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Uganda and Australia Economic Comparison

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  • Miranda Cogdell
  • Audra Harris

 

INTRODUCTION

This essay will reflect a comparison between the poor nation of Uganda and the wealthy nation of Australia. Differences between a poor nation and wealthy one both depend on on the same factors which include: Infrastructure, exports, imports, education, GDP, population, and etc. These factors is what basically makes or breaks a country. Aspects like nutrition and health depend on these factors because it’s what makes available resources and funds to be able to afford the necessary equipment and supplies to sustain a healthy nation. What makes a nation wealthy doesn’t solely depend on the money aspect, but the benefits of being provided opportunity to allow a country to grow and have economic stability. Throughout this essay I will describes current events that Uganda is facing compared to Australia whose information provided is more general. The difference is significant because of lack of opportunity that Uganda has been provided.

GDP

Gross Domestic Product of a country depends on several things. All of which can be at different levels within the country. GDP depends on education status, exports, imports, infrastructure, government spending, and investment. According to the World Bank source, Uganda’s GDP in 2012 was 19.88 billion USD. Australia’s GDP is 1.521 trillion USD according to the World Bank. It is quite clear to see the difference between these two countries GDPs. Australia is more advanced than Uganda in many aspects. Uganda is labeled one of the poorest countries because it hasn’t been able to come above the poverty line. In order to make money there must be money that has to be spent. There isn’t much income within the country of Uganda, so the steps that this country takes to try to create stability are very careful steps.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Infrastructure can be a road, building, or substantial physical supplies that help in the improvement and advancement of a society, community, or country. Uganda is quite a poor nation and several years ago a program was established to produce a number of roads to better the transportation in Uganda communities. One of their biggest problems were the lack of access to transportation to improve the agricultural aspect of Uganda.

‘..the lack of access roads in many rural communities made it extremely difficult for farmers to market their produce. This limited farmers’ productivity, contributed to their apathy about technical innovations, and burdened traders in rural areas with high transaction costs. Farmers received lower prices as a result. In addition, farmers lacked reliable, up to-date information on market prices, and were largely unaware of potentially profitable market opportunities.” (Uganda: Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme, pg. 6) The above statement states the problems that those in Uganda were having. For a country to have a better GDP, problems like this should be fixed. Uganda’s infrastructure is low and needs to be improved. Electricity is also beginning to become a sufficient problem within Uganda. The school systems are starting to struggle more. Students in primary and secondary schools need the necessary technology to advance their education, but that will not happen without an electrical resource. Programs such a the Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Program is one of the first to show improvements, which can lead to the opening of other infrastructure programs that help build the country. It’s just one of the many steps to improve the country’s GDP and put them on a higher scale in the world.

Australia is a well rounded country whose GDP is not lacking in any sense. They are in a place where they are able to produce roads and buildings to further their prospering country. They are currently going through a tax loss and they now make list three times out of the year of infrastructure priorities that should take place.

EXPORTS AND IMPORTS

Uganda is one of the poorest countries because of its economic instability, but the past years have consisted of statistics that shows the growth of the country due to the help of it’s natural resources. Since Uganda is rich in agriculture, so they mainly focus their exports on crops and such. Their main exports consist of coffee, tea, cotton, and tobacco. Their imports is what really shows the struggle the nation faces. They import things such as equipment, medical supplies, and transportation. Becoming a wealthy nation isn’t the easiest thing to do, but right now the best growth that Uganda will see is through it’s exports. Agriculture is their best chance at gaining somewhat of a fair economic stability compared to other countries.

Australia has surprisingly shown up and down battles when it comes to exports and imports. Australia has similar top trading partners for exports and imports which would include: Japan, United States, Republic of Korea, China, India, and etc. Australia’s best exports have been beginning to decline in the past three years. Commodities such as coal, aluminum, and copper have all declined in the past years. It hasn’t reached a point where the country has to worry, but investigating the situation may be helpful. There could many possibilities on why countries Australia normally trades with aren’t wanting the usual amount of commodities. Other countries could be facing financial problems of their own or have found a cheaper price from a different country. Exports and imports are very important parts in balancing the equation in calculating the GDP of a country. When variables begin to be adjusted, in this case, the variables are being adjusted in a negative slope.

EDUCATION

Education is seen as one of the most important aspects of developing a wealthy nation. In recent articles there has been many debates on what is really holding back an advancement in education in Uganda. Sean Coughlan, a BBC News correspondent, recently published an article about why exactly Uganda isn’t experiencing any improvements in education. The answers seem to be clear and it is because of the lack of teachers and infrastructure in Uganda. Many teachers are still waiting to receive their payment for the previous month. Money is a serious problem in the school system. There isn’t enough money to fund the teachers. Coughlan suggest that since many of the teachers in Uganda have to find multiple jobs to pay their bills they don’t put all of their focus on the children and the schools. This is when it becomes even more of a problem. Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS) is a program that helps sustain and improve the quality and standard of schools in Africa. PEAS came up with a solution that may help with some of the financial problems. The parents are required to pay a small fee to schools. This will allow future income to fund the teachers, but this isn’t the last of the schooling problems. Infrastructure has become an issue. There is a great lack of electricity that Uganda is available to, and the schools need computers and textbooks. Compared to other well functioning countries, not having new technology in schools is out of the question. If infrastructure improves, then that could be the breakthrough that schools need to provide a better education for the students.

