BY PPU REPORTER
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has assured the African Peer Review Forum that Uganda remains committed to the African Peer Review Mechanism – APRM processes.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was established in 2003 by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) as an instrument for AU Member States to voluntarily self-monitor their governance performance.
While presenting Uganda’s Second Annual Progress Report on the Implementation of the National Programme of Action for the period July 2019 – June 2021, at the 31st Virtual Summit of the African Peer Review (APR) Forum of Heads of States and Governments, President Museveni said the country has made great progress during the period under review in especially in 4 thematic areas of; Democracy and Political governance, economic governance and management, Corporate Governance and Social Economic development.
He said Uganda has continued to consolidate and deepen constitutional democracy.
"For example, the Country conducted peaceful general elections, the COVID-19 Pandemic notwithstanding; Independence of the Judiciary has been strengthened with the enactment of the Administration Judiciary Bill in 2020; Promoting Pan-Africanism,” Museveni said adding, that Uganda has strengthened relations with neighbors including Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) especially in joint efforts to eliminate the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and bilateral relations with neighbors Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan.
Going forward, Museveni said Uganda government will fast track formation of Constitutional Review Commission to consider various constitutional reforms.
"We have been having our constitution since 1995, some people think there’s need to review some of the areas so we shall appoint a constitutional review commission, " Museveni said
On Economic governance and management, the president told Heads of State and Governments that among other development measures, Uganda is rolling out the parish development model “for ensuring balanced development across the Country through inclusive growth and hence - no one is left behind”.
”I don’t know the experience of other countries but here in 1969 only 4% of the homesteads were in the money economy. 96% were in subsistence economy yet they all have land but have been asleep. When you hear that production of coffee has increased from 2million bags to 8million bags now, it is because the army was involved in distributing seedlings and waking up these people who are asleep to join the money economy. Because of those efforts, the figures now show that 61% of the homesteads are in the money economy, only 39% are still in non-money economy. So this parish development model is to go up to the parish-the lowest level to ensure that all these homesteads who have land get involved in making money,” Museveni said
On Corporate Governance, Museveni said Uganda’s global ranking in the ease of doing business has improved from 135th to 116th out of 190 countries and the ease of doing business index has also improved to 60 from 56.94 in FY 2018/19.
”Uganda has made impressive advancements in online services provision with Uganda’s online index now standing at 58 percent above the African average of 34 percent,” he said.
Museveni however said there’s need for government to continue with the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda of increasing access to quality health care services.
”While there are several achievements in health such as, reducing the Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births) from 506 in FY1986/87 to 336; Life expectancy increasing to 63 years from 43 years in 1995, expanding health care access is important in the human capital development agenda, ” he said.
The President reiterated Uganda’s commitment to ensure that issues identified in the report are addressed within our existing legal framework and available resources. We are also keen to learn the best practices from member Countries.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Peer Review Forum thanked President Museveni for rejuvenating Uganda’s economy and efforts to bring all Ugandans into commercial production. Ramaphosa testified how the livestock he carried from Uganda are doing wonders in South Africa.
”You can put me on any platform in the world President Museveni, I can testify to this progress that you are alluding to. It’s an admirable progress that we should all be proud of. Its something that we can all copy and emulate even here in south Africa, ” Ramaphosa said.
At the conference, several countries that have undergone extensive APRM review processes, namely the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of Niger and the Republic of South Africa were reviewed.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) reviews 12 countries that incude; Ghana, Rwanda, Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa, Benin, Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Mozambique. The Mechanism uses a holistic review process that distinguishes it from other institutions through inclusive dialogue, independent and objective reviews, peer learning and compliance monitoring. Next year the APRM will be marking its 20th anniversary.