KAMPALA, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says a significant number of Ugandans are investing in less productive areas of the economy, based on an analysis of the investment priorities of Ugandans between 2008 and 2015.

The IMF has analysed the information supplied by thje Uganda Bureau of Statistics regarding the investment choices of Ugandans over the last nine years and its analysis shows that Ugandans have increasingly invested in property, which the IMF describes as one of the less productive areas.

The IMF says its analysis shows that investment in real estate has been expanding from more than 50 per cent in 2008 t0 about 70 per cent in 2015. A large number of people, the IMF adds, are also investing in equipment and other less productive areas.

The IMF shared the findings at a high-level economic growth forum held here Wednesday. During a session chaired by Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija, Dr Albert Musisi, the Commissioner for Micro-economic Policy in the Finance Ministry, said several factors, including negative external shocks such as global economic crisis, foreign exchange instabilities and climate change, are partly responsible for the fall in the average real gross domestic product (GDP) growth from 7.3 per cent in 1999 to 4.4 per cent in 2016.

However, President Yoweri Museveni, in a speech delivered by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, noted that the economy had become more sophisticated compared to what it was in 1986.

We have made significant progress on all fronts. We had almost no international reserves in 1986 which now stands at $3b. In 1992, 56% of the Ugandan population was below the poverty line. Poverty reduced to 19.7% in 2015, the president said.

Despite improvements in health and power access, which will be increased significantly from the current 20.4 per cent when the Isimba and Karuma power projects come on stream in about two years' time, the President said the economy still faced some challenges, including inadequate infrastructure, low value-addition, low labour productivity, unstable export markets and low implementation of government programmes.