The Uganda Bureau of Statistics has quashed World Bank figures which show that Uganda has not yet attained the middle income status.
Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicates that the variation with the World Bank figures was in the reported period and on the estimated size of the population.
The Executive Director of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Chris Mukiza, says that both entities have agreed to come up with updated statistics on the country’s middle income.
A few days ago, World Bank said in a new report that Uganda was far from what President Yoweri Museveni and Finance minister Matia Kasaija said the economy had risen to middle-income status.
Real gross domestic product grew by 4.3 percent in the first half of 2022 supported by a strong and speedy recovery of the service sector after the lifting of travel and social gathering restrictions, as well as sustained buoyancy of the information and communications sector.
But it was not enough to lift the country into the middle-income bracket that the National Resistance Movement government has made a major policy goal over the past two decades. In addition, the target might remain elusive for a bit longer after the Bank cut its projection for economic growth this year to 3.7 percent, down from the six percent pre-pandemic estimate.
The report, a biannual analysis of the near-term macroeconomic outlook, said Uganda’s gross national income (GNI) per person stood at about $840 in FY2021 and has increased only marginally in the year since, leaving the country well below the lower-middle income threshold of $1,045 per person.
During the State of the Nation address on June 6, President Museveni said government data put Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person at $1,046 (about Shs3,945).
“You remember the entrance points for the lower middle-income status is $1,036 (about Shs3,906). We have now passed that figure. Congratulations. However, to be declared a middle-income country, you need to sustain this for two to three consecutive years,” he said.
A week later, Mr Kasaija said the economy had bounced back strongly from the pandemic and was on the road to a full recovery.