Australian educational system is very diverse and growing rapidly. Compared to any other stables country, Australia has a number of primary and secondary schools, song with universities that are government funded. They do not lack any funds within their school systems, but that doesn’t mean that students are always focused and have the best test scores. Recently, there have been studies that have shown that Australian teenage students are showing fallen math and reading scores compared to ten years prior. These students are provided with new computers and other new technology advancement to encourage the students, but it doesn’t seem to be having the effect that was hoped for. This proves that new technology will not give the necessary encouragement students in wealthy nations need to be successful and driven.

POPULATION

Uganda was making great strides in decreasing poverty within the country, but the increase in population is making it hard to continue on that path. The increase in population is only making things quite difficult on rural areas. This just means that there are going to be more people who fall beneath the poverty line. Population increase can cause more harm than good in poor countries. It starts to affect the health and nutrition of the people and only adds to already many problems. Many are farmers in these rural areas and they aren’t able to have access to the things they need to establish regular income. These farmers typically live in the remote rural areas where there are not sufficient and able roads. These farmers are also oblivious to new technology that would increase their crops and keep the pest away.

Currently, Australia is going through a boom in their population due to a lag in previous generations. Research shows that the impact the population has an area depends on their practices and daily intake. Although, Australia is able to provide double the exports and imports which would be enough for their country , but also any country outside of theirs. But there is debate on rather or not the population should increase abundantly. People are assuming that if the population begins to increase, then everyone will have to start to cut back on their intake of items.

CONCLUSION

Parts of Uganda are starting to develop at a sufficient pace, but there are other problems in different areas that are causing setbacks for the developing parts. While researching the two countries I could tell by the GDP which country would be considered the poor one and which the wealthy. Uganda main struggling points is education and infrastructure. They have the natural resources to strive in agricultural, but their rural areas are not witnessing the same economic growth because they are in remote parts of the country. Both farmers and students cannot be helped until the roads and newer technology is introduced to them. My personal belief is that these people should be removed from these areas and brought to more developing parts of the country. As population increases it becomes a greater problem because now there are more people in these remote areas who are not getting the proper care and resources they need.

I believe to be a wealthy nation one must be awarded the opportunity to be wealthy. I find it odd that countries like Australia could thrive, but Uganda is not. I’m not saying that Uganda will never thrive, but why aren’t they at the same level as Australia. Why are there still remote parts of Uganda that people are a part of. I believe countries are giving opportunities to become better and Uganda was not one of them along with other poor nations. How come our ways aren’t moving towards the poor nations and trying to help improve them. Many wealthy nations have the resources and funding to help poor nations rise and stand on their own feet. Uganda being rich in agriculture could be a benefit to other countries. They export to great countries, but those exports could double if farmers in remote parts weren’t so isolated and so uninvolved in the economic growth and decisions of more developing parts. I have yet to find any real true answer to why these countries are so different in mass ways. Yes, it’s clear that with no resources there is nothing to come from, but resources can be shared and provided in great demand from other wealthy countries. Something should be done outside the poor nations to fix the economic problems. Poverty shouldn’t come in such large numbers. One country shouldn’t worry about not having clean fresh water while the other could care less because they see it as it will always be there. Something must be done.

Citations

"African Development Bank - Building today, a better Africa tomorrow." African Development Bank -Building today, a better Africa tomorrow. 25 Mar. 2014 <http://www.afdb.org/>.

"Australia's trade in goods and services - Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade." Australia's trade in goods and services - Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 18 Feb. 2014. http://dfat.gov.au/publications/tgs/index.html.

Beder, Sharon. The Nature of Sustainable Development. 2nd ed. Scribe, Newham, 1996, pp. 159-61.

Coughlan, Sean. "Tackling Uganda's lack of school places." BBC News. 08 Jan. 2014. 21 Feb. 2014. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-25304848.

"Economy Watch - Follow The Money." Uganda Trade, Import, Export. 02 Mar. 2014 http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/uganda/export-import.html.

"Home - Rural Poverty Portal." Rural Poverty Portal. 22 Feb. 2014 http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/country/home/tags/uganda.

"Infrastructure Priority List Submissions." Infrastructure Priority List Submissions. 15 Feb. 2014 http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/priority_list/submissions.aspx.


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