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Duke University

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Uganda: Development Studies


This paper aims to examine the difference in effectiveness on development of least developed countries (LDCs) such as Uganda that opposing trade positions have. Specifically, the paper will look at development state economic policies versus neoliberal policies in both regional and global trade to determine how they both effect development as defined by the Human Development Paradigm and the Neoliberal (Economic) Paradigm.

Research for this paper came from a practicum-based internship with Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute Uganda (SEATINI). The internship provided guidance for independent research and allowed for participant observation. Information was also gathered through interviews with various organizations and government ministries.

This paper found that development state-led economic policies in global trade benefit LDCs such as Uganda most as it prevents exploitation of their markets by developed economies and promotes inclusive growth rather than exacerbating wealth inequality. However, in regional trade free market policies work best as the East African region stands to gain as a whole. Currently, East Africa’s intra-regional trade is weak and everyone stands to benefit from increased trade. Furthermore, exploitation of markets will not occur due to countries being of similar economic size (excluding Egypt and South Africa) and limitations on productive capacity. To reach the full potential of these policies, however, will require strong capacity building in both negotiating and trading. This will require a return to the outstanding issues of the Doha Development Agenda in negotiations at the WTO. Ultimately, the paper finds the Africa rising narrative to be true if strong policy and good governance is attained.


African Studies | Economic Policy | Economics | Growth and Development | International Economics | Regional Economics


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