Uganda’s industrialisation strategy: Challenges, opportunities, and lessons of experience

Policy brief Firms

  • Uganda currently faces a challenge of how to transform economic activity away from low value-added agricultural production, non-tradeable services and manufacturing activities towards high value globally competitive industry.
  • While in many ways Uganda is facing a different global environment in which to pursue industrial development than earlier East Asian industrialisers, export-orientated industrialisation remains the most useful benchmark for policy.
  • The experience of industrialisation in South Korea highlights three key ingredients for successful industrial policy: a clear export orientation, enforceable understandings between government and industry, and effective policy implementation.
  • Identifying industries close to existing comparative advantages – and collaborating with regional partners in doing so – offers lower risks and more attainable benefits for industrial policy.