Uganda has a population of about 37.5 million, with a growth rate of 3.2%, which is amongst the highest in the world. Its GDP was estimated around 22 billion with an annual growth rate of around 6% in 2013. That same year, government debt reached 31% of their GDP.
Even though unemployment is low, with only 4.2% over the period of 2010-2012, it still has high (though declining) poverty rates. In 2002/2003 39% was living below the national poverty line, a number which had dropped to 25% by 2009, and to below 20% by 2012.
The tax-to-GDP ratio is only 13%, of which only 27% comes from personal and corporate income taxes. This means the Ugandan tax regime remains heavily oriented towards consumption taxes, and seeing as there is currently no mechanism in place to prevent the most economically vulnerable individuals to get overly affected by VAT, a highly inequitable situation has resulted where the poorest are most affected by taxes.
Because proper checks and balances at the governmental level are missing, many corporations have been able to use gaps in the existing tax regime for tax evasion and capital flight practices. As a result, Uganda is struggling with an appalling tax revenue gap and budget deficits resulting from failure to meet revenue targets. This has also severely undermined the state’s capacity to deliver essential services to the people.
For twenty years the north of Uganda was terrorized by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The region is still attempting to recover from this terror.

CRAFT Country Strategy

The CRAFT program in Uganda is implemented at both the national and local level. The overall objective of CRAFT is to contribute to a more democratic, accountable and responsive state in Uganda, through enhancing the capacity of civil society to advocate for a transparent, efficient, accountable and progressive tax system, that would prevent the uncontrolled outflow of resources and widespread tax evasion and corruption, tackle inequality and reinforce pro-poor policies and practices.

Strategy 2015-2018

CRAFT Uganda has placed 4 overarching goals at the centre of its country strategy for the period 2015-2018:
- Developing tax policies through research and analysis to close gaps on inequality, and loopholes on avoidance, evasion and capital flight and having these adopted by policy makers and key stakeholders.
- Through joint advocacy and campaigning, getting millions of Ugandans to participate and influence tax policy and budget processes, at local and national level, for fair taxation and better public service delivery.
- Getting key policy makers (senior government staff, Members of Parliament, politicians) at national and local level and regional and global bodies engaged in discussions about the harmful effects of unfair and ineffective tax policies and practices, through legislative engagement and joint advocacy campaigning.
- Alliance Building: Establishing the national tax justice alliance and mobilizing it to organize joint advocacy and campaigning activities at all levels.

Lead Organization

SEATINI is an African initiative focused on a more effective African contribution to the emerging global trade system.

Fair Tax Monitor

The FTM allows for a comparison of tax policies and practices in different countries, using a standardized methodology and unified research approach thanks to jointly developed common research framework. Click here to see how Uganda did in the Fair Tax Monitor 2016.