Kampala, Uganda on 20 November 2019 – The APRM launched the Second Review Report for Uganda at Speke’s Resort in Kampala, Uganda. The Keynote Address was delivered by H.E. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Vice President of the Republic of Uganda. The event was attended by the APRM Uganda National Focal Point and Minister of State for Planning, Hon David Bahati, the Lead APR Panel Member for Uganda, Bishop Dinis Sengulane, the CEO of the APRM Secretariat, Prof Eddy Maloka, the members of the APRM National Governing Council for Uganda led by the Chairperson, Dr. Albert Byamugisha, and members of the APRM Continental Secretariat. The launch was also attended by stakeholders from civil society, the private sector and government
The highlight of the launch was the handing over of the Second Review Report by the CEO of the APRM Secretariat, Prof Eddy Maloka, to H.E. Vice-President Ssekandi. Hon Ssekandi noted in his keynote address that Uganda was grateful to the Heads of State of the APRM for their support in ensuring the Second Review of Uganda was completed, and that the APRM was an important process for monitoring the performance of government in different sectors.
Vice President Ssekandi also commended the members of the new ten member Uganda APRM National Governing Council for accepting the task of steering the APRM process in Uganda for the next four years until 2022, including completing annual progress reports, and pledged the full support of the Government of Uganda to the APRM. For effective implementation of the recommendations in the National Programme of Action, the Vice President instructed the National Planning Agency to ensure it is integrated into the National Development Plan.
Bishop Sengulane, Lead Panel Member for Uganda, highlighted the main findings in the Second Review Report. He observed that the peer review of the report by Heads of State and Government participating in the APRM took place in January 2018, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Uganda was only the second APRM country to undergo a second review, at the time, after Kenya, and these two countries have been joined in 2019 by Mozambique which completed its second peer review in February this year. Uganda was at the forefront in using the APRM as a tool to address challenges in governance, including the bottlenecks, as championed by H.E President Museveni, as well as to share commendable practices across the Continent.
Among the challenges noted in the report were the need for financial and administrative independence and capacity building at the Judiciary as well as the Legislature, to ensure these critical State institutions function optimally; expanding the tax base including inclusion of informal businesses and addressing tax evasion and illicit financial flows, and strengthening the criteria for tax exemptions; and the importance of addressing harmful cultural practices such as violence against women and girls.
Commendable practices highlighted in the report include Medico-Legal Services for Victims of Gender-Based Violence, a Ugandan programme that provides access to legal services and justice to victims, and provides redress for gender-based violence; Youth Representation in National Parliament as required under Article 78, section 2 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda; Uganda’s management of its oil resources including building a refinery so as to add value to the crude rather than export it in its “raw” form and using oil revenues only for financing development projects to the exclusion of recurrent expenditure; and Uganda’s policies on refugee integration, which allow refugees to live in settlements and farm plots of land so they can sustain themselves and integrate better in the country. These policies extend to all refugees, regardless of ethnicity or country of origin, and have led to Uganda being widely cited as a model at the global level.
The review report also highlights a number of cross-cutting challenges in governance that are addressed in the national programme of action. These are Management of Diversity, Gender, the State of the Public Sector, Land and Youth Unemployment. Many of these issues require holistic and comprehensive solutions as they cut across all governance areas. They are also common to many APRM Member States, and the APRM urges all Member States to work together in sharing good practices that mitigate these challenges.
The African Peer Review Mechanism [APRM], a Specialised Entity of the African Union (AU), was adopted by Member States of the AU primarily as a self-monitoring mechanism designed to promote policies, standards and practices that will lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and economic integration in Africa. As at November 2019, the APRM is comprise of 38 Member States who have voluntarily adhered to the Mechanism.