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Public Debt Stock in Uganda to Near 50% of GDP by June

Uganda’s public debt stock is seen hitting 49.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of the current fiscal year ending in June, up from 46.9% a year earlier, the finance ministry said.

The country’s debt levels have been rising due chiefly to government spending on public infrastructure.

The central bank has been among those warning that debt costs are increasingly crowding out priorities like education and health.

The finance ministry said in a report published late on Tuesday that the country faced “moderate risk of debt distress,” linked to slow growth in exports and debt-service costs eating up a growing chunk of revenues.

Last fiscal year Uganda used around a third of its tax revenues to service its public debt. As of June 2023, total domestic and external debt stood at $23.66 billion.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s government has taken on large credit lines, especially from China, to fund infrastructure projects like roads and power plants, which officials say are needed to fuel economic growth.

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