Uganda 2017-18 Debt Climbed 22% on Infrastructure Spending

(Bloomberg) -- Uganda’s total debt climbed by more than a fifth in the 2017-18 fiscal year as the East African nation increased spending to develop key hydropower projects and infrastructure to support its planned oil production.

Debt increased 22 percent to 44.7 trillion shillings ($12 billion) in the 12 months through June from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said in a report on its website. While debt has increased over three years, it remains below the sustainability benchmark of 50 percent of gross national product, according to the report.

Debt climbed as the government borrowed to support building of its 600-megawatt Karuma hydropower plant that’s scheduled to start production in December. The government also took loans to support construction of an airport in the west of the country as it prepares to start developing oil from the region.

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