Greening Uganda’s Economy as the Sustainable Pathway to Middle Income Status

Uganda is heavily dependent on natural resources for economic growth and the livelihoods of its people. The natural resource-based sectors of agriculture (crop, livestock, and fisheries) tourism, minerals and forests among other resources, are the engines of economic growth. Agriculture contributes approximately 23 percent of the country’s GDP, 48 percent of the total exports and 68 percent of the total employment. Agriculture also contributes to food security and supplies raw materials to agro-based industries. Uganda’s tourism (mainly eco-tourism) is now one of the leading foreign exchange earners. In 2014/2015 tourism’s contribution was estimated at US$1.8 billion or 9.9 percent of GDP and a total of 592 000 jobs. On the other hand, over 95 percent of the population and many industries depend on biomass as the source of energy which is not sustainable. Despite their importance, Uganda’s natural resources are under threat from natural and man-made causes. The major objective of this paper is to examine and establish the status of the green economy in Uganda, particularly to: (i) analyse the rationale and justification for greening Uganda’s economy; ii) examine Uganda’s progress towards greening its economy; (iii) examine opportunities and obstacles towards greening Uganda’s economy; and iv) provide recommendations for fast-tracking effective greening of Uganda’s economy.