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Political Leadership Advancement Laboratory (POLA-LAB) benefits young and emerging leaders from the youth leadership structures such as the national youth council, youth representatives at the mainstream leadership structures, youth leaders in civil society organisations, political parties and the private sector.
On 25th Jan 2020, we welcomed 25 young participants from Masaka District for the one-day training. During the workshop, we focused on political economy analysis, the importance of civic engagement and how to deal with its challenges. Furthermore, we also hinted on how to design effective advocacy strategies.
Ayub Kiranda from UNIFOG gave an introduction to the concept of political economy analysis (PEA). His emphasis was for participants to understand the connection between economic and politics. “For one to have political influence one needs to study the situation thoroughly and assess the same them tactfully to achieve more with less” he said. Political economy analysis as a concept underpins the fact that politics doesn’t operate in a vacuum but is rather a complex phenomenon shaped by different aspects such as access resources, power relations, interactions with different actors among others.
The Masaka District LC5 chairperson Jube Mbabaali also facilitated a session on civic engagement and how to put it into practice. He concluded the session by emphasising that “when ordinary people do voluntary work, go to vote, participate in petitions, ask constructive questions, engage media houses, attend community meetings, then you know that they are a civically conscious group”.
To build-up on the civic engagement topic, a reading session by Rebecca Fuchs followed and it was based on the text “Civic Engagement – When Voting is Not Enough” by Cameron Cross.
Session four was about activism and the law and was presented by ASP. Muhamed Nsubuga, the District Police Liaison Officer from Masaka. He emphasised the young political leaders must have a fervent understanding of the legal landscape in Uganda to be able to lead their constituencies more effectively.
“For your work as a politician, it is important to know what advocacy is and how you can deploy it as a tool to enable to do your work” Ojok Okello the facilitator of the last session introduced the concept of advocacy and lobbing to the young participates. According to Ojok, advocacy can be done by the people, for the people and with the people and should be developed close to the people who are effected by the issue which needs to be solved.
The training ended with a discussion about a poem written by Otto Rene Castillo - “Apolitical Intellectual”. The poem sparked discussions about why and how important it is to use what you have as an individual and how to use it for the greater good of the society.
Generally, the POLA-LAB session in Masaka provided a unique opportunity to nurture the political leadership skills of the youth leaders as evidenced by one of the participants who said, “the workshop has been an eye-opener and I am sure most of the discussions we had today will undoubtedly make me a better leader”.
Report compiled by Rebecca Fuchs, an Intern at KAS.