Making policies work


Contributing Document

Work in Progress: Productive Employment and Transformation in Uganda

March 2015

Byiers, B., Rodríguez Takeuchi, L., Rosengren, A. (et al.). 2015. Work in progress: Productive employment and transformation in Uganda. (ODI Case Study Summary - Employment). London: ODI

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Key messages:

  • Agricultural contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has been declining in Uganda, but early structural transformation has helped create a shift in employment mainly to services employment. In 2010/11 the service sector accounted for 92% of all new wage-employment opportunities.
  • About 70% of the enterprises operating in Uganda in 2013 were established after 2000. These enterprises employ nearly three-quarters of the measured total workforce, with private, non-agricultural wage employment experiencing one of the fastest growth rates in Africa.
  • Rural households are increasingly diversifying activities, accessing new markets and thereby growing their productivity and incomes – evidence that the path to economic transformation and productive formal employment can start with rural households.
  • Poverty has fallen substantially, from more than half of the population living in poverty in 1992 to just below 20% in 2012.

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Power Mukisa


2020-11-09 21:50:14

It’s interesting to see that labour productivity in Uganda has actually been improving over years. This article was posted 5 years ago, but I still see its relevance in 2020, especially with the recommendations to improve productivity. Living in and out of Uganda, I have personally observed a bigger shift from agriculture towards more formal employment. This can be credited to further reach of internet services to rural areas, and the emergence of new software companies like Andela and Refactory, which promote and teach computer skills even to people who did not study the usual related computer sciences. Due to this, there has been more inclusion of several people into the job market, where people don't even have to go to jobs physically, but can work for US companies remotely. This mode of remote working was unheard of in the past, but it’s now becoming a norm. More and more professions have shifted to online work, which greatly improves productivity. Curious to see which results a similar study would yield in 2021 after the Covid-19 shock!

Economic recovery and transformationContributing DocumentEmploymentUganda

External authors

Laura Rodríguez Takeuchi