In recent weeks, the World Bank stopped giving money for new projects in Uganda. They did this because they didn’t like Uganda’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act. This law treats people unfairly because of their gender or who they love.
The World Bank said, though, that they would still finish the projects they already promised to do. Right now, Uganda has about $1.7 billion out of $4 billion from the World Bank. This money is for healthcare, farming, roads, power, and schools. Uganda was supposed to get this money between 2024 and 2029.
This makes people wonder how Uganda will get the rest of the money it needs to grow. The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is one group that gets a lot of money from the World Bank. They got $450 million from 2012 to 2029.
KCCA usually gets about $100 billion from the World Bank each year. This stop might slow down the growth of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. David Lumu talked to Eng DAVID LUYIMBAZI SSALI, the deputy executive director of KCCA. He thinks the World Bank will start giving money again before they need it in 2029.
What do you think about the World Bank stopping their support in Uganda?
We don’t have many choices for cheap loans in Uganda. The World Bank gives money at almost no cost, so it helps a lot. This is a problem for Uganda.
But there are other groups that can give us loans with good terms. Some of them are the International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Development Bank (AfDB), African Development Fund (ADF), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). There are also groups like the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) that can give loans with a bit higher interest.
The World Bank leaving is a big problem because each country can only get a certain amount from these groups. Losing what we got from the World Bank is bad. But, KCCA is okay for now because they have money from the World Bank until 2029.
KCCA doesn’t need more World Bank money for the next five years. They plan to start new projects from 2029 to 2034. They hope the World Bank will give money again by then. But other groups in Uganda might have trouble getting money right after the World Bank left.
How will the World Bank stopping their support affect the people in the city?
From 2012 to 2019, the money we got from the World Bank helped the city a lot. This year, KCCA has a budget of Shs 380 billion. Out of that, Shs 200 billion goes to paying people, and Shs 53 billion goes to roads.
The World Bank gave us about Shs 100 billion each year since 2012. So, they were a big help. But the government is ready to deal with the changes when the World Bank leaves. We have other options, even if they aren’t as good.
We will talk to the government to figure out what to do next. This is important to make sure the people in the city don’t have money problems.
What will KCCA do for the next five years before the World Bank projects end?
Even before the five years are up, we need money for things the World Bank doesn’t pay for. One important thing is fixing the drainage system for Shs 200 million. We wanted to work with Canada, but because of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, that might not happen.
For roads, we’re talking to the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) to get €250 million. This will help fix about 175km to 200km of city roads.
We planned to find other ways to get money even if the World Bank didn’t leave. For example, we got Shs 98 billion from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to make 27 city junctions better. So, we have ways to get money without the World Bank.
What KCCA projects won’t get money because the World Bank is leaving?
None of our projects now will lose money because the World Bank is stopping. The big project we’re starting, the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area – Urban Development Strategy (GKMA-UDS), got approved in May 2022. Cabinet and parliament also said yes. We just need to finish the money part in less than four months.
This project will last for five years. We won’t start new projects until we finish the ones we have. For example, as we finish the Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Projects (KIIDP) phase II, we start GKMA-UDS.
From 2024 to 2029, we will get ready for another big project. I think things might change in these five years, and Uganda can get the World Bank’s help again.
What will KCCA do after the next five years? Can we work without the World Bank?
KCCA is very important to Uganda’s economy. Even though we have money from the World Bank for the next five years, we’re looking for more partners. We need more money than the World Bank can give.
We have to fix drainage, roads, put street lights, manage waste, improve slums, and do more. We also need better schools and hospitals. The President said each division in Kampala should have two markets. We need to build those too.
The things we need at KCCA are more than what the World Bank can give.