L-R Ms. Audrey Dralega (Education Expert), Dr. Obuku Ekwaro (President Uganda Medical Association), Ms. Diana Sekaggya-Bagarukayo (Education Specialist, World Bank), Mr. Alain Sibenaler, Country Representative United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Prof. Juma Wasswa Balunywa (Principal Makerere University Business School), Mr. Stephen Kasaija (Head Social Protection Programme Management Unit, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development during the inaugural panel discussion

Government of Uganda has been urged to invest more in its people starting at an early age and pay more attention to issues affecting their health, education and critical groups such as the youth, elderly and persons with disabilities if it is to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.

Speaking at Serena Hotel on Thursday July 18th, 2019 during the inaugural United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and National Planning Authority (NPA) breakfast policy series to inform the formulation of the third national development plan, participants from UN agencies, government, the academia, civil society organizations and the private sector also thanked government for integrating human capital development as a fundamental investment area in the new plan. By articulating human capital development in objective three of the NDPIII strategic direction, UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah said; “Government of Uganda demonstrates acknowledgement that investing in people is not only critical, but necessary to ensure sustained inclusive growth.”

On his part, Dr. Joseph Muvawala, the Executive Director of National Planning Authority, called for the equipping of Uganda’s “abundant labour with globally competitive skills, relevant knowledge, good health and positive attitudes.” Dr. Muvawala was represented by Dr. Hamis Mugendawala, a senior education planner at NPA.

The Uganda Vision 2040 identifies Uganda’s young labour force as one of the opportunities that Uganda has to utilize to harness growth.

Other speakers called for increased investments in early childhood development, skilling the labour force, reducing the population living in poor health, increasing the proportion of the population accessing social protection, adequately managing the population growth and structure and adoption of appropriate technology in the production of goods and services. 

Supporting a case for reducing the population of people living with poor health, Dr. Karusa Kiragu, the UNAIDS Uganda Country Director, called for sustainable funding for HIV/AIDS response which is presently donor-dependent. “We need to pay attention to the silent epidemic of HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Presently, about 90% of the treatment is paid for by donors, which is not sustainable in the wake of continued infections,” Kiragu observed. On his part, Mr. Alain Sibenaler UNFPA Uganda Representative underscored need to end child marriages and teenage pregnancies, keep girls in school and increase accessibility to voluntary family planning services.

Investing in education and job creation

Education has been identified as a key foundation for human capital development. Ms. Diana Sekaggya Bagarukayo, Education Specialist at the World Bank, observed that Uganda needs to increase the 10% it currently spends on education annually to improve learning, enrollment and completion rates. In comparison, she said, some Sub-Saharan countries spend 16% of their budget on education.

Prof. Juma Waswa Balunywa, Principal of Makerere University Business School, warned that the job market demands are changing very fast hence the need for a forecast of jobs and skills that will be relevant for the future and ensuring that the education curriculum and learning institutions are training for that.

While Uganda has made significant progress in all dimensions of human development during the past three decades, progress is slowing down recently. To mention but a few, Uganda’s Human Development Index rose by less than three percent, compared to the era of the Poverty Eradication Action Plans (PEAP), when it averaged 12 percent.

NDPIII breakfast policy series

An initiative of UNDP and NPA, the purpose of NDPIII breakfast policy series is to provide a multi-stakeholder platform to deliberate and build consensus around the strategic issues relevant to the NDPIII formulation process. It is a follow-up to earlier consultations with various stakeholders on the NDPIII strategic direction.

The inaugural consultation was held under the theme, “Investing in human capital for shared prosperity in Uganda.”

Four other NDPIII breakfast policy consultation series are being planned and will focus on high-impact strategic reforms/ interventions in the areas of; value addition and inclusive growth, good governance, mainstreaming cross-cutting issues as well as financing and development cooperation. According to Prof. Pamela Mbabazi, the NPA Board Chairperson, each meeting will be shaped by an issue note articulating the relevant programme issues and high-impact strategic interventions, and an outcome document to be submitted to NPA for consideration.

Schedule of the breakfast policy series

Series number

Series theme

Date

1st series

Human Capital Development for Shared Prosperity

July 18th, 2019

2nd series

Enhancing Value Addition for Inclusive Growth in Uganda

July 25th, 2019

3rd series

Good governance for Socio Economic Transformation of Uganda

August 1st, 2019

4th series

Mainstreaming cross cutting issues (Leaving No One Behind, Gender; Youth; HIV/AIDS; Nutrition; Refugees, Climate Change; Environment)

August 8th, 2019

5th series

Financing and Development Cooperation

August 15th, 2019


About the National Development Plan

The current NDPII expires at the end of June 2020 and the next Development Plan (NDPIII) should be in place by September 2019 to guide the Budget Strategy for the financial year 2020/21. The conceptual framework for the NDPIII is drawn from the thinking behind the Uganda Vision 2040 of strengthening fundamentals and harnessing opportunities, with attainment of the middle-income status remaining the driving factor. To this end, the overriding goal of NDPIII is to “Increase household incomes and improve quality of life”, which is expected to be achieved through “Sustainable industrialization for inclusive growth, employment and wealth creation”.

The formulation of the NDPIII is in line with the Uganda Vision 2040 and builds on the achievements registered under the first and second National Development Plans, while taking into consideration the challenges encountered and lessons learnt during their implementation. The Plan also seeks to leverage the Country’s growth opportunities and honour development and partnership obligations at the national, regional and global levels.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Michael Mubangizi,

Communications Analyst,

UNDP Uganda,

michael.mubangizi@undp.org,

Tel No.: +256772147564

Ms. Emily Chelengat,

Communications Officer,

National Planning Authority

emily.chelengat@npa.go.ug

Tel No.: +256703290405 

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