By agencies

The policy direction to reorganize government agencies will have meaning if it leads to effectiveness and efficiency of government in delivering public goods and services, according to the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa Albert Zeufack.

The Ugandan government is in the process of merging a number of its agencies, in a process that will see 64 agencies scrapped, 37 merged with related agencies, while 32 will have their functions mainstreamed into the sector ministries.

According to the Minister for Information, Frank Tumwebaze, the agencies eat up 37 percent of the national budget, which translates into about 10 trillion Shillings annually, yet they duplicate work also done by the sector ministries.

World Bank’s Zeufack told journalists in Kampala, via a teleconferencing link from the bank’s headquarters in Washington D.C. in the United States that the reforms will only be meaningful if they translate into the effectiveness of government.

The teleconference coincided with the launch of the 2017 report of the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) for Africa today. The report describes the progress Sub Saharan African countries are making on strengthening the quality of their policies and institutions.

Zeufack also argued that key, as a result of the reforms, would be whether or not it contributes to reducing corruption, which is also sustained over time.

News of the reforms has sent shock-waves through the affected agencies and mixed reactions from the general public, with some hailing it while other doubting its success.