Reality Check: Industrial Policy for Economic Transformation in Uganda (2019-2020)


Effective industrial policy has been at the core of virtually every economic transformation success story in the world. After three decades of neoliberal economic management, and faced with stalled transformation, the Government of Uganda now demonstrates a renewed interest and confidence in proactive industrial policy. While its fledgling efforts have lacked focus and depth, there is now a clear sense of reflection on the next phase of industrialisation strategies: a National Industrial Policy has been drafted, and an Industrialisation Masterplan commissioned.

The prospect of industrial policy success hangs in the balance: it can kickstart the deeper transformation so sorely needed to provide decent jobs and incomes to Uganda’s bulging youth population, but can just as easily become an extractive tool for patronage politics that stifles economic progress.

This in-depth study aims to help shape the next phase of industrial policy in Uganda by injecting rigorous analysis and fresh ideas into the discourse. It brings together valuable lessons from Uganda’s own past and from the rich global literature on the politics, delivery, and content of industrial policy.

Download the Executive Summary here.


Funders: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Gatsby Africa

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