By Simon Abaho
Uganda is a front-runner country in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with many good examples from which other countries can learn, the Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister has said.
Rt. Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba, who is also the country’s Focal Point Minister for SDGs, was making opening remarks at a global conference organized by The SDG Centre for Africa, which is based in Kigali, Rwanda.
“I call on all SDG implementing teams in Uganda, led by the SDG Secretariat, to also continue learning and benchmarking from other countries to create more synergy,” she said.
The conference, under the theme, “Africa 2030: SDGs Within Social Boundaries – Leaving No One Behind” was aimed at bringing together leaders from across the globe to share candid perspectives on the SDG progress across the African Continent.
According to the conference organizers, while the SDG framework prioritizes inclusion, the coordination and implementation mechanisms for inclusion remain weak and sometimes uncoordinated.
“Africa social inclusion challenges prevail at the risk of leaving Africans behind even in 2030,” a briefing note said. “In the short run, COVID-19 is expected to expand the bottom of the pyramid adversely. Africa now faces a trilemma of mitigating a health crisis, promoting short-term to the medium recovery, while keeping an eye on sustainable development, all in the epoch of narrow financing options.”
Rt. Hon. Lumumba noted that the Government of Uganda views these challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, as a time to deeply reflect on how far we have come, where we hope to go, and how to get there.
She noted that the third National Development Plan (NDP III) and the Parish Development Model, were kicking off at the same time as Uganda’s new National SDG Roadmap.
“These and other strategies are a clear illustration of the determination of the Government of Uganda to regularly review and make the necessary changes to ensure that, in the same spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, no citizen is left behind and that we must ensure to reach the furthest first,” she said.
The Minister reiterated that the Government is convinced that nothing can better guarantee inclusive growth and employment for Ugandans than equitable participation of more Ugandans in the money economy.
She commended the SDG Centre for Africa for partnering with the Government to establish a new SDG Monitoring and Reporting System and called on other countries to consider adopting it as well.
“I call upon all of us here to seize these unique opportunities of making a lifetime difference in the lives of the citizens of our countries and our global village,” she concluded. “Let this conference be a time to commit to enhancing and sustaining our collaboration and networks.”