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Spain is not Uganda. Discuss.


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Spain is not Uganda. Discuss.

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Spain is not Uganda. Discuss.

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy sent a text to his finance minister in the midst of negotiations on the terms of a bailout for Spain's banks. Urging him to hold out for a good deal, it said: "We're the number four power in Europe. Spain is not Uganda." The remark caused a storm of protest in Uganda and some ironic tweets pointing out Ugandan economic success. So how do the two countries compare?

6,000 miles apart

Sources: World Bank, United Nations, International Monetary Fund, CIA World Factbook, BBC country profiles

Population

Unemployment,

Coffee, fish, tea, tobacco, cotton, corn, beans.

Life expectancy

79 years (men), 85 years (women)

54 years (men), 55 years (women)

Gross national income per capita, 2010 (adjusted to reflect local living costs)

$31,800

$1,250

Views from the street

Drama graduate Andres Granda, 27, who lives in Murcia, last week got a job in an ice cream parlour after more than a year of being unemployed.

"Every month I was unemployed it got harder. I was saying to myself 'Come on, you're 27 years old. You are wasting your youth.' Nearly all my friends who have jobs had to leave Murcia to get work. There are two kinds of moods in Spain now, depression and anger."

Kobusinge Maureen, 25, says she was lucky to get a job as a brewery marketing assistant two years after graduating in business administration.

"Most of my friends from university are still looking for work. If someone knows someone in a company then it helps them to get a job. I was able to get mine through a relative. The economy is not stable but we always find our way through things."

Tweets on the Rajoy text

[Spain is not Uganda] seems obvious. Only in Spain could we take heart from a bailout - more respect for Uganda, less for our politicians.

Patrick Smith, editor of newsletter Africa Confidential

"[The text message] connotes old-fashioned European thinking from almost the 19th Century, that there are all these different worlds within the world and Africa is out there, completely cut off and bumbling along. If you go to Africa today, there's a lot of people, many of them European, touting for business, trying to get in on the economic growth. The concern is that Uganda's growth is coming from too narrow a range of economic activity - the big hope is the two billion barrels of oil discovered in Bunyoro. But it's a developing economy and an entirely different ballgame from Europe, which is like the geriatric continent trying to manage old age gracefully, whereas Africa is young and growing fast."

Famous living people

Tennis star Rafael Nadal, actress Penelope Cruz and novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Singer Michael Kiwanuka (UK-born to Ugandan parents), Nasa space scientist Kwatsi Alibaruho (US-born, Ugandan national) and President Yoweri Museveni

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