The role of institutions in real property development : a case study of Uganda
This study has investigated the role of institutions, their efficiency and effectiveness in the property development process in Uganda. The role of real property development in economic growth and development is well acknowledged especially industrial, commercial and residential properties that are key catalysts to accelerated economic growth and development. In particular, for a developing country like Uganda to be able to absorb the huge direct capital inflow and take full advantage of the rapidly unfolding globalisation process, the necessary infrastructure has to be in place and functioning. However, the dearth of such infrastructure in Uganda, as in many developing countries, and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular is well acknowledged, and can be argued to hinder economic growth and development because of the known 'bottleneck' effects on the economy. Nevertheless, the postulation of this study is that for an effective property development process to take root in Uganda, the necessary institutions must be developed and nurtured. To this effect, a survey method of investigation was employed to ascertain both primary and secondary data, along with information on the state of the real property industry in Uganda so as to critically evaluate the role of stakeholders, including financial, government, professional institutions and private entrepreneurs involved in real property development in Uganda. A case study was conducted in Kampala, which is the Capital and hub of economic activities and where most of the institutions reside. In addition, structured interviews were conducted with legal institutions, as well as some key individuals within the public and private sector domain. The findings revealed that the process of real property development is very rudimentary. In most cases, private and public property developments occur on an incremental basis, which apart from the effects on demand by suppressing it, has a wider negative impact on developing the construction and property industry and entrepreneurial skills, and having a knock-on effect on the evolution of effective property institutions. This scenario is exemplified by the stop-go approach to real property development in Uganda as in other developing countries. In the absence of indigenous capacity, foreign construction and property multinational companies have filled the void but due to the very limited skills sourced and developed locally, relatively little managerial and technical skills are transferred to the local property entrepreneurial class. Thus, the need to identify not only the role that institutions play in real property development, but to also explore such a role within the context of a developing country like Uganda is seen as a necessary prerequisite to its economic growth and development. Hence, this study aims to identify those institutions that are vital to the process of real property development in developing countries such as Uganda, and a strategy has been proposed by which policy can evolve and sequenced, leading to the development and functioning of such institutions.