The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has approved a new country programme for Uganda that will focus on promoting inclusive governance, inclusive and sustainable growth, sustainable management of natural resources and resilient development.
The new Country Programme Document (CPD) for Uganda was approved by the UNDP Executive Board chaired by its President, H.E. Walton Alfonso Webson, during its 7th meeting of the second regular session that convened in New York from August 31 to September 4, 2020.
The UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, presented the CPD to the Board, highlighting the key priorities it is premised on. She said that Uganda has made significant progress and with over 75% of population under the age of 35, the nation had a huge potential to grow.
She explained that the conducive climate and environment for sustainable tourism and agriculture are major enablers to stimulate growth, building on robust industrialisation and local economic development strategies that exist. “Uganda’s CPD will power economic transformation that benefits all citizens,” Ms. Eziakonwa told the Board. “Building on these advantages, UNDP will focus on broader integrated transformational areas,” she added.
Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dr. Adonia Ayebare, said the Government approves of the new UNDP programme for Uganda and pledged Government’s support during implementation.
“I am pleased to confirm that the new UNDP Country Programme for Uganda aligns to the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and responds to our development priorities,” Dr. Ayebare said. “I would like to confirm the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Uganda to continue collaborating with UNDP during the implementation phase of the new Country Programme,” he added.
Dr. Ayebare said the CPD is aligned to the new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Uganda that is due to be signed by His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni on September 9, 2020 and responds to Uganda’s development priorities. He commended the longstanding partnership between the Government of Uganda and UNDP and acknowledged the support provided by UNDP to the development of the third National Development Plan.
On her part, the RBA Director Eziakonwa commended Uganda for being one of the countries that took quick and aggressive measures to respond to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
UNDP adopted a three-pronged approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing particularly on the most vulnerable and for business continuity purposes. It is helping Uganda to protect people from the pandemic and its impacts, to respond during the outbreak, and to recover from the economic and social impacts of the crisis.
As part of the COVID-19 response, UNDP is supporting Government business continuity through provision of digital and virtual communication platforms to sustain delivery amidst restrictions on movement and physical interaction and is sustaining supply chains for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and connecting them with consumers online to sustain livelihoods by addressing the current market challenges while boosting online trading and marketing, e.g. in its partnership with JUMIA.
UNDP in partnership with Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited launched the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility designed to spur impact-driven entrepreneurship, foster innovation, and leverage business solutions to address the youth unemployment challenge; and enable MSMEs recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
UNDP also provided technical leadership to the first UN-wide, comprehensive assessment of socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Uganda which generated understanding of the socio-economic situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda and identified potential entry points for response, recovery and resilience building.
Additionally, UNDP is supporting activation of the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Centre (NECOC) to provide a robust whole-of-government platform to anchor Government’s preparedness and response plan and to promote inclusive and integrated crisis management and multi-sectoral responses.
In agreement, Dr. Ayebare welcomed UNDP’s COVID-19 response saying that support for e-governance in Uganda was critical and has enabled 70% of government institutions to function virtually which is ensuring business continuity following the COVID-19 lockdown.
On her part, the UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah commended the Government of Uganda for partnering with UNDP over the years, “I commend the people and the Government of Uganda lead by His Excellency the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for allowing us to partner with them in support of the country’s development agenda. The new CPD is yet another opportunity for us to address evolving development bottlenecks to Uganda’s transformation journey.”
She added, “I am glad our CPD is aligned to the recently approved third National Development Plan, the Uganda Vision 2040 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and prioritises responses to the COVID-19 to help the country build forward better from its effects of the pandemic.” She also noted that, Uganda’s CPD is amongst the few in the world and first to be developed in Africa in 2020 concurrently with the development of the National Development Plan, the UN Sustainable Development Co-operation Framework, and the UN Socio-Economic assessment of Covid-19 and related recovery planning, thereby, positioning the Uganda CPD as providing a timely, bold and robust integrated development offer in support of national development efforts.
New Programme Priorities:
Inclusive governance: The Country Programme will support strengthening of inclusive governance, with emphasis on public sector reforms to strengthen institutional coherence and building an institutionalised e-governance system in the public sector for effective coordination, transparency and accountability. The previous programme will be leveraged to improve the quality of democracy by supporting the electoral cycle for transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections, and promoting electoral reforms in the post-election period. The functions of Parliament and the Judiciary will be enhanced.
The national infrastructure for peace, security, alternative conflict resolution and management will be strengthened, including with traditional, cultural and religious leaders and the creative industry[SE1] , to promote dialogue.
Inclusive and sustainable growth: UNDP support will focus on addressing constraints to build robust and integrated value chains in the agriculture, tourism and mining sectors. The focus will be on correcting structural constraints, emphasizing local economic actors, micro, small and medium enterprises in commodity and service lines, and covering youth, women, people with disabilities and refugees.
Working with other actors, UNDP will advocate for sustainable and inclusive business models, digitize value chains, enhance digital skilling, promote financial inclusion, attract private capital, de-risk financing, incentivize innovation and provide a strong catalyst to advance the manufacturing agenda and youth employment.
Equitable growth and sustainable management of natural resources: Uganda’s economy is largely natural resources-based. Consequently, UNDP will invest in sustaining development gains and strengthening resilience by protecting the ecosystem. This will entail strengthening capacities for robust environmental governance and management of natural resources. Support will focus on integrated sustainable land management and restoration of degraded landscapes, including incentives for ecosystem strengthening in refugee settlements and host communities.
UNDP shall promote access to affordable renewable energy options in underserved rural and urban communities; strengthen resilience to climate and disaster risks to address drivers of disaster uncertainty; and strengthen risk governance institutions, laws and policies.