Growth and Foreign Debt: The Ugandan Experience
"This paper analyses Uganda’s external debt problem. Like many other countries in the sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda is a severely indebted low-income country. Uganda’s total debt stock at end June 1993 was estimated at US$2.64 billion, with a debt service ratio of nearly 80%. A look at Uganda’s debt profile since the 1970s reveals a composition of debt mainly from multilateral creditors. The study particularly links debt to economic growth. A major observation is the acute debt servicing obligation of the country, and the fact that a large proportion of Uganda’s debt is not eligible for rescheduling. Debt payments have been a fundamental cause of low economic growth. Of great concern is whether the economy can sustain its current growth rate of 5% per annum and at the same time maintain adequate domestic investment, given the heavy reliance on foreign import capital flows. Debt relief is not enough; continued government commitment to structural reforms and sound debt management are essential."