By Steven Candia
FOURTEEN years down, Uganda has only achieved three out of the 17 targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), painting a grim picture of her performance in as far as implementation is concerned.
The grim facts were contained in a speech by Professor Tarsis Kabwegyere, the minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) at the opening of the national consultative workshop on the post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA). MDGs were adopted in 2000 and were set to be implemented by 2015, with the view of poverty eradication.
“Evidence shows that Uganda has been able to achieve three of its 17 MDG targets, so far, well ahead of the 2015 deadline,” Kabwegyere said, identifying the three as halving the incidence of absolute poverty, achieving sustainable debt levels and reversing the incidence of malaria and tuberculosis.
He however noted that the country is on track to achieve another eight of the MDG targets, blaming the lack of adequate resources for what he declined to term as a dismal performance. SDGs constitute a set of global priorities designed to build on the MDGs while responding to new challenges and were proposed by the Open working Group on July 2014.
The SDGs will guide intergovernmental negotiations on the Post 2015 development agenda, a process which will commence in the 69thsession of the UN General Assembly starting September 2014. Kabwegyere called for concerted efforts in implementing the goals, noting that Uganda aspires for a development agenda that is focused on transformation.
The consultation workshop jointly organized by the government of Uganda and the United Nations (UN) and attended by among others the President Elect of the UN General Assembly Sam Kuteesa and the UN Secretary General’s Adviser on Post 2015 Development Planning AMINA Mohammed was to chart ways of integrating the SDA into National Planning.
Speaking at the same function Mohammed noted that the MDGs were somehow inadequate, leaving gaps which the SDA seek to plug and thus the need to embrace SDAs.
“The post 2015 debate provides the opportunity for a paradigm shift to eradicate poverty and transition towards sustainable development,” she noted and called for effective mobilization of resources to ensure effective implementation of SDAs. “Inclusive sustainable growth is key to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. This can be achieved by economic diversification, financial inclusion, efficient infrastructure, productivity gains, trade, sustainable energy, relevant education and skills training,” she said.
Kuteesa said his goal is to ensure global aspirations are reflected in the SDAs as he will be chairing the session at which they will be debated and negotiated, come September. The SDAs, he noted, will among others build on the solid foundation already laid by MDGs but noted that the SDAs will need to be transformative and robust.
‘It cannot be business as usual, and there is no blue print one size the fits all,” Kuteesa said.