Development experts have noted that Uganda may not achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals unless government implements programmes and policies that support minority groups to overcome poverty.
The experts argue that without supporting the women, youths and Persons With Disabilities to improve their social welfare, the country’s development will be slow. The remarks were made On October 25 during the Kampala Geopolitics Conference at Makerere University. The two-day event is organised by the French Embassy, UN women and Makerere University.
Making presentation on Leave No one Behind, Dr Maggie Kigozi, a Ugandan private sector consultant and also gender advocate, said Uganda’s minority groups such as women and the youths have been excluded in business and the public sector, something which she said is responsible for the widening income inequality in the country.
“Many Women have not yet effectively participated in the private sector and public administration because majority lack knowledge and skills on how to run business or manage public offices. This denies them chance to earn a living compared to their counterparts, the males who have dominated both the public and private sectors,” she said.
She advised government agencies to come up with special customer care for women to enable them access services especially in commercial banks, immigrations and even at the Uganda Revenue Authority.
Kigozi noted that many women fear to access government services because of the unfavourable customers care in most government agencies.
Social and economic status of the disabled
During the event, legislators representing Persons With Disability also observed that Uganda is doing badly when it comes to improving the social and economic status for Persons With Disabilities.
Nalule Safia Jjuko, the legislator representing Persons With Disabilities in the Parliament of Uganda said disabled people especially the children, youth and women are marginalised when it comes to access to public services.
“Children with disability are not fully getting access to education because the infrastructure both in government and private schools do note cater for them depending on the nature of disability. Government needs to come up and ensure that all schools are built in a nature that can support children with disability. In addition to education, many youth especially the deaf are not accessing reproductive health services because health facilities lack competent people who can handle such youth,” she explained.
Officiating at the opening of the event, French Ambassador to Uganda Stephanie Rivoal said government should ensure that Ugandans have access to basic needs alongside giving them a chance to freely debate on issues that affect their wellbeing.
Makerere University Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe applauded the French government for working closely with Makerere University.
He revealed that the institution has been supported both financially and in capacity building for university staff in areas of research.
The Kampala Geopolitics Conference aims at creating an interactive and dynamic platform for dialogue and free exchange of ideas cutting across contemporary local and international issues.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO