How can knowledge help develop human capital? The case of Uganda

[This blog post was written by Moses Arinaitwe, Health Systems Strengthening Specialist]


Attaining middle-income status by 2020 has been Uganda’s current government ambitious promise over the past decade. There, however, have been concerns that the country has ignored the development of human resource capacities that are very critical if this is to be achieved.

In my book titled: Creating Human Resource Systems for attaining Middle Income Status: A case for Uganda, I discuss the importance of establishing human resource systems as a strategy of pushing for middle income status in Uganda. I base my argument on the fact that no country can mutate into the much-coveted middle-income bracket without the backbone of thoroughly developed human resource systems. This enterprise also requires that strategic decisions are oriented with local generated knowledge.

Knowledge and human capital development

In showcasing human capital development in Uganda my book illustrates the importance of having institutions devoted to studying and producing knowledge aligned to the five lead transformational sectors of our economy that comprise of; Agriculture, Tourism, Minerals, oil and Gas; Infrastructure development and Human Capital Development.

Creating Human Resource Systems for attaining Middle Income Status: A case for Uganda

Creating Human Resource Systems for attaining Middle Income Status: A case for Uganda

I observe that the recent efforts to establish centers of excellence in specific fields at University level have increased the number of graduates fit to join workplaces with practical solutions in the 21st Century. This has helped to shape our country’s human capital competitiveness locally, regionally and internationally. These benefits have positively impacted the transformation of human resources for national and international development. Key centers that have impacted stakeholders in the Private Sector, especially those interested in business intelligence include:

  1. The Food Technology & Business Incubation Center, a first University-based technology and business incubator in the East and Central African Region that provides opportunities in the food industry through research in agro-processing. To-date this center has produced over 1,300 students, staff and the general community entrepreneurs that have transformed business enterprises and built further capacity for developing commercial products in our country, directly contributing to value addition and food security.
  2. Makerere University Regional Centre of Excellence for Crop Improvement established with World Bank support this center in October 2015 this center today meets the demand for skills required for Africa’s development in areas such as agriculture, energy, and extractive industries contributing to strengthening innovation capacity among best African higher education institutions in the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics disciplines.
  3. Makerere University Climate Change Research & Innovations Center opened in 2013 to promote awareness of climate change this center conducts research on climate change science, climate change mitigation and adaptation in all sectors and works to disseminate and generate specific innovations for climate change mitigation and adaptation in agricultural sciences and natural resource sectors. Based on evidence generated through research and dissemination of findings, the center advocates and influences actions towards the development of climate change policy to enable Uganda address barriers to climate change.

Human Resource Systems to support human capital development

Stronger Human Resource Systems will increase Uganda’s competitiveness and productivity with excellent acquisition, deployment, management, retention and meaningful exit strategies for existing qualified professionals. The Systems facilitate institutions to perform human resource functions and enable those that have the responsibility to manage, develop and plan for the institutional human capital to effectively perform their duties and responsibilities. Such systems that need to be developed include systems for operating processes, procedures and standards for labor planning, engagement, management, development and recruitment. Examples of such systems include systems that managers can use to announce jobs, award or sanction job roles, administer pay and fringe benefits, pay monthly salaries and wages, manage learning and development activities and process and pay retirement benefits to those exiting employment.

To further enhance the creation of stronger Human Resource Systems, I recommended that the government should strengthen Human Resources Systems in the lead sectors particularly; in industrialization establishing world class education institutions, investing in science, technology and innovation, mindset change, promotion of work ethics, patriotism and public service reorganization.

More about the book

Moving Uganda to middle income status (MIS) simply means that every individual must attain 1.000$ per capita income. A few professional bureaucrats understand this concept, thus opening it up to wide intellectual debates from many players, including World Bank Economists. The wide dissenting views from these many players have informed me in publishing this book as my contribution to more researched literature on Uganda that can be used as a source of reference.

To own a copy of this book click here.

The author can be reached at

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