By Moses Mulondo and Gloria Nakajubi
The Government has launched the national NGO policy to guide and regulate the operations of civil society organisations.
Launching the policy on Friday at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi called upon the programme managers of organisations to align their activities with the Government programmes.
“I call upon NGOs and their different funders to embrace the National Development Plan and co-ordinate their different prioritisation and budgeting with both central and decentralised implementation processes within the Government,” Mbabazi appealed.
The policy has created a strong and efficient mechanism for effective monitoring and assessment of the NGO sector to enhance integrity, accountability and transparency.
The policy, Mbabazi elaborated, will cement the respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, voluntarism, respect for diversity, the right for NGOs to autonomy, self governance and self-regulation.
The premier called for increased partnership between the Government and the civil society to minimise unnecessary duplication, overlaps and wastage, especially where they have common objectives.
Mbabazi urged Uganda’s civil society to limit dependence on foreign aid to mitigate the risk of undue foreign influence in the country’s affairs.
The Policy envisions a vibrant and accountable NGO sector that enables citizens’ self-transformation.
“NGOs should engage in the democratic process of the country, but avoid illegal activities,” he advised.
The chairperson of the National NGO Board, Gabriel Kangwagye, outlined inadequate funding as one of the major issues that hinder regulation of the civil society.
He said the Government has resolved to set up committees at the district level to supervise and monitor the activities of NGOs.
In a statement read by the National NGO Forum executive director, Richard Sewakiryanga, welcomed the policy, saying the current laws have not been friendly to the work of NGOs.