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Achieving the Demographic Dividend in Uganda A Strategy for Accelerating attainment of Uganda Vision 2040 Targets. John B. Ssekamatte-Ssebuliba, Ph. D Head, Population and Social Sector Planning National Planning Authority. Background.

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Achieving the Demographic Dividend in Uganda

A Strategy for Accelerating attainment of Uganda Vision 2040 Targets

John B. Ssekamatte-Ssebuliba, Ph. D

Head, Population and Social Sector Planning

National Planning Authority

  • Historically, Uganda has been associated with unfavourable demographic characteristics:
        • High fertility (7.1, 6.9, 6.7, 6.2)
        • High but declining mortality (120,81,54)
        • Negligible international migration
    • Result: Rapid population growth,
    • high dependency ratio (esp. child),
    • age structure that is not conducive to production, savings, investment and thereby development.
    • Population generally treated as an exogenous factor
uganda s vision 2040
Uganda’s Vision 2040
  • “A transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years” with a per capita GDP increasing from US$506 in 2010 to $9,500 by 2040.
  • Recognizes Uganda’s rapid population growth, young age structure and consequent high child dependency burden among the threats to the achievement of socioeconomic development
  • Vision 2040 pronounced “harnessing the demographic dividend” as one of the strategies for benefiting from the country’s abundant and young population
what is the demographic dividend
What is the demographic dividend?
  • An opportunity for economic growth and development that arises as a result of changes in population age structure.
  • When fertility rates decline significantly, the share of the working-age population increases in relation to previous years.
  • A larger working-age population can enable a country to increase GDP and raise incomes.
  • Workers are able to save and invest rather than spend on supporting a large non-working (young) population.
dividend not automatic
Dividend not automatic

Prerequisites and concomitants :

  • Rapid fertility decline [window of opportunity only 30 – 50 years; W. Europe took 150 years];
  • Definite infant and child mortality decline;
  • Massive investment in education
  • Concerted investment in human development and human capital.
  • Hence: HARNESSING…
how does a country achieve the demographic dividend
How does a country achieve the demographic dividend?

Source: Population Reference Bureau

Demographic dividend model

Photo credit: Kristopher Carolson

gdp per capita
GDP per capita

Vision 2040

Demographic Dividend

Economic Emphasis

Business As Usual

What is Uganda doing to prepare for the demographic dividend?
  • [NDP II Priorities]

Photo credit: David Sisaki

addressing barriers to contraceptive use would reduce unmet need and fertility substantially
Addressing barriers to contraceptive use would reduce unmet need and fertility substantially

% of Married women using modern FP and those with unmet need for FP

Source: DHS Analytical Series (Forthcoming)

health and family planning
Health and family planning
  • Sustain and accelerate the current decline in infant mortality through immunizations, IMCI, nutrition, ITNs.
  • Address the unmet need for family planning by reducing barriers of demand, access and use of FP.
  • Sustain the high level of government investment in family planning.

Photo credit: Fabio Beretta

  • Increase investments in education, including universal secondary and higher education.
  • Address quality issues, school drop-out, and gender differences.
  • Strengthen vocational education [SKILLING UGANDA]


Photo credit: David Blume

economic policies employment and jobs
Economic policies, employment, and jobs
  • Promote labour market flexibility.
  • Address barriers to employment facing youth.
  • Encourage investment in fast-growing, labour-intensive sectors such as construction, modern agriculture, and agro-processing.
  • Invest in development of economic infrastructure including energy, transportation, and ICT.
  • Address skills mismatch between what the market requires and what the education system produces.
governance and accountability
Governance and accountability
  • Promote macroeconomic policies and financial institutions to encourage private savings, investment, and attract FDI.
  • Strengthen governance and national security to optimize investor confidence.
  • Improve efficiency and accountability in delivery of public services.

Photo credit: Javier Varela

pilot start
Pilot Start
  • 4 districts from each region + Kampala
  • Create conducive environment during NDP II including baseline (Census – an advantage)
  • Coordinate interventions for human capital development along the life cycle
the next five years 2019 20
The Next five years 2019/20
  • Economic:
  • Infrastructure
  • High multiplier effect investments: value addition; secondary and tertiary industries

2. Improve quality (educ & health); focus on adolescent girls (next mothers)

3. Labour market: re-tool young people with marketable skills

Photo credit: David Blume

Long-term: human capital development value chain: appropriate multi-sectoral investments towards high-end jobs
Thank you

Photo credit: Gunnar Salvarsson