The Course of Political Development in Uganda and its Effect on Economic Development
Development has recently become a new buzz word in international relations. Through an exploration of political, social and economic development around the globe, scholars are trying to understand which policies are most beneficial, and why certain policies are effective and why some fail. The connection between different types of development is often an important part of this research as well. The connection between political and economic development is of specific interest since the end of the Cold War and the failure of most communist-based systems. The emergence of capitalism as the dominant world economic system at the conclusion of the Cold War forces countries in the developing world to adopt capitalist policies. However, the question remains as to the effect of political development on economic development.
Political development is traditionally defined as moving towards a democratic system with free and fair elections in which all citizens can participate to govern themselves, and eventually moving to a more liberal democratic state which also protects civil rights. The path of this development is often hard to define because each state has its own history and therefore its own methods for moving towards this end goal. Many western scholars recommend that states create and implement institutions to promote democracy, hold elections and open political competition to multiple parties. However the success of states attempts at implementing these policies is debatable. Economic development, on the other hand, is historically defined as economic growth, often based in gross domestic product, increased international trade, industrialization, and integration into regional and world economies. The Washington Consensus has, in the past, played a large role in prescribing policies for economic development along those lines in the developing world. Political and economic development in Uganda based on these terms provides a strong case for the relationship between the two. The lack of political development in Uganda since independence from Britain in 1962 has hindered economic development and it was not until recent political stability that Uganda has been able to experience any sort of economic development.
To understand the political development in Uganda, it is important to start shortly before 1962 to examine the political atmosphere of independence. Under the colonial system, Uganda was a protectorate, meaning that land rights of Africans were respected, despite the commonplace of forced labor and high taxes. In 1961 Uganda was granted self-rule before gaining full independence in 1962. With the granting of self-rule, three major political parties formed, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), the Democratic Party (DP) and the Kabaka Yekka (KY). The main platform of the UPC was nationalist and the party strived to unite all Ugandans...