TOP
  • Home
  • National
  • Large turnout for inaugural World Bank Open day

Large turnout for inaugural World Bank Open day

By Samuel Sanya

Added 31st May 2017 08:40 AM

Organizations such as the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, Uganda Revenue Authority, National Information Technology Authority-Uganda, the National Agricultural Research Organization, the Kampala Capital City Authority, and the Uganda National Roads Authority among others explained how World Bank projects they have handled have improved the lives of citizens throughout the country.

Worldbank1 703x422

Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija listens to World Bank Country Manager Chistina Malmberg, during the World Bank Open Day, at Kololo Independence ground Kampala on May30, 2017. Photos by Kennedy Oryema

Organizations such as the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, Uganda Revenue Authority, National Information Technology Authority-Uganda, the National Agricultural Research Organization, the Kampala Capital City Authority, and the Uganda National Roads Authority among others explained how World Bank projects they have handled have improved the lives of citizens throughout the country.

The Independence Day grounds filled up so quickly that by 10am, there were large crowds standing at the edges of the main tent when the days programme kicked off at the inaugural World Bank Uganda open day. 

As the crowds continued to stream through, an array of Ugandan government agencies pitched camp in the vast lawns of the well kempt independence grounds to showcase their World Bank funded work. 


 akerere niversity official exhibiting the mobile soil testing kit during the orld ank pen day Makerere University official exhibiting the mobile soil testing kit during the World Bank Open day

 
Organizations such as the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, Uganda Revenue Authority, National Information Technology Authority-Uganda, the National Agricultural Research Organization, the Kampala Capital City Authority, and the Uganda National Roads Authority among others explained how World Bank projects they have handled have improved the lives of citizens throughout the country.

In between presentations by renowned speakers like Businessman Patrick Bitature, Allen Kagina, the UNRA boss, Jenifer Musisi, the KCCA boss, Pius Bigirimana, the gender permanent secretary, and Justin Lin, a former World Bank Chief Economist, the audience was treated to a multitude of magnificent performances. 

Clad in shinny but ragged attire, Ugandan youth dance group, the Kika Troupe put on a creative and energetic performance on Burundian themed royal “Karyenda” drums. Miror, a a refugee dance group displayed some amazing dance strokes to a Kinyarwanda song before girl group Blac Anthem crowned the day with a creative skit on the need for youth to think outside the box due to a scarcity of jobs.

Christina Malmberg Calvo, the World Bank Country Manager pledged that the Bank will support Uganda’s ambitions of transforming from a peasant to middle income country in line with Vision 2040 and noted that the open day is aimed at fostering public trust.


 eople buy packed silver fish from iyindi omens group during the orld ank pen day People buy packed silver fish from Kiyindi Women's group during the World Bank Open day

 
During discussions, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija who represented Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda pointed out that government has learnt from the recent World Bank cancellation of funding for the Kamwenge – Fort Portal road.

He noted that government will ensure that communities around government projects are left better off after the projects going forward. 

Kasaija hailed the World Bank for supporting turn key projects such as the Treasury Single Account, and the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) which have made government more transparent and accountable.

Jennifer Musisi, the executive director Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) pointed out that city’s public infrastructure is being stretched by migration from rural areas. She noted that Kampala can only reach its full potential if poverty alleviation programs outside the city were to bear fruit.

Mark Meassick, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director in Uganda noted that the government needs to act now to prepare for an impending population explosion.

“The average Ugandan is a 14 year old girl and by 2021, Uganda will have one of the fastest growing populations on the planet. It’s important that the government plans sufficiently for this; otherwise it could be a time bomb,” he said.

“Manage your own networks, build your partnerships, organise yourselves,” Meassick urged the youth.

According to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), the pace at which Uganda’s population grows every year is set to double in the next 20 years—from the current 3.4%, ultimately making it the world’s fastest growing population with over 105 million people by 2050.
 frica usiness in the ommunity irector mma amulemme  displays linen made from banana fibre during the orld ank pen ay Africa Business in the Community Director, Emma Namulemme displays linen made from banana fibre, during the World Bank Open Day

 
James Saaka, the executive director, of the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) pointed out all government systems have been linked through a $75m (about sh270.4b) Regional Communication Infrastructure Program (RCIP) and that the cost of internet bandwidth has been brought down to boost entrepreneurship and jobs. 

“Linking government systems has improved service delivery and transparency. When the cost of internet goes down, the cost of doing business also reduces,” he said. 

Dr. Imelda Kashaija, the deputy director General Technological Innovation at NARO noted that there's misguided information going round that the western world is running away from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), while Uganda is embracing them.

“While we have GMO’s at institutes, they have not yet been released. We are waiting for the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, 2012 to first become law. I urge parliament to pass the bill into law to protect Ugandans. Due to proximity to some countries that have already allowed the use of GMO’s like South Sudan, they have already come from outside to Uganda,” she said. 

 
Rosa Malango, the ‎United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative noted that there is need for the youth to commercialize their innovations; she pointed out that failure to do so had condemned 54 African countries to having a mere 2% of global GDP.

Julius Mukunda, the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) coordinator noted that government has become more transparent through the roll out of a budget expenditure website but noted that project implementation is still weak.

“We cannot attain middle income status if only 58% of ministry budgets are aligned to the National Development Plan and some have no approved plans.  The tax base can be expanded by reviewing and eliminating tax exemptions,” Mukunda said. 

 
During a youth forum as the open day, business man Patrick Bitature challenged the youth to be entrepreneurial and to be knowledgeable, skilled, and the right attitude to land the right jobs.  “We need people to have jobs so that they can keep their dignity because that's what a job does. It makes u feel useful,” he said before announcing the start of #Project500k to lift 500,000 Ugandans out of poverty.

Despite the rain and drizzle throughout the day, most of the crowd endured till the end when Maurice Kirya and Michael Ouma treated them to a fitting musical performance to cap off a fruitful day.

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles