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Local Government Media Release

MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

TALKING POINTS FOR THE MEDIA BREIFING MEETING ON THE COMMEMORATION OF THE AFRIC DAY OF DECENTRALISATION AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT IN UGANDA

BY
HON. TOM BUTIME (MP)
MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

VENUE: UGANDA MEDIA CENTRE, KAMPALA

DATE: WEDNESDAY 3RD AUGUST, 2016
TIME: 10:00 A.M
The Chairperson Parliamentary Committee on Public Service and Local Government;
The Country Director United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
The Mayor Masaka Municipality;
The President Uganda Local Government Association;
The President Urban Authorities Association of Uganda;
The Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government;
Senior officials from the Ministry of Local Government;
Members of the Press from various Media Houses;
Ladies and gentlemen
I welcome you to this Press Brief, where I have the opportunity to inform the general public about the upcoming commemoration of the 3RD Africa Day of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development.
The 10th of August every year, was declared by the 20th Session of the African Union (AU) as the day when all the member States commemorate the Africa Day of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development. The overall purpose of these celebrations is to provide a platform for AU member state Governments to popularise Decentralisation and educate the public on the various decentralised governance programmes, within their respective countries. The celebrations are guided by a theme which emphasises the identified developmental priorities within the region.
Uganda is pursuing local development and welfare of her people through democratic decentralization. The Decentralization process, which is a key vehicle for ensuring Good Governance, improved service delivery and stimulating Local Economic Development is being exercised through the devolution of planning, budgeting, administrative, judicial, and legislative powers to popularly elected Local Councils.
Today, Uganda boasts of a significantly mature Decentralization Policy that has evolved from an administrative structure to a conduit of socio-economic development and wealth creation. Local Governments have successfully taken full charge of field activities of decentralized services in key social sectors such as health, education, water, transport and agriculture. As a result, Uganda's decentralization has remained a model and continues to attract recognition across the region and the international community at large.
At this point, allow me to recognise the contribution of H.E The President of Uganda who sowed the first seed when he launched the Policy in 1992 and has remained committed to its success.
The success notwithstanding, the process has also been faced with challenges. Local Governments continue to grapple with dwindling resources amidst increasing demands, limited capacities and inhibiting policies, laws and regulations to fully exercise their powers.
As we celebrate the 3rd Africa Day of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development, under the theme "Decentralization at 24; Re-Engineering Locally Initiated Development", I invite you to reflect on the challenges affecting Decentralization in Uganda and devise strategies on how to address them.
The contribution of the decentralized local governance system to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Uganda Vision 2040 is indubitable. It is, therefore, paramount that Local Governments are given commensurate resources, and an enabling legal, policy and regulatory environment to fully exercise their powers if Uganda is to achieve the aspired middle class status.
At this point, allow me to officially announce that; on the 10th of August 2016, Uganda will commemorate the African Day of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development. The guest of honour will be H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda. The day will be celebrated under the theme "Decentralization at 24; Re-Engineering Locally Initiated Development". This theme does not only reflect on the celebration of the milestones achieved and lessons learned but also provokes stakeholders to devise strategies for improving performance of the Decentralization Policy as a vehicle for improved service delivery.
The national ADDLD celebrations will be hosted by the Greater Masaka Consortium in Masaka Municipality at the Liberation Square.
The celebrations will be preceded by a Street Carnival on Sunday, 7th August 2016 at the Main Street, Masaka Municipality. The street carnival will be an opportunity for the Local Governments in Greater Masaka to sensitize the public on the services they provide while at the same time allow the private sector market their products.
On 8th and 9th August 2016, the Ministry will convene the Joint Annual Review of Decentralization (JARD) meeting at Hotel Brovad, Masaka Municipality. It is through this meeting, that Government is able to evaluate the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy and its impact. The meeting will involve participation of: the Parliament of Uganda; Sector-line Ministries, Agencies and Departments; Uganda Local Government Associations; Local Governments Political and Technical leaders; Civil Society Organisations; Non-Government Organisations; Development Partners; and Private Sector. As a key outcome, the Recommendations and Undertakings of this meeting will be summarised into an Aide Memoire which is signed off by the Ministry, Development Partners and the Local Government Associations. However, the JARD meeting will be attended by invitation.
I would like, therefore, to invite the general public, and all stakeholders to actively embrace decentralisation and join the Ministry on the 7th and 10th of August 2016 in Masaka Municipality, to celebrate the achievements of this popular policy while at the same time, continuing to devise strategies to address any emerging issues.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY