. TD/B/COM.1/77.


25. WTO, 1991, Services Sectoral Classification List, WTO Doc. No. MTN.GNS/W/120.


95PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES




26. Mashayekhi M, 2000, GATS 2000 Negotiations: Options for Developing Countries, South Centre Working
Paper No. 9.


27. GATS 2000 Request by the EC and its Member States to Uganda.


28. UNCTAD Assessment of Trade in Services prepared by national consultant Sam Kuloba Watasa, December
2003.


29. LDC modalities call for prioritizing effective market access in sectors or modes of supply of interests to LDCs
(including Mode 4, and in all categories).


30. Report by the Chair, Council for Trade in Services Special Session, Elements required for completion of
Services Negotiations, July 2008, TN/S/34.


31. See also Trade and Development Board President’s summary, TD/B/52/10 (Vol.1).


32. See also the Report by the Chairman, Council for Trade in Services, Special Session on elements required
for the completion of the services negotiations, 26 May 2008, TN/S/33.


33. See also UNCTAD, 2005, Trade in Services and Development Implications, 20 January 2005, Doc. No. TD/B/
COM.1/71.


34. Stephenson, S. 2002, Can Regional Liberalization of Services Go Further Than Multilateral Liberalization
under the GATS? World Trade Review, Vol. 1, 2 July 2002.


35. Lücke M and Spinanger D, 2004, Liberalizing International Trade in Services: Challenges and Opportunities
for Developing Countries, Kiel Discussion Paper No. 412, University of Kiel.


36. President Yoweri Museveni, Foreword, National Trade Policy: Trading Out of Poverty, into Wealth and
Prosperity, 2007, p. 2.


37. Background to the Budget 2008/09 Fiscal Year, Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development
(2008). See also UNCTAD Note, Strategies for advancing development of the services sectors of Uganda,
2008.


38. Services Capacity Report, Project No. INT/72/04, International Trade Centre and United States Agency for
International Development, July 2006, International Trade Centre, Geneva.


39. UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2008, UNCTAD, 2008, p. 255.


40. Services Capacity Report, Project Number: INT/72/04, International Trade Centre and United States Agency
for International Development, July 2006, International Trade Centre, Geneva, p. 41.


41. Infrastructure services are defined by UNCTAD as telecommunication, transport, energy and financial
services.


42. See also UNCTAD Issues note and Report of the expert meeting on the trade and development aspects of
professional services and regulatory frameworks, January 2005.


43. Memories of the First CEO, Pius K. Bahemuka, 2008, p. 5.


44. Graduates are candidates who have completed the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants course
but still have to complete the three years of practical working experience in accounting and finance required
prior to becoming full members of the Association.


45. The Accountants Act, Cap. 266, Part V, section 23, Licence of Practice, p. 12.


46. The Accountants Act, Cap. 266, Part V, section 20, Practising Accountancy, p. 10.


47. The Accountants Act, Cap. 266, Part II, section 9, Certified Public Accountant of Uganda, p. 7.


48. The Accountants Act, Cap. 266, Part V, section 25 Associate Accountant of Uganda, p. 13.


49. The Accountants Act 1992, Cap. 266, Part III, section 16, Establishment of The Examinations Board, p. 9.


96 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




50. The study visits covered institutes including the Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations
Board, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, the National Board of Accountants and Auditors
of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Society of Accountants in Malawi.


51. The Accountants Bill, Final Draft, 25 April 2007.


52. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, (United States), the Association of International Accountants
of the United Kingdom, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Chartered Association of
Certified Accountants, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Chartered Institute of Public
Finance and Accountancy, the Institute of Certified General Accountants of Canada, the Institute of Certified
Public Accountants of Kenya, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the Institute
of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of India, the Institute of Chartered Managers and Administrators (United Kingdom),
the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, the National Board of Accountants and Auditors of
the United Republic of Tanzania, p. 31.


53. Report to the High-Level Task Force on the EAC Common Market Negotiations Kisumu Round, Progressive
Implementation, Uganda Country Report, East African Community, p. 9.


54. The Accountants Act, Cap. 266, section 4, Laws of Uganda, 2000.


55. Racing through the PAEB (Public Accountants Examination Board) Memory Lane, The Uganda Accountants
Newsletter, Vol. 14, No. 2, December 2008, p. 8.


