Transport Sector Profile in Uganda

Transport Sector Profile in Uganda


The transport sector is one of the most crucial sectors in the country as other sectors depend on it either directly or indirectly for transport. This sector’s contribution to total GDP at current prices was 2.8 percent in FY 2014/15, which is slightly lower than in FY 2013/14 at 2.9 percent.

However, the sector has not developed the capacity to effectively utilize the huge investment from both government and the development partners. This has resulted in the unutilized funds being returned to the treasury. The delay in the maintenance and improvement of the transport network has in a way resulted in the continued depreciation of the country’s transport infrastructure.

National Development Plan (NDP II)

The National Development Plan (NDP) covers the fiscal period 2015/16-2019/20.

There are five strategic objectives in the NDPII for the Transport Sector:

  1. Develop adequate, reliable and efficient multi modal transport network in the country
  2. Improve the human resource and institutional capacity of the Sector to efficiently execute the planned interventions
  3. Improve the National Construction Industry(policy, legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the construction industry)
  4. Increase safety of transport services
  5. Develop adequate, reliable and efficient multi modal transport network in the country
  6. Improve the human resource and institutional capacity of the Sector to efficiently execute the planned interventions
  7. Support the National Construction Industry, and
  8. Develop adequate, reliable and efficient air transport network in the country

Sector Contributions to the National Development Plan

Objective 1 of the NDP II is to develop adequate, reliable and efficient multi modal transport network in the country. To fulfill this objective, the Sector plans to improve and boost the linkages in all the modes of transport. In this regard, the Sector’s priority is;

  • Conduct a national study on multi-modal transport system.
  • Rehabilitate and maintain the District, Urban, and Community Access (DUCA) road network
  • Construct new and rehabilitate old bridges
  • Undertake periodic inspection of the pavement condition
  • Standard gauge rail development (Uganda Section)
  • Develop inland water transport
  • Establish Second Generation Road Fund to effectively control the revenue from Road User Charges for road maintenance
  • Develop and maintain the roads to tourism, mining and agriculture producing areas
  • Climate-proof existing and future transport infrastructure to ensure climate resilient transport systems
  • Promote vehicle efficiency and technologies to reduce transport emission

Budget Allocation to the Transport Sector

The Transport Sector was identified as a priority area for Government expenditure and was subsequently allocated 18.2 % of the budget in the FY2015/16 national budget. The proportion of the Government budget allocated to the Transport Sector has increased slightly to 18.7 % of the national budget for 2016/17. Trend in the financing of the Transport Sector is shown graphically in Graph 1.3 below.

Graph 1.3:   Trend in Budget Allocation to the Transport Sector as a Percentage of Total


Source: UBOS

The annual percentage increase in the transport sector as a total of GDP for the last seven years is shown in Table 1.1 below.

Table 1.1:  Annual Percentage Increase in GDP (Total and for Transport) at Constant

                    2002 Prices

No.   FY 2010/11 FY 2011/12 FY 2012/13 FY 2013/14 FY 2014/15
1. GDP at Market


6.6% 3.4% 6.0% 4.7% 4.6%
2. Transport & storage 7.8 % 4.5% 5.8% 6.2% 7.7%

Source: UBOS

According to the National Budget Framework Paper FY16/17 on average 60% of UNRA’s development budget will be allocated to upgrading several gravel roads by 400km annually. The other 30% of the development will be allocated to rehabilitation of the paved roads aimed at reducing the road maintenance backlog.

The key road projects that are expected to be funded in FY 2017 are the Kampala Entebbe expressway (UGX 307 billion) and the Northern bypass phase II (UGX 89 billion)

Some of the other key projects budgeted for UNRA under the FY 2017 development expenditure as listed in the detailed Central government estimate  include

  • Kampala flyover project (UGX 229 billion)
  • Transport corridor project (UGX 260 billion)
  • North Eastern Corridor UGX 102 billion)
  • Kibuye-Busega Mpigi (UGX 134 billion)
  • Kampala-Jinja Expressway (UGX 60 billion)

Characteristics of the Sector

  • The sector has been deregulated for some time
  • The sector is affected by high fuel prices
  • The transport vehicles are owned by small scale operators with majority owning one vehicle each.
  • The country is fairly adequately connected to its neighbours as well as the COMESA member states by air ,  rail and road
  • The sector has over 90,000 motorcycles on Road

Means of transport in Uganda include the following

Road Transport

Railway Transport

Water Transport

Air Transport

 Challenges in the Transport Sector Uganda

  • Increasing the utilisation capacity of the funds available to the sector
  • Inadequate research in  the sector has limited the development and growth
  • Most roads in Uganda are narrow and road space is shared with road side parking.
  • The few overhead crossings available do not seem to be popular and convenient from the pedestrian point of view
  • City traffic jams growing by the day as more cars come onto the roads, aggravated by thousands of the mini bus taxis
  • There are no pedestrian streets or walk-ways
  • Inadequate funding on the assumption the limitations in utilisation capacity are not there.