The unexploited potential for Domestic Trade in Uganda

Submitted by on Wed, 09/13/2023 - 17:12

Domestic trade (wholesale and retail) is one of the least prioritized in development planning and has received limited attention in Uganda’s policy discourse. Using Uganda National Household Surveys (UNHS) from 2012/13, 2016/17, and 2019/20, evidence reveals that most Ugandans are employed in the retail trade except for motor vehicles and motorcycle activities subsector.


Whereas informal domestic trade continues to dominate employment patterns, the number of Ugandans engaged in formal domestic trade has grown tremendously. Occurrence of skills transitions across the employment sub-sectors of domestic trade, especially with more highly skilled (professionals and managers) working in the retail trade, except motor vehicles and motorcycles sub-sector. This brief makes a case for more investments in the sub-sector sector, given its employment potential to absorb women and youth and its significant contribution to Uganda’s GDP growth and revenue.