Ms. Elsie Attafuah, Resident Representative, UNDP Uganda.

The Chairperson, National Planning Authority,

The Executive Director, National Planning Authority,

Representative of Ministries, Departments and Agencies,

Members of the Development Partners Community,

Colleagues from the United Nations Family,

Colleagues from the private sector, academia and civil society organizations,

Distinguished Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

On behalf of the United Nations (UN) family, let me welcome you to this inaugural NDPIII breakfast Policy series. I am happy to see a number of our UN Representatives here to support this strategic dialogue as we draw on our collective strengths, comparative advantages and complementarities to support the people of Uganda on national development issues. This is at the core of the United Nations work. Importantly, I am glad to see that all of you have turned up this early, which is testament that the theme of today’s discussion matters to you.

Let me first take the opportunity to thank the Government of Uganda for the leadership and for opening up this space for dialogue towards the preparation of the third National Development Plan through the National Planning Authority (NPA). What a great way to begin this dialogue with a theme that places the people at the heart of development. This is an imperative in achieving the sustainable development goals, particularly, the principle of Leaving no one behind.

Ladies and gentlemen

Uganda’s vision 2040 places people at the centre of the nation’s development trajectory. The second National Development Plan sought to actualize that by emphasizing human capital development as a fundamental investment area.

Undoubtedly, Uganda has made significant progress in all dimensions of human development during the past three decades. However, progress is slowing down recently. Uganda’s Human Development index rose by less than 3 percent, compared to the era of the Poverty Eradication Action Plans (PEAP), when it averaged 12 percent.

Clearly, the Government of Uganda, by articulating human capital development in objective three of the NDPIII strategic direction, demonstrates acknowledgement that investing in people is not only critical, but necessary to ensure sustained inclusive growth.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am convinced that we have all come to this policy dialogue with a common position that more needs to be done during NDPIII. Among several issues you will put across, I wish to direct your attention to the following teasers, and I am sure the moderator will set the stage with more:

1)   One: NDPIII aims at enhancing household incomes and improving the quality of life of the population by holistically focusing on resource led industrialization for export led growth. Then, how do we ensure that Uganda has the necessary skilled labor that can be engaged in the light manufacturing sector, for example, such as textile and apparel? How do we ensure that investors can find the right mix of skills so that they do not have to import high skilled labor? How do we enhance the skills of the artisanal miners to transform the development mineral sector, for example?

2)   Two: How could we enhance the proposed direction in the NDP III to ensure no one is left behind? how do we invest systematically to ensure the estimated 800,000 new entrants annually in the labor market, either find a job or create their own?  What are the key investments in health that will protect a Ugandan mother from dying while giving birth or an infant dying before turning 5 years? How can we broaden the scope of social protection in such a way that it builds resilience of Ugandans going beyond the current Social protection programme? What policy and institutional reforms would be requited?

3)   Three, but not least: how could we restructure our financing sources, mechanisms and instruments in such a way that there is a balanced approach as we pursue industrialization, keeping in mind the need for sustained human development?  Both are fundamental for Uganda’s development. What are those innovative financing options to harness for human capital development?

It is my hope that, the outcomes of this breakfast will constructively influence and inform the NDPIII development process, and in its eventual implementation. Please count on the full commitment of the United Nations Development Programme in full collaboration with the wider United Nations family.

As I conclude, I would like to extend my appreciation to the National Planning Authority for the long and trusted partnership.

I wish us fruitful deliberation.

Thank you.

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