Uganda's central bank raised its benchmark lending rate by one percentage point to 17 percent on Tuesday to stave off inflation, the bank's governor said.

Policymakers in the east African nation started tightening monetary policy in April after the shilling weakened sharply against the dollar. Five hikes since then have now raised the rate by 600 basis points.

"Inflation will continue to rise over the course of the 2015/16 fiscal year,"Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile told a news conference, citing the bank's forecasts.

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The rate increase would help ensure that medium-term inflation stayed within the bank's target of 5 percent, he said.

The governor told reporters the shilling, which has lost a quarter of its value against the dollar this year, had since stabilised and is likely to remain stable in the near term.