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JSPES, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Fall 2002 )
p. 271-306

The Paradox of Pursuing Anti-Poverty Strategies under Structural Adjustment Reforms in Uganda

William Muhumuza

This paper critically analyses the impact of economic reforms that have been pursued by the NRM regime since 1987. It argues that though stabilization and adjustment reforms are sometimes necessary and have led to GDP growth in the economy for the last sixteen years, this growth has not translated into improved standards of living for the majority poor. The reforms have also been characterized by increasing income disparities. It also argues that the impressive GDP growth in the economy is attributed more to substantial external assistance than the effectiveness of reforms per se. It is hitherto argued that Uganda's anti-poverty strategies are unlikely to succeed in the long-run because of poor policy choices and prioritization, over-reliance on donor funds, and an unfavorable global trading system. Although this paper looks at Uganda, its findings have policy implications for other developing and poor countries facing similar policy conditions.