Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe at 2323 EAT on Thursday 7th July 202
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) insists that Uganda has entered into the threshold for lower-middle-income status based on its own statistical data computations, despite a divergent view by the World Bank.
In a statement released Wednesday, the government statistical body indicates that the country’s official GDP income per capita is $1,046 as stated by President Museveni on June 7.
This is contrary to the figure of $840 released by the World Bank on June 30, which uses gross national income (GNI) to find the country’s average income per person, a measure which could have sparked the controversy.
While gross domestic product (GDP) measures the country’s volume of production attributed to its citizens within the country, GNI on the other hand takes into account the total wealth of the citizens of the country, including that from activities outside the country, but it excludes the wealth held in the country by foreign residents.
According to Chris Mukiza the Ubos executive director, the World Bank used data for the financial year 2020/21 to compile its report, yet the president considered figures from 2021/22, the⁸ most up-to-date.
Since President Museveni stated that Uganda’s economy had attained the middle-income status threshold, later refuted by the World Bank, there has been confusion in the public, which called for a harmonization meeting by both bodies on July 4, 2022.
Mukiza says that the World Bank report did not only use outdated data but also applied the UN population projections for Uganda which are not official, resulting in a wrong report.
“The UN mid-year population for Uganda, for the financial year 2020/21 is 47.1 million. However, the government of Uganda’s official population projection for the same period is 42.4 million, resulting in a 4.7 million difference, but the GNI estimates are consistent with those of the government of Uganda,” Mukiza explains.
According to Ubos, Uganda’s population projection for mid-2022 is 43.7 million, and the GDP at $43.232 billion. However, different bodies including the United Nations, project the population at 48.6 million and the GDP at $34 million.
In the statement, Mukiza said that when they computed the Ubos population projection with the World Bank’s GNI and the results were not very different.
He adds that moving forward, Ubos will sit with the UN to harmonize the population projections, and the bureau will report on the country’s GNI in addition to the aggregated GDP, which has not been the case.
According to the World Bank, for a country to belong to a certain economic status class, its GNI is divided by its population projection, and the outcome is the determinant of the class it belongs.