BY PAUL TENTENA
KAMPALA, UGANDA- The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank Group have announced a £9 million (UGX46 billion) multi-donor Trust Fund to support the Government of Uganda strengthen implementation of its second National Development Plan (NDPII).
The Trust Fund will run for three and a half years, and will enable the government to carry out research and move forward with reforms to raise more domestic revenues, improve public investment management, including attracting new private sector capital to finance infrastructure, and to support governance and anti-corruption efforts.
The NDPII, which is well into its mid-point, aims to transform the country into a modern and prosperous economy by 2040.
To achieve this target, the government has increased investments in infrastructure to address the binding constraints to growth and job creation. But low domestic revenue collections and savings, and poor management of public investments continue to hinder efforts to improve service delivery, boost inclusive and sustainable growth; and reduce poverty.
“This partnership between DFID, Government and the World Bank provides an opportunity to close the gaps in revenue collection and service delivery, and help Uganda get a better return on its public investments.
“The Trust Fund will support Government to strengthen management of public investments so that the right investments are selected, competitively procured and supervised, implemented on time, and subsequently maintained to deliver the intended impact on economic growth and poverty reduction,” said Christina Malmberg Calvo, Country Manager, World Bank Group.
The Trust Fund will benefit Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies that are able to bring new knowledge and development experiences to inform and improve planning and implementation of government programs.
The first round of call for proposals closed on June 14, 2018, and subsequent rounds will follow every after six months until the funds are fully used. A Joint Advisory Committee will oversee the Trust Fund, and is comprised of the heads of the World Bank and DFID, and government representative from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, National Planning Authority and the Office of the Prime Minister.
“Our contribution to this World Bank Trust Fund, aimed at improving public investment management and raising domestic revenues, with more transparency, reconfirms the UK commitment to support the delivery of the NDPII.
“Currently, Uganda gets low returns from public investments and raises less in revenue than other East African countries. Addressing these issues will improve economic growth rates and assist Uganda realize the aspiration to become a middle-income country,” said Jennie Barugh, Head of DFID in Uganda.
The Trust Fund has a rapid response window that will enable the World Bank to provide quick policy advice, technical assistance, and any other interventions, as need may arise.
This is the second such partnership between DFID and the World Bank. The first Trust Fund, also totaling US$12 million, supported the government to successfully implement the first phase of the NDP from 2010-/11 to 2014/15.