Which way for Uganda after GDP rises to 13th best in Africa?

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Economic experts say that with Ugandan’s GDP increasing to $58 billion and earning the country a 13th ranking on the continent, fundamentals such as unemployment, price stability, and distribution of income should be the new target.

The African continent is slowly moving to establish itself as a commercial powerhouse if the Gross Domestic Product figures are to go by.

The GDP, or gross domestic product, is the monetary value of all goods and services produced within the territorial boundaries of a country in a given period of time.

The latest rankings of African economies show that South Africa ranks top with $401 billion in GDP, followed by Nigeria at $395 billion, Egypt at $358 billion and Uganda in 13th among the 53 countries on the continent.

Dr Fred Muhumuza, a senior economist, said the country aims at achieving lower middle-income status at possibly $1,200 per person per year.

"That would mean that for a population of 45 million to 47 million," he said.

"Uganda's GDP should be about $55 billion much as by our UBOS’s computation the GDP figure stands at $50 billion, just within the range.

Even though this figure has grown, those in the kitchen working so hard to raise this figure, have reservations.

Isa Sekitto, spokesperson of the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), said: "We have reservations of Chinese who are fewer than the entire trading fraternity of indigenous Ugandans that are receiving favours of incentives, but again misuse them by being manufacturers, distributors, hawkers and vendors."

"We are great contributors to the National GDP and revenues by URA, it’s only fair that URA, Ministry of Finance help us by fixing the taxation system.

Dr Muhumuza insists that Uganda is far below its middle-income target, and not even the ranking reveal the reality on ground.

"If you see a sea of poverty around you, the people who are still below $1 a day being 20 percent of the population, those who are below $2 a day being about 43 percent," he said.

"You add the two, you're really talking about 65 percent of the population languishing below $2 a day. That puts you below the $720 per person per year. Far below the $1,200 per person per year."

Experts says that with such, fundamentals like employment, income inequality and distribution of that income to the population become more important just as growing the GDP itself.

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