Common bean ( Phaseolus vulgaris
L.) varieties that are high yielding and drought-tolerant are crucial in coping with the effects of drought, that is prevalent among small scale producers living in Uganda. The objective of this study was to assess the level of drought tolerance in bean genotypes to be used for the initial development of drought-tolerant genotypes in Uganda. Three local genotypes and five exotic drought-tolerant lines were phenotyped under well-watered and drought-stress conditions. Drought tolerant genotypes were selected basing on high value for the geometric mean for seed yield and low drought susceptibility indices. The exotic lines, SEN 98, SCR48 and SEN 99, emerged superior in these attributes, and in pod partitioning index (PPI) and pod harvest index (PHI). Thus, these genotypes could be useful sources of genes for drought tolerance in the bean breeding programme in Uganda. The local genotype, NABE 15 was similar to the three promising materials for PPI and PHI. Pods per plant and seed weight were the yield components most affected by drought, with reductions of 82 and 78 %, respectively, for SEN 98.