Rationale: The Project Focus
Uganda ranks very low in the implementation of the sustainable development goals just as indicated in SDG report1 for Uganda that shows Uganda achieved only 33% of the MDG targets and the 2030 Agenda provides an opportunity for Uganda to complete the unfinished business of the SDGs. This happens while Uganda itself believes that it’s a highly burdened country in most of the goals such as Peace, clean renewable energy, life under water, and gender issues.
Uganda is lagging behind in several important non-monetary areas of fighting poverty, notably improved sanitation, access to electricity, education (completion and progression), and child malnutrition thus leaving the poverty levels at 19.7% about 7.4 million people according to the Uganda Poverty Assessment fact sheet 2016.
More to that, Dr. Ssempijja Vincent, the Minister of Agriculture while addressing the Parliament of Uganda in February 2017 said that Uganda is unable to feed up to 1.6 million people. He added that there are those that do not have enough food; those who cannot afford to buy food, those living on one meal a day, and those with high levels of malnutrition. Occasionally, he swung into technical language such as “deteriorating dietary diversity’, we guess, describe people who no longer eat the varieties of foods they ate before. The good news however is that he gave an antidote as a four-year Strategic Policy Action Plan on Food Security that is under review. Also Uganda losses very big amounts of forest cover daily to charcoal makers, brick makers, schools and industrial purposes. According to Director of Environment, Mr. Paul Mafabi, Uganda has lost 900,000 hectares of forest cover over the last ten years yet the government has planted less than 100,000 hectares, creating a deficit. In the same report he said that the demand for wood fuel is increasing at a sporadic rate thus a need of countering it with planting more trees and creating alternative sources plus energy saving facilities to be adopted. At that rate it means Uganda is losing 90,000 hectares of forest cover every 12 months. This needs to be addressed to combat desertification, promote terrestrial ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss in light with goal number 15 and goal number 13.
Uganda is 24th in Africa and 101st worldwide among the most peaceful countries. This is however tending to dangerous if positive peace measures are not implemented according to the Institute of Economics and Peace ranking (2016). We have experienced a relatively unstable economic and political environment in the recent past that needs to be harmonized and improve.
According to the United National Development Program, Uganda was one of the first countries to develop its 2015/16–2019/20 national development plan in line with the SDGs. The Uganda Government estimates that 76 per cent of the SDGs targets are reflected in the plan and adapted to the national context. The UN Country Team has supported the government to integrate the SDGs also into sub-national development plans, in line with the national plan. It should however be noted that sub-national and local level development plans have to be further supported to ensure continuity and realization of the SDGs. Using local forces of youth participation, academia, local leaders and women to popularize the agenda 2030.