EU-supported Project “Action for Strengthening Good Governance and Accountability in Uganda” Officially Launched

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On Tuesday November 15th 2011, several national and district level governance actors including Members of Parliament, Development Partners, Civil Society, Academia as well as the Media converged at the Kampala Serena Hotel for the official launch of the EU-supported project “Action for Strengthening Good Governance and Accountability in Uganda.” The 1.2 billion shillings project will be implemented by KAS and ACFODE with support from the European Development Fund (EDF). Over the course of 2 years it will be taken to 11 districts across Uganda.

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Dr. Angelika Klein

The KAS Country Representative, Dr. Angelika Klein, welcomed the invited guests and dignitaries.

Among the distinguished guests at the launch of this project were the National Authorizing Officer and Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, the EU Head of Delegation in Uganda, H.E Roberto Ridolfi, the KAS Country Representative Dr Angelika Klein and the Executive Director of Action for Development (ACFODE), Ms Regina Bafaki. Also present were Hon. Gerald Karuhanga, Youth Member of Parliament for the Western Region and Hon. Christine Abia Member of Parliament for Arua District.

In her welcoming remarks, Dr Angelika Klein extended her gratitude to the European Union, the Democratic Governance and Accountability Program (DGAP) and the government of Uganda who had offered their kind support in launching the project. She was especially appreciative of the government of Uganda who through their good will and support had continued to provide an enabling environment for projects such as this one to be implemented. Dr Klein went on further to applaud the interventions of ACFODE who has partnered with KAS for more than 20 years to address issues of good governance and accountability in Uganda. “The interventions ACFODE has undertaken in these areas have been outstanding especially with regard to women’s participation in politics. Like KAS, ACFODE continues to uphold the highest standards and it is because of this that we can guarantee effectiveness in the implementation of this project.”

In his remarks H.E. Roberto Ridolfi pointed out that “much as there are still several limitations to realizing full blown accountability in Uganda, criticism without any form of assistance is just not constructive. The legislation in Uganda is one of the best in the world; all these laws make a complex system of legislation which has to be implemented even when complex. It is for this reason that projects such as this one are so important."

He concluded by cautioning Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to avoid duplication of programs and to align their proposals and ideas with the National Development Plan (NDP) so as to ensure that their programs were in line with the priorities of the country. He also called on increased transparency in licensing of CSOs and removal of unnecessary restriction on the registration of CSOs.

In her speech, Hon Maria Kiwanuka pointed out that good governance and accountability was essential in creating an enabling environment for development and it was for this reason that the government of Uganda would lend its full support to initiatives that aimed at achieving this. She further pointed out that the government would continue to build institutions such as the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Uganda Police and the Parliament whose purpose is to ensure the enforcement of good governance and accountability. The Minister added that this project would be invaluable in enforcing democratic processes at the local level as well as ensuring accountability. She concluded by applauding initiatives such as the “democracy fairs” under the launched project as well as the existing “barazas” which ensure that CSOs working on issues of governance can work together with the government to reach as many citizens as possible while at the same time ensuring that there are less chances of duplication.

Participants at the launch were also given an opportunity to share their thoughts on the project. Some of the common sentiments that were shared by those present were that the project assists young people in demanding accountability and engaging in civic activism since they formed a significant percentage of Uganda’s population. The police and the media were also identified as target groups who should be sensitized on issues of good governance and accountability. Hon. Christine Abia also mentioned that she hoped the activities implemented in this project would close the gap between politicians and their people.

Ms Regina Bafaki, Exective Director of ACFODE, officially closed the event by thanking all those who had managed to attend the launch. “You honoring this invitation is a sign that you are committed to strengthening good and accountability in your respective capacities as well as in the districts where the action will be implemented. We assure you that we shall continue consulting with you throughout the implementation of this project because as we work together we shall be able to achieve the intended results.”

(Sheila Kinaheirwe)

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Event Reports


Uganda, November 21, 2011

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