By John Odyek
Uganda’s next five- year National Development Plan will have a ‘human rights based approach’ as a key ingredient, to tackle issues of empowerment, citizen participation and good governance.
Dr Kisamba Mugerwa, chairman National Planning Authority said human rights was one of the cross cutting issues spelt in Uganda’s Vision 2040 and it would get a special focus in NDP II (2015-2020).
The other cross cutting issues include environment, climate change, gender and HIV/Aids which he said have received some attention.
Mugerwa made the remarks at a consultative workshop for district officials on NDP II and how to mainstream cross cutting issues into local government development plans.
The function took place at Ridar Hotel, Mukono.
“The Western world thinks it is our choice to be poor, to be what we are. We should take the opportunities that globalisation has brought to us, to tap into markets. We should formulate policies that are human rights enriched and consultations have to be carried out,” Mugerwa said.
He added that NDP II should have the right priorities, owned by all Ugandans and address real issues affecting Ugandans.
Kisamba said the NDP II focuses on five priority areas; namely agriculture, tourism advancement, mineral development, improving stock of infrastructure such as roads, rail, ICT, water for production and energy and finally human capital development.
The chairman said government had learnt from NDP I that there was need to priorities activities, to concentrate on looking for various financing resources for implementing plans and to improve transparency and accountability.
He also noted that the NDP II should be ready by September because it is meant to feed into the budget process for 2015/16.
Almaz Gebru, country director United Nations Development Pogramme (UNDP) said one of the key issues that emerged from the 2013 mid- term review of NDP I was the need to have inclusive national consultative processes that would reflect the diversity of views in formulating NDP II.
“The local government consultations are critical in the preparation of the NDP II and will be key foundation for achieving Uganda’s Vision 2040 of an upper middle income country,” Gebru said.
She said UNDP was supporting undertakings at the National Planning Authority to boost NDP II with initiatives such as macro-economic strategy, analytical studies in the area of youth, governance, land, agriculture productivity and the role of non- state actors in the implementation of NDP II.
The commissioner Uganda Human Rights Commission, Dr Katebalirwa Amooti said incorporating human rights focus on development planning would lead to sustainable development.
“Unjust distribution of resources hampers development. It is commendable that the theory of human rights is being put into practice because development initiatives should place people at the center,” Amooti said.
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