Ugandan growth seen accelerating next year to 5.8% on increased revenue

Africa’s biggest coffee-exporting nation is developing two hydropower plants on the River Nile.

UGANDA’S economy may expand 5.8% in 2015-16 on growing revenue collection and increased spending on developing the East African nation’s road infrastructure, the finance ministry said.

Growth in Africa’s biggest coffee-exporting nation may accelerate from the 5.3% expected in the 12 months through June, the Kampala-based ministry says in a draft budget document on its website.

Tax collection may increase to 11.2 trillion shillings ($3.76 billion) next financial year from 9.77 trillion shillings budgeted for 2014-15, while expenditure by the works and transport ministry may increase 5% to 2.51 trillion shillings as the nation upgrades its road network, the finance ministry said.

The projected growth in the two years through June next year is below the 7.2% targeted in Uganda’s National Development Plan because of the effects of the global economic slowdown and delays in implementing major transport and energy projects, it said.

Uganda is developing two hydropower plants on the Nile River with a combined capacity 783 megawatts. The facilities are being built by Sinohydro Corporation and China International Water and Electric Corporation.

Uganda also plans to build a standard gauge railway jointly with neighbouring Rwanda and Kenya whose cost is estimated at $8 billion, according to government.

The East African country is on the cusp of oil production after last month’s selection of a group of companies led by Russia’s RT Global to build the country’s planned 60,000-barrel- per-day refinery. The government says production may start in 2017-18.

London-based Tullow Oil Plc, China National Offshore Oil Corp. and France’s Total SA are jointly developing the nation’s crude finds of 6.5 billion barrels of oil resources.

Uganda’s current account deficit widened by $417.7 million to $883 million in the quarter ended in September and may increase to $3.01 billion by the end of this financial year, according to the document.

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