By David Lumu & Andrew Ssenyonga
More than 500 foreign delegates are expected in Uganda next month, for the first ever Africa inter-faith leaders’ conference on the post 2015 Development agenda to be held in Kampala.
The two-day event, scheduled for July 1 and 2, will take place at Imperial Resort Hotel Blue Hotel, Entebbe.
It will run under the theme “Enhancing Faith Communities’ Engagement on the Post 2015 Development Agenda in the Context of the Rising Africa”.
The conference is intended to explore ways through which Faith communities and Faith leaders can contribute to the shaping of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
Uganda and the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) have been chosen to take the lead in organizing and hosting the Africa Faith Leaders’ Summit on Sustainable Development and the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
State minister for foreign affairs Asuman Kiyingi said the conference would attract heads-of-state, policy-makers and experts from all over the world.
Kiyingi also said that President Yoweri Museveni has invited his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta to open the summit and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, as guest speaker at the conference.
The summit will also attract 60 African Faith leaders, representing all the major religions on the African continent and Uganda, the host.
Leaders at the summit are expected to debate a new charter that would succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) but the target expires in 2015.
“The development of the new charter is premised on a participatory consultative process that takes into account the priorities for wellbeing from citizens across the world and that is why an African Faith Leaders’ Summit on Sustainable Development and the Post 2015 Development Agenda will be held in Uganda,” Kiyingi explained.
IRCU secretary general Joshua Kitakule said the conference will generate coordinated and programmatic actions that enables African faith communities to bring their voice and organization to the formulation and implementation of public policy and programmes in connection to the new charter on development.
The minister said: “Faith-based institutions have a long history of action on development and often deliver a multiplicity of services to individuals and communities blighted by poverty, conflict, humanitarian and natural disasters.”
The eights MDGs are; eradication of poverty, achieving of UPE, promotion of gender equality and empowering of women, reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, combating of HIV\AIDs, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.