The services sector in Uganda is now the largest sector in the economy. The aggregate contribution of services to
GDP in 2008/09 was 51.2 percent with a growth rate of 9.4 percent, faster than the growth rates in the agriculture
and industrial sectors for the same year. The Uganda NSPR focused on four future growth areas within the
services sector, namely professional, insurance, accountancy and construction services.
In conducting the NSPR a national team of experts, with technical assistance from UNCTAD, engaged with a
broad group of stakeholders from government, industry, academia and civil society to identify challenges and
opportunities in the abovementioned services. The UNCTAD team worked closely with Cyprian Batala, Assistant
Commissioner, External Trade, Laurean Bategana, from the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry, Dr. Francis
Mangeni, Director of Trade, Customs and Monetary Affairs at the Secretariat of the Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa, George Walusimbi-Mpanga, who formed the national team, and His Excellency Ambassador
Arsene Balihuta and Mr. Elly Kamahungye, both of whom at the time were with the Permanent Mission of Uganda
to the UN offices in Geneva. The review process included an analysis of the current policy framework for
professional, insurance, accountancy and construction services; regulatory and institutional challenges inhibiting
sectoral development; national development objectives; prospective policy options to strengthen domestic supply
capacity and SMEs competitiveness; and the potential impacts of services and services trade liberalization on
sectoral FDI, SMEs, efficiency, employment, access to foreign markets and universal access to basic services.
The resulting wide-ranging but concrete recommendations from the NSPR are set out in detail in the body of this
report and include proposed measures to enhance the contributions of the professional, insurance, accountancy
and construction services to Uganda’s economy. In the professional services sector recommendations to leverage
Uganda’s large pool of medium and high skill workers and enhance professional services exports in the East
Africa Community was stressed. In the accountancy services sector the need for legislative reform to grant a
legal mandate to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda as a means of increasing professional
and ethical compliance was highlighted. In the insurance sector, the need for the proposed mandatory National
Health Insurance Scheme to provide medical insurance cover to the majority of the Ugandan population, largely
in the informal sector was considered important as was the need to create a body charged with the duty to advise
Government on appropriate risk management policies. In the construction services sector, stakeholders were of
the view that updating and adopting the draft National Construction Industry Policy would be key in addressing a
large number of policy, regulatory, institutional and capacity gaps.
I hope that the contents of this publication will contribute to providing a strategic vision for the development of
Uganda’s services sector, and assist the country to continue to derive development benefits from trade in services.