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Urban Poverty Reduction in Uganda: Government-Run Market Infrastructure and Vendor Expectations in Kampala Capital City Authority

Uganda has been faced with rapid urbanisation but with an infrastructural deficit (ADB 2009, p.v). Recently, Uganda has embarked on investment in market infrastructure development with support from World Bank and other development partners following a feasibility study carried out in 2008. From the feasibility study, the need to facilitate increased marketing and general improvement of the working conditions within the market place was established.

This study centres on the market infrastructure development which is one of the urban poverty reduction strategies in Uganda. The market infrastructure redevelopment was embraced in 2009 and is guided by the Markets Act 1942 which mandates urban areas to establish, maintain, control and manage markets within their areas of jurisdiction (GOU 1942, Section 1.2).

Multi-strategy research and b both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were employed. Research focused on Wandegeya Market where data was collected by focus group discussion guide, and interview guide, both stratified and purposive samplings were applied to come up with a sample size. Content analysis was used to analyse qualitative data collected

The research findings revealed that market infrastructure development has an impact on urban poverty reduction through its strategic provision of employment opportunities to the large informal sector. It is to a large extent a major contributor to the livelihood of urban dwellers despite the various challenges of the attitude of vendors, political patronage, and legislation. The findings also indicate some shortfalls in the utilisation of market infrastructure caused by the increasing number of vendors in the city.

The conclusions of the research are in agreement with the findings and literature review indicating that market infrastructure has been embraced in Uganda as an urban poverty reduction strategy. It has promoted employment among the informal sector and the low educated citizens of the country through provision of clean and secure operation space. The study recommends that for effective utilisation of the market infrastructure, there is need for review of the Markets Act, to meet with the demands of the increasing private sector involvement in provision of work space within the urban centres.

Josephine Nabaggalla (2013)


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