Uganda - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges

Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e., things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.

Last published date: 2022-08-15

The top four challenges U.S. companies experience in Uganda are:

High Levels of Corruption 

Transparency International’s (TI) 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Uganda 144 out of 180 countries, dropping two places from the previous year.  Land-related fraud and corruption are common, especially as complex land laws restrict foreign ownership and lead to frequent land disputes.

Limited Infrastructure, Including Connectivity, in Rural Areas

Although the government has been investing heavily in infrastructure, outside of the major towns, Uganda’s road and rail systems are in poor condition, and access to electricity is limited, with only 19% of the population using grid electricity, according to UBOS. 

Lack of Specialized Skills

The UNDP’s 2020 Human Development Index ranked Uganda 159 out of 189 countries.  Although Uganda’s adult literacy rate is 76.5%, the primary school dropout rate is 64.5%, and only 5% of Ugandans enroll in tertiary education.  Per the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2019, 73% of Ugandan workers lacked the level of education required for available jobs.  According to the UBOS in surveys, employers commented that university graduates lack basic technical, managerial, and communications skills.

Political Uncertainty

Increasing political repression raises questions about the government’s commitment to fostering a stable and investor-friendly environment.  An uncertain mid-to-long-range political environment also increases the risk to foreign businesses and investors.  President Museveni was declared the winner in the widely criticized January 2021 general elections and started a five-year term in May 2021 after 36 years in power.  The elections included a five-day complete internet shutdown and a four-week block on social media platforms - and as of July 2022, Facebook remains blocked in Uganda.  Since January 2021, security services continued to detain political dissidents routinely, and in August 2021, the government suspended several of Uganda’s flagship human rights and environmental non-governmental organizations.