Why It Pays to Be Born in Kampala
The World Bank has this week launched a report; “Inclusion Matters, The Foundation for Shared Prosperity”, the very first of its kind to be launch in Africa. The report seeks to embrace humanity with the basic social, economic and political policies.
What does social inclusion mean? The report defines it as “ The Process of improving ability, opportunity and dignity of people, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society.”
The report couldn’t have come at a better time, one week after, Oxfam reported that a combined wealth of 85 of the worlds’ richest people are valued at equivalent of 3.5 billion people globally combined.
This report paints a bold picture of the status of inequality that exists in Uganda today where few people continue to limited access to markets, favorable tax heavens, gender disparities and financial muscle among others.
“This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems,” the Oxfam report noted.
Uganda Case Study:
Despite Uganda’s sustained economic growth average of 6% annually over the past 15 years, social economic inclusion across the country remains greatly imbalanced from region to region.
Uganda’s power sector is suffering from a shortage of generating capacity due to prolonged drought, inadequate investment in least cost generation capacity and a relatively high load growth. The power deficits resulted in massive electricity rationing according to Uganda’s Ministry of Gender and Economic Development.
Statistics from the Uganda demographic and health survey 2011 shows that access to electricity strongly varies by ethnicity.
What explains this? Karamoja region is one of the least developed regions in the country with a limping infrastructure. The region is still recovering from prolonged decades of ethnic conflict, compounded by cattle rustling that have rendered her inaccessible for social services.
On the other hand, Buganda region has enjoyed relative peace for decades, booming economic activity, a growing industrialization and a geographical proximity to the capital, Kampala.
The report further illustrates that social exclusion in water insecurity, is highest among the Langi, Iteso and Alur, with the Bakiga, Munyankole and Batoro having the least experiences of water insecurity.
Some of these social imbalances according to retired Rt Rev. Zac Niringiye, now social activist have been in existence for decades.
“The history of this social, economic and political development has been that of exclusion,” Rt. Rev. Zac Niringiye lamented during the launch of the report. “The trend has not been one that seeks inclusion and in a way, has been deliberate.”
Reports such as these are only important if their release influence the world of research, policies, programs and projects.