56. Uganda Insurers Association Annual Report, 2008, p. 21.


57. National Statistical Abstract of Uganda, Uganda Bureau of Standards, 2008.


58. Uganda Insurers Association Annual Report, 2008, p. 21.


59. See also Report to the High-Level Task Force on the EAC Common Market Negotiations Kisumu Round,
Progressive Implementation, Uganda Country Report, East African Community, p. 11.


60. Olli-Pekka Ruuskanen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Insurers Association.


61. Harold Skipper and W. Jean Kwon, Risk Management and Insurance – Perspectives in a Global Economy,
Blackwell, London, 2007.


62. D. Tumuhaise, Statutory Insurance in Uganda and Its Enforcement Problems, 2008.


63. Report to the High-Level Task Force on the EAC Common Market Negotiations Kisumu Round, Progressive
Implementation, Uganda Country Report, East African Community, p. 12.


64. Uganda Law Society Annual Report, 2008, p. 30.


65. The Advocates Act, Cap. 267, Part III, section 3, Functions of the Law Council, p. 7.


66. The Uganda Law Society Act, Chapter 276, Part III, section 3, Objects, p. 3.


67. The Uganda Law Society Act, Chapter 276, Part III, section 3, Objects, p. 3.


68. The Uganda Law Society Act, Chapter 276, Part III, sections 4–8, Membership, p.5.


69. Uganda Law Society Annual Report, 2008, Oscar John Kihika, p. 3.


70. The Advocates Act, Cap. 267, Part II, section 5, Secretary of the Law Council and Expenses, p. 8.


71. Uganda Law Society Annual Report, 2008, p. 33.


72. Uganda Law Society Annual Report, 2008, p. 33.


73. Legal Aid Project of the Uganda Law Society, Annual Report, 2008, p. 35.


74. The Advocates Act, Cap. 267, Part IV, section 8, Admission and Enrolment of Advocates, p. 9.


97PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES




75. The Advocates Act, Cap. 267, part IV, section 13, Temporary Admission to Right to Practise, p. 12.


76. Uganda Law Society Annual Report, 2008, Oscar John Kihika, p. 3.


77. Report to the High-Level Task Force on the EAC Common Market Negotiations Kisumu Round, Progressive
Implementation, Uganda Country Report, East African Community, p. 9.


78. National Construction Industry Policy – Draft, Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008, p. 22.


79. National Construction Industry Policy – Draft, Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008, p. 2


80. The Engineers Registration Act, Cap. 271, section 20, Qualifications for Registration of Engineers, 1969
(amended 1977), p. 8.


81. The Engineers Registration Act, Cap. 271, section 20, (b) iii, Qualifications for Registration of Engineers,
1969, (amended, 1977), p. 8.


82. National Construction Industry Policy – Draft, Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008, p. 15.


83. The Architects Registration Act, Cap. 269, Part II, section 4, Functions of the Board, 1996, p .4.


84. The Architects Registration Act, Cap. 269, Part III, section 10, Registration of Architects, 1996, p. 6.


85. The Architects Registration Act, Cap. 269, Part II, section 5 (1), Membership of the Board, 1996, p. 4.


86. The Architects Registration Act, Cap. 269, Part III, section 10 (a), Registration of Architects, 1996, p. 6.


87. As at 13 January 2010.


88. Education for All, 2007.


89. Millennium Development Goals – Uganda’s Progress Report 2007, UNDP, 2007.


90. The number of child deaths out of every 1,000 live births before the age of 1.


91. Human Development Report, 2007, UNDP.


92. Report to the High Level Task Force on the EAC Common Market Negotiations Kisumu Round, Progressive
Implementation, Uganda Country Report, East African Community, p. 11.


93. F. Mangeni, Cariforum EPA and Beyond: Recommendations for Negotiations on Services and Trade-Related
Issues; Investment Negotiations in the EAC-EC EPA, Working Paper, GTZ, 2008, p. 15.


94. Liberalization of Services in Uganda: Priority Sectors and Uganda’s Readiness, EAC, 2008, p. 22.


95. National Construction Industry Policy – Draft, Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008, p. 25.


96. National Construction Industry Policy – Draft, Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008, p. 9.


97. National Construction Industry Policy – Draft, section 5.1, Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008, p. 22.


98. National Construction Industry Policy – Draft, section 5.4, Ministry of Works and Transport, 2008, p. 24


98 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




NOTES


99PART III: ANNEXES AND NOTES




NOTES


100 NATIONAL SERVICES POLICY REVIEW OF UGANDA




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