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A businessman speaks on his cell phone in Kampala, Uganda.
2009 GDP Growth: 7%
Population: 30.9 million
2010 Estimated GDP Growth: 6%

This East African country roughly the size of Oregon has seen steady GDP growth in recent years. Uganda fared better during the global recession relative to many other nations, and in many ways, the sources of its resiliency were both intentional and coincidental: Like most African nations, Uganda's banks were much more conservative than their counterparts in advanced economies, which had greater setbacks. But its financial services industry has expanded in recent years, with the growth of commercial banks, micro-finance institutions, and other financial services helping drive its economy overall.

Though challenges remain, Uganda's government has taken important steps to turn its economy around in recent decades. GDP has risen steadily in recent years. It saw only a slight dip in 2009 when growth in the rest of the world contracted considerably more. Uganda grew 8.4% in 2007, 8.7% in 2008, and 7% in 2009.

Uganda's successes could also be attributed to its inflation rate, says Ernest Aryeetey, director of Brookings Institution's Africa Growth Initiative. Whereas inflation reached triple digits in 1987, the rate in recent years has declined substantially to average less than 10% (and lower than most economies in the region).

Uganda's telecommunications sector has seen solid growth, especially with the sale of mobile telephones. Only five years ago, two million Ugandans had cell phones, and today that number is 10 million. Aryeetey added that coffee (of which Uganda is Africa's second leading producer) and tea exports also helped the country ride out the economic downturn better.

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Last updated July 01 2010: 4:35 PM ET
Source: Population figures from U.S. State Department; GDP numbers from International Monetary Fund
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