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Legal Market Overview

Uganda’s economic growth has been slow but reliable in recent years. The country benefits from significant natural resources and fertile soil conditions and its agricultural sector is of crucial importance to the economy. Coffee is the most important export.

The 2019 World Bank ease of doing business report listed Uganda at 127 out of 190 countries, a drop of five places compared with the previous year. Acknowledging the need for increased competitiveness, the Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project (CEDP) was established to improve productivity in the private sector, particularly through land administration and business registration reforms.

Hydrocarbons were discovered in 2006 but progress has been sluggish as production has been hampered by disagreements with oil companies. The government plans to open the next bidding round for oil exploration licences in 2019. Meanwhile, construction of a pipeline to transport Uganda’s crude oil to Tanga port in Tanzania is underway; this will allow oil to be transported to the international markets.

Uganda has a busy and buoyant legal market that includes a number of sizeable firms. Foreign firms are prohibited from practising in the country, but several – including Dentons and DLA Piper – have alliances and networks. Pan-African law firms like Bowmans and ENSafrica are also achieving success in Uganda and elsewhere on the continent.