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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Land-Locked Uganda: Constraints on Political Economy
Author:Gupta, Vijay
Periodical:Ind-Africana: Collected Research Papers on Africa
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:economic development
landlocked countries
Inter-African Relations
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
Abstract:The European imperialist powers determined Uganda's borders when they partitioned Africa at the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885: Uganda was 'born' a landlocked country. The author discusses the constraints which Uganda has to face as a result of its landlocked location, and examines how these constraints affect its political economy. In precolonial times, Uganda was an important transit route for the expanding African trade. Under colonialism, the entire import-export pattern changed, and Uganda became increasingly dependent on access to the sea through Kenya. There developed an integrated system of road and rail transport and communications, subsequently organized and administered through the East African Common Services Organization and its successor, the East African Economic Community (EAC). As a result, Uganda's situation for much of this period was more that of a hinterland than a landlocked country. However, in the 1970s, following Idi Amin's rise to power and his expulsion of Asians from Uganda, the country's traditional situation as a crossroads was destroyed: import routes were either closed or became dysfunctional, the economy was ruined, and 'magendoism' (corruption, smuggling, black marketing) flourished. In addition, the breakup of the EAC in 1977 had a devastating impact on Uganda's transport system, especially for international trade. Today, rehabilitation of Uganda's transport system is generally recognized as one of the key requirements for economic revival in the country. Notes, ref.