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Democracy promotion and civic engagement: What have KAS and partners been up to in 2016?

Annual partner workshop gives opportunity to discuss past and future cooperation

What did the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and its partners achieve in the year 2016 and what lies ahead in 2017? Which challenges were incurred and how where they overcome? To address those specific questions, KAS together with its partners organized the annual partner workshop to constructively reflect on the 2016 projects and to provide their partner organizations with a platform to get in touch again, as well as exchanging news and ideas. A main objective for the participants was to step out of their individual project bound perspective and to notice the bigger picture of their common work.

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Giving some introducing perspectives, KAS programme officers Bernard Mukhone and Donnas Ojok emphasized their individual highlights of the past year, which was characterized by the elections in early 2016. The largely peaceful course of the elections and the handling of the challenges involved were emphasized by both as a great success. Cooperation with the partner organizations was also praised, especially the Social Media Conference. Problems were particularly evident in the implementation of projects in South Sudan, as recent battles worsened the security situation in such a way that KAS and other NGO’s had to stop their cooperation with the partners for now.

The participants also presented their individual heights of the year. For example, Regina Bafaki from Action for Development (ACFODE), who praised the long-term partnership with the KAS and stressed the efforts and success of its organization in the strengthening of gender equality. Furthermore, marked by the elections, the focus was on political education. However, women in Uganda, particularly in politics, are facing huge inequalities and marginalization, which must remain a main objective for further work in 2017.

Paul Luberenga, Director of GAIN-Uganda, used the opportunity to give an overview of the organisations’ activities in 2016 which included civic education trainings at a local level in different districts of Uganda.

The launch of the LéO Africa Review was one of LeO Africa’s flagship projects in 2016. The magazine focusses on economic, political and social governance issues in the East African region. With the LéO Africa Economic Forum in July 2016, our partner held a conference about the Uganda’s economic growth and employment challenges in the future.

With several workshops around the country with the goal to strengthen the role of women in diverse fields of society as well as capacity building programs for party leaders, women and youth representatives, our long-year partner FAD (Foundation for African Development) did a lot of efforts to promote democratic governance, social justice and the rule of law in the country.

ACTADE, the African Center for Trade and Development, organised several workshops to strengthen the understanding of the concept of social market economy as well as conferences such as the Private Sector Forum to discuss with experts the challenges of the countries’ economy.

As our partner from Makerere University Kampala, The University Forum on Governance (UNIFOG) not only organised various roundtable discussions and public dialogues to discuss the past elections, economic issues and many other political topics, but also conferences to promote the opportunities for youth and student leaders in Ugandan politics and civil society.

With a workshop series on the promotion of Constitutionalism and Good Governance in a Multiparty Democracy our governmental partner from the Directorate of National Guidance (DNG) offered trainings for elected leaders and government representatives on a local level in several districts around the country. The workshops were a big success and increased the understanding and appreciation of political pluralism among the participants as well as the key tenets of nation building and responsible citizenship.

By having MegaFM as one of our partners in norther Uganda, the radio channel created a programme to offer political education on current political themes with a 52-week-long programme over the year to reach a wide audience in the region.

With a view to the year 2017, Mathias Kamp, Country Representative of KAS Uganda and South Sudan, presented the new objectives of the cooperation and highlighted the acquisition of new actors at all levels for cooperation. Additionally, the more effective integration and use of media was addressed to promote the use social media as an integral part of modern public relations as it is a great opportunity for all partner organizations.

To exchange experiences and improve existing knowledge, a joint social media training for KAS and its partners was suggested. In the handling of the mainstream media a closer cooperation between the partners was also proposed for the exchange of information and networks to improve cooperation with local and regional journalists in the future.

The day ended with an evening reception at the KAS Office Gardens, where more than 100 partners, friends and supporters of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung came together to not only enjoy live music and a barbeque, but also to network, socialise as well as discussing future activities.

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