World Bank Group Endorses Progress Report for the Country Assistance Strategy for Uganda

The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today discussed and endorsed the progress report of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Uganda that will guide the support of the World Bank Group to the country for the remaining two years (2014-2015) of the CAS.

The CAS is a key document that sets out the framework of cooperation between the World Bank Group and the Government of Uganda, and describes the Bank Group's planned program in the country.

"This Progress Report shows that the objectives of the joint World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for the period FY11-15 remain relevant; however, the Report proposes a significant adjustment to the lending instruments in order to maximize the impact of the WBG interventions," said Philippe Dongier, World Bank's Country Director for Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi.

"Assessment of the progress against CAS outcomes shows a mixed performance to-date with diminishing returns under the Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) series, which has been under implementation for more than a decade.

The Progress Report confirms that the CAS outcomes could be achieved provided the Bank adjusts its lending instrument mix and the Government of Uganda makes progress on two front - accelerating implementation and advancing governance reforms." He also added.

The progress report of CAS continues to be aligned with the Uganda Government's 2010-2015 National Development Plan (NDP), which sets an ambitious reform agenda to increase growth, employment and socio-economic transformation for prosperity to accelerate socio-economic transformation to achieve the National Vision of a transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years, while focusing on governance and reducing corruption to foster the country's economic and social development.

"Corresponding to the dimensions of the Government's NDP, over the remaining two years the Bank Group's support to Uganda will be focused on the following three broad areas to help restore the path for faster economic growth and improve the governance environment: (i) Transformational operations and related investments; (ii) Selective development policy lending instrument in exceptional cases to support governance or sectoral reforms; and (iii) Support Uganda's governance efforts" said Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, World Bank's Country Manager in Uganda and Team Leader of the CASPR.

"We will focus our interventions on fewer, larger and transformational projects with more emphasis on infrastructure, agricultural productivity and access to market, skills development that leads to more jobs, in addition to our continued investments in the social sectors", He also added.

The Progress Report has been prepared in a context where renewed emphasis on governance in Uganda has called for a review of the Bank's approach. This Progress Report proposes a new approach, as reflected in the three adjustments, which builds on measures to protect IDA funds, and supports Uganda's efforts to strengthen transparency and accountability in the use of public resources.

The CAS Progress Report describes: (i) recent developments in the country context (including emerging economic, social, political and governance challenges); (ii) progress made toward the CAS outcomes; (iii) implementation progress; (iv) lessons learned and adjustment to the WBG's program (including updates to the results framework); and (v) an assessment of risks and mitigation measures.

Uganda joined the World Bank in 1963, a year after obtaining independence. Since then, the Bank has provided over US$8 billion in financing, with more than US$7.30 billion in loans and credits, and more US$650 million in grants.

As of August 2013, the Uganda portfolio comprised 14 International Development Association (IDA)-financed operations with a net commitment amount of US$1.372 billion. IDA is the arm of the Bank that lends to the poorest countries. In addition, there are four regional projects (environment, trade and transport, health and agriculture) with net commitments of US$94.0 for the Uganda components.

Washington D.C

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