Uganda’s military expenditure increased by 46% in 2020 –the highest in sub-Saharan Africa- report

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Uganda’s military expenditure increased by 46 percent in 2020- according to the latest report.
Military expenditure in sub-Saharan Africa increased by 3.4 per cent in 2020 to reach $18.5 billion.
The biggest increases in spending were made by Chad (+31 per cent), Mali (+22 per cent), Mauritania (+23 per cent) and Nigeria (+29 per cent), all in the Sahel region, as well as Uganda (+46 per cent).
Uganda military spending/defense budget for 2019 was $0.65B, a 58.13% increase from 2018
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( SIPRI ), monitors developments in military expenditure worldwide and maintains the most comprehensive, consistent and extensive publicly available data source on military expenditure.

SIPRI’s Military Expenditure Database is updated annually, and the data set is based on the best open-source evidence available at the time it is compiled.
The data set is based in part on adopted budgets rather than final spending during the year and is adjusted once final spending figures are available. These adjustments are then included in the next annual update of the SIPRI database.
All percentage changes are expressed in real terms (constant 2019 prices). Military expenditure refers to all government spending on current military forces and activities, including salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support.

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Global perspective

Military expenditure increases in the first year of the pandemic: The 2.6 per cent increase in world military spending came in a year when global gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 4.4 per cent (October 2020 projection by the International Monetary Fund), largely due to the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, military spending as a share of GDP—the military burden—reached a global average of 2.4 per cent in 2020, up from 2.2 per cent in 2019.

This was the biggest year-on-year rise in the military burden since the global financial and economic crisis in 2009.
Even though military spending rose globally, some countries explicitly reallocated part of their planned military spending to pandemic response, such as Chile and South Korea. Several others, including Brazil and Russia, spent considerably less than their initial military budgets for 2020.

‘We can say with some certainty that the pandemic did not have a significant impact on global military spending in 2020,’ said Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme. ‘It remains to be seen whether countries will maintain this level of military spending through a second year of the pandemic.’

Uganda last spent $1 billion dollars on defence in 2011. That year, Uganda even surpassed regional giant Kenya’s defence spending for the first time.

Of the US$ 1.02 billion, US$270 million was spent on its usual defense budget items (food, salaries etc) and US$ 750 million on acquisition of 6 Su-30MK Russian jets.

The acquisition of the jets elevated Uganda’s air force to one of the most advanced combat aircraft squadrons in East and Central Africa, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), which tracks conflicts and military spending globally, reported.

In its recent report, Trends in international arms transfers, 2011, SIPRI notes that the purchase of the fighter jets and other arms increased Uganda’s military expenditure by 300%, dwarfing Africa’s 9% and the world’s 24% expenditure on arms.

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