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The new national politics of poverty reduction in Africa

insights from the new national development plan in Uganda

Samuel Hickey


The changing nature of the PRSP experiment in sub-Saharan Africa tells a significant story about the current politics of poverty reduction in the most chronically poor countries. Of particular note have been the tendencies to moves away from the formal PRSP model to a renewed focus on ‘national development plans’ and emphasise the importance of ‘productivity’ rather than the social aspects of poverty reduction. This comes in a context of changing state-donor relations, driven most notably by the possibilities of new financial flows from alternative sources, including mineral resources and Asia drivers, most notably China. Uganda continues to provide a fascinating window on these shifting grounds. Against some evidence (e.g. CPRC 2008) that less democratic regimes have been more successful than multiparty regimes in securing a strong focus on poverty in national policy processes, this paper will draw on primary research to trace the impact of Uganda’s shift back to multi-party politics since 2006 on national poverty policy, in terms of both process and content, with a particular focus on the implications for the poorest. The early indications are that efforts towards poverty reduction have indeed been nationalised in Uganda, although perhaps not in the ways intended by the IFI architects of the PRS experiment.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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