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University of Notre Dame

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Program Name

Uganda: Development Studies


Privatization and private sector development have been primary methods of development throughout Uganda and Africa for the last 20 years. These two valuable tools, however, have been plagued by corruption as many former State Owned Enterprises are being divested into the pockets of political cronies and influential foreigners. If State Owned Enterprises were instead divested amongst a broad section of the population, local entrepreneurs with limited capital could participate in the privatization process. If responsibly divested, private sector development would then be able to have more far reaching effects because the enterprises being helped would be owned by the people.

More than a month was spent working under the United States African Development Foundation with the two enterprises of Maganjo Grain Millers and Mpanga Tea Growers observing and researching methods of grassroots participatory private sector development. The research was carried out in urban and rural areas respectively, revealing the impact that the surrounding environment has on private sector development. A variety of casual and direct methods were used to gather this information and differed depending on the environment the research was carried out in.

Through insights and perspectives gained by experiencing private sector development with two enterprises of different environments, histories, and organizational structures it became increasingly clear that all three of these factors have a strong impact on the success of USADF’s programs. It will be argued that a rural environment and a smallholder ownership structure catalyze the USADF recommendations and implementations. If privatization is more responsibly divested amongst the local people, USADF will have more enterprises with the smallholder ownership structure to work with in order to provide holistic development for Uganda.


Growth and Development


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