Will Uganda’s mega-project spending spree generate growth or drive up debts? | Global development

In a hamlet, 7km south-west of Uganda’s capital Kampala, a group of cyclists rests under the shade of a flyover under construction. They watch as heavy-load vehicles full of building materials race past. “I can’t wait to ride on this road when it’s complete,” says one of the group.

The flyover forms part of the 51km Kampala-Entebbe espressway, linking the city and Entebbe international airport. It is costing $476m (£383m) and is due to be finished in 2018, one of the major infrastructure projects taking shape in east Africa’s third largest economy.

Another is the 600MW dam being built on the Nile in Karuma, 264km north of the capital, for an expected cost of up to $1.65bn (£1.33bn).

Meanwhile, discussions are continuing about the construction of a $3.2bn railway from Kampala to the Kenyan port of Mombasa, 1,152km to the east. And Uganda will soon begin construction of a $4bn refinery and a $3.5bn crude oil pipeline to support its nascent oil and gas sector.


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