Infrastructure development

Infrastructure development

Developing and maintaining reliable, sustainable, affordable and climate resilient infrastructure in both rural and urban areas has been identified as being critical for driving social, cultural and economic development.  Infrastructure development is therefore critical for Uganda in meeting its middle income status aspirations and as such, the NDPII has identified infrastructure as one of the fundamental enablers for socio-economic transformation of the country over the medium term.

Government seeks to improve the stock and quality of economic infrastructure over the NDP II period in a bid to remove infrastructure constraints in transport and energy to facilitate private sector development as the engine of growth. Infrastructure spending has been the major driver for the fiscal deficit peaking at 8.6 percent of GDP by 2016/17 and 2017/18 and later consolidating to 4.8 percent in 2019/20 to prepare for the East African Community convergence criteria.

To improve the country‘s competitiveness, NDP II has prioritized investment in strategic infrastructure such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR); the oil refinery; oil pipeline; energy generation and transmission; ICT; roads; water for production; and improving facilities for air transport. The major infrastructure outcomes that government seeks to achieve over the medium term are summarized in the table below.

National Infrastructure outcomes

MTEF Sector

Programme Outcomes


  • A reliable and efficient national transport network
  • An inclusive construction industry


  • Energy security
  • Universal access to modern energy
  • Affordable energy
  • Green growth


  • Inclusive ICT opportunities
  • An innovative ICT industry
  • Cyber security and privacy
  • A dynamic ICT legal & regulatory framework

Water for Production

  • Limited reliance on rain-fed agriculture

Source: NSI framework

Transport: Uganda’s dominant transportation mode is road transport which accounts for 92% of passenger and cargo traffic. Other transportation modes used in the country are rail, water and air transport. Over the past five years, Government investments in infrastructure have led to an increase in both stock and quality of roads. According to NDPII, by 2020, it is envisaged that national roads would be upgraded from 3,795km to 6,000km and, 2,205km of gravel roads would be upgraded to tarmac; 700km of old paved roads will be rehabilitated and 2,500km of paved roads and 10,000km of unpaved roads will be maintained.

Currently, the water transport sector in Uganda is still under developed. However, NDPII recognizes the need to develop an inexpensive, energy efficient and environmentally friendly transportation system in order to increase the volume of passenger and cargo traffic by marine transport. According to the NDPII, the total freight on ferries as registered at Port Bell border post fell from 8,634 tonnes in 2010 to 8,100 in 2014.

Priority is also given to boosting the volume of passengers and cargo traffic conveyed by rail concentrating on the construction of a multi-lane Standard Gauge Railway System with high speed trains using the latest technology for both passenger transport and cargo freights by 2040. This will effectively link Uganda to other countries within the East African region and overseas providing economical and effective bulk haulage capacity for the country’s exports and imports.

The air transport sub-sector registered significant improvement in its performance measured by activity at Entebbe International Airport (EIA) that indicated an increase in the number of both domestic and international passengers.  Since 2007, the annual growth in passenger numbers has been between 5 percent and 6 percent.  In 2015, the passenger numbers to Entebbe International Airport (EIA) grew by 7 percent an equivalent of 1.51 million from 1.4 million in 2014[1]. This increment is attributed to more tourist arrivals and increase in the number of participants at international conferences and meetings held in Uganda.

In relating air travel to tourism as a means of promoting the sector and also due to the implementation of NDP II and the 20-year National Aviation Master Plan (2014-2033), government commenced the re-development of EIA in a bid to improve passenger handling, bagging and meet the international airport standards given that EAC will be regarded one market with a single tourist visa.

In addition, government completed the automation of the aeronautical information management system that has realized the reduction of human errors and costs incurred by air operators in adjusting the Aeronautical Information Publications.

In regard to the development of regional and strategic air fields, government is committed to construct   an airport at the refinery site in Kabale, Hoima to enhance connectivity to the oil sector in the Albertaine Graben region Whereas the strategic airfield in Kasese shall be upgraded, other regional airfields including Kidepo, Moroto, Mbale, Kisoro and Packwach shall be connected to the main Airports by roads and the railway.

Energy: Energy is a major prerequisite to Uganda’s transformation agenda since energy costs are a binding constraint to many other economic activities. The NDP II target is to achieve 80 percent access to modern energy by 2040. To undertake this, Government will invest in the necessary infrastructure to facilitate exploitation of the abundant renewable energy sources including hydropower, geothermal, and nuclear, so as to increase power generation capacity from 850MW in 2013 to 2,500MW in 2020 and prepare for achievement of the required 41,738 Mega Watts by year 2040. Also, the country targets to increase per capita electricity consumption from 80 Kwh to 588kWh by 2020 and 3,668 kWh by 2040. A number of major energy infrastructure projects are being implemented to this end.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT): The NDPII recognizes the ICT sector as one that can facilitate sustainable, effective and efficient development through harnessing and utilizing ICT in all spheres of life. Over the NDPII period, priority will be given to extension of the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI); and construction of ICT incubation hubs/ centres and ICT parks. Ultimately, Government interventions in the sector are aimed at improving access to efficient and affordable ICT services and also lowering the cost of doing business.


[1] Entebbe International Airport upgrade update, April, 2016