The Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister in charge of General Duties, Hon. Justine Lumumba has said Uganda has made progress in attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The minister made the revelation while presenting a progress report on the implementation of SDGs during on Tuesday, 04 April 2023.
According to the report, the country’s poverty level has slightly reduced from 21.4 per cent in 2016/2017 to 20.3 per cent in 2020/2021 which addresses SDG 1.
“In order to reduce further the poverty levels, government is scaling up efforts through expanding social protection programmes and the recently established Parish Development Model,” read the report in part.
The report further indicated that progress has been made in attainment of SDG 4 on quality education noting that there was an increase in completion rate among primary students from 63 per cent in 2019 to 67 per cent in 2020.
“According to the National Service Delivery Survey 2021 report, 45 per cent of household respondents rated the quality of teaching at primary schools attended by household members as good,” Lumumba said.
Lumumba however, said that government is faced with the challenge of limited financing for SDGs as well as low levels of awareness of local leaders to integrate SDGs with local development initiatives.
She said that to accelerate attainment of SDGs, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) will fast track implementation of Integrated Financing Framework as a means of mobilising resources globally and nationally.
“MoFPED needs to revisit Uganda’s resource mobilisation strategy and associated policies that take into consideration these emerging realities,” said Lumumba.
“Government is faced with the challenge of limited financing for SDGs as well as low levels of awareness of local leaders to integrate SDGs with local development initiatives”
She also said that the Ministry of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance will work with the Office of the Prime Minister to popularise SDGs.
Hon. Alex Ruhunda (NRM, Fort Portal Central Division) suggested that SDGs should be mainstreamed into every local development plan within the country as a way of popularising the sustainable development agenda.
“These SDGs are very far from the local population including the local structures. Even when you go to the level of districts, you will find very scanty information about SDGs and yet this is well embedded in Vision 2040,” said Ruhunda.
Hon. Michael Timuzigu (NRM, Kajara County) said that if corruption is not tackled, attainment of SDGs will be undermined.
Hon. Agnes Kirabo (Youth Representative, Central) said that while government has made progress in attainment of SDG 4 by introducing Universal Primary and Secondary Education, the learners do not have enough classrooms.
“The youths are very many and are studying under very unpleasant situations,” she said.
Hon. Christine Kaaya (NUP, Kiboga District) said that the minister’s report should have included the yearly voluntary national reviews which clearly highlight progress and specific SDGs reviewed.
“Different countries register their participation in the political forum every year. Uganda registered once but they measure our performance based on the number of voluntary national reviews that we have participated in internationally,” she said.
Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa guided Hon. Kaaya to make an alternative statement on the progress of implementation of SDGs.
“This is a very comprehensive statement that the minister has presented and we would need an alternative statement. I will guide that you take opportunity of Rule 53 and then you give a comprehensive statement that will be debated,” said Tayebwa.
In September 2021, government launched the SDG Roadmap 2021 / 2025 which operationalizes Uganda’s SDG Institutional Coordination Framework and provides priority actions to catalyse the implementation of the 17 SDGs in National Development Plan III.