UK TERROR SUSPECT HELD ON WAY TO ENTEBBE
19 september 2010
MANY UGANDAN KIDS BORN WITH HIV
29 september 2010
OVER800 NURSES TREK TO WORK ABROAD
29 september 2010
IN UGANDA UN SUSSIDIO MENSILE PER I PIU’ POVERI
1 ottobre 2010
ARRIVA TRAGHETTO VELOCE SUL LAGO VITTORIA
6 ottobre 2010
COUNTRY HAS ONLY 35 RADIOLOGISTS
11 october 2010
MUSEVENI THREATENS TO SUSPEND UNIVERSAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME
11 october 2010
RE-INSTATE LAND TRIBUNALS, WOMEN ACTIVISTS TELL GOVERNMENT
11 october 2010
UGANDA, NEL 2011 CRESCITA STIMATA AL 6%
12 ottobre 2010
THE GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR AFRICA’S TRANSFORMATION
12 october 2010
UGANDA NEEDS MORE EFFORT IN ITS POVERTY FIGHT
12 october 2010
GOVERMENT DISPUTES UPE REPORT
14 october 2010
TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE – INMATES SPEAK OUT ON RIGHT TO SEX
15 october 2010
UGANDA TO EXPORT RICE BY 2013
15 october 2010
9 MILLION UGANDANS FACE HUNGER
16 october 2010
NUOVI DATI STATISTICI, DIMINUISCE LA POVERTÀ ASSOLUTA
27 ottobre 2010
UK TERROR SUSPECT HELD ON WAY TO ENTEBBE
19 september 2010
Dutch military police arrested a British man of Somal descent yesterday on suspicion of terrorism as he transited through Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport en route from England to Uganda, prosecutors said. “A British man of Somali origin has been arrested at Schiphol” the Dutch prosecutor’s office said in a statement. “At this moment, an inquiry is trying to determine whether or not the man belongs to a foreign terrorist organisation.”
The suspect, who had travelled from John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, northeast England, and was on the way to Entebbe via Amsterdam, was arrested by Police just as his flight was about to take off, prosecutors said. Evert Boerstra, a spokesman for the Dutch prosecutor’s office, said the Police were tipped off by British authorities. This is the second arrest outside East Africa since the July 11 twin bomb attacks in Kampala, which claimed 79 people.
The al-Qaeda-linked Somalia-based al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the blasts at Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo and the Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala. The terrorists claimed the acts were a protest against Uganda’s deployment in Somalia. Uganda has been at the centre of the African Union Mission to Somalia with the highest number of troops to the peace-keeping mission.
In August, Shaker Masri, 26, was arrested and charged in Chicago with plotting to travel to Somalia to train and wage a holy war with the al-Shabaab. Meanwhile, Mbugua Mureithi, the Kenyan advocate arrested in Kampala last week on suspicion of being linked to al-Shabaab was released and deported to Nairobi.
Mureithi said his mission in Uganda was to defend the Kenyan terrorism suspects. However, Al-Amin Kimathi, who was arrested alongside Mureithi, was still in detention at the Rapid Response Unit headquarters.
Parents, communities and the healthcare system are partly to blame for the birth of children infected with HN, the director of clinical and community services, Dr. Kenya Mugisha, has said. Opening an HN/AIDS conference at Hotel Africana in Kampala yesterday, Mugisha said Uganda has good policies which are not implemented, while neighbouring countries have successfully adopted and implemented policies emulated from Uganda.
Uganda is currently implementing measures to prevent the transmission of the HN from mothers to unborn children.
One of the measures used is nevirapine therapy, which is administered to an expectant HN-positive mother when she begins experiencing labour pains. This prevents the transmission of the virus to the unborn baby. Mugisha added that during the early years of the AIDS epidemie, there were no tools to save new born babies from HN infections. However, today, there are means to prevent babies from infection and the numbers of infection should be reduced.
Mugisha said there is need to emphasise HIV prevention programmes ahead of HIV treatment and care programmes. He encouraged health workers to save children’s lives despite the poor remuneration and facilitation.
The three-day conference, which becomes the fourth on paediatric HIV/AIDS, aims at promoting children’s rights to HN prevention, treatment, care and support. It has attracted hundreds of child health specialists in HN, donors and researchers. The UNAIDS country coordinator, Musa Bungudu, blamed the new HN infections in children on the failure of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme (PMTCT).
Bungudu said about 40 children are born with HIV everyday in Uganda. However, figures of the total number of children born in the country are not provided. Last year, about 150,000 children were living with HIV, while about 16,000 deaths among children were caused by HIV. According to the PERPFAR country coordinator, Dr. Michael Strong, HIV/AIDS infection in children is mainly through the mother-to-child mode. He added that without access to ARVs, about 40% of HN infected children die in the first year, while 50% die by the age of two. Strong said while prompt treatment is crucial and can reduce death by 75%, by the end of March, only 24% of children eligible for treatment had received ARVs. He added that there is need to integrate access to paediatric HIV drug formulations into public health as well as child survival programmes.
fonte www.newvision.co.ug– Raymond Baguma
A total of 808 nurses have this year alone left the country to seek greener pastures abroad, creating a vacuum in the health sector, a new report has revealed. According to the report titled“’uman Resources for Health Bi-Annual Report-2009-2010′ eleased last week in Entebbe. United Kingdom is the most frequent destination of Ugandan nurses, recruiting a total of 389, followed by Kenya with 186 while 120 nurses left for the United States of America between 2009 and April 2010.
“These (figures) were verified by the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council on the candidates’ request. There is growing dissatisfaction among healthcare workers resulting from the general working conditions” the 124-page report says. The report cites poor remuneration as the major reason many health workers give for leaving the country for greener pastures. “Emigration of health workers is at alarming proportions due to more attractive salaries and opportunities abroad” says the report.
Uganda is reportedly losing at least 1,400 skilled professionals each year. For example, in 2007 virtually all medical workers in Adjumani District resigned and got employment in South Sudan. Recently, government announced incentive schemes like top-up allowances, provision of housing and lunch allowances for human resources in hard-to-reach areas. “Leadership and management of human resources are also weak at all levels. There exists poor recruitment practices and misdistribution of health workers” says the report. According to the report, a recent countrywide skilsl audit exercise established that the proportion of approved positions filled by the health workers at general hospitals was just 50 per cent.
The report compiled by the Ministry of Health reveals that Lyandonde Hospital, for example has a vacancy rate of 61 per cent. Last year, government announced that some 1,000 health workers were to be recruited to address the human resource shortfall currently dogging the sector but very few applied for the positions. But Dr Sam Lyomoki, the secretary general of the Medical Workers Union says some medics deliberately refuse to apply for the jobs advertised in the health sector because they are underpaid.
According to Prof. George Kirya, the Health Service Commission chairman says in 2008 the commission failed to meet its target of employing 800 health workers as only 640 were absorbed into the sector. This was blamed on a constricted labour market in clinical areas such as radiology, pathology and anaesthesiology which attract few applicants.
Mr Francis Ntalazi, the head of the human resources at the Ministry of Health said they can only reverse the trend by training more health workers and remunerating them well. “Our health workers have continued to leave the country because they get better salaries, improved working conditions and further training in wealthier countries. So if we can provide that it will be easy to retain them” he says.
The country’s doctor to patient ratio currently stands at a worrying 1:36,000, compared to the internationally acceptable ratio of 1:5-10. The nurse to population ratio is 1:5,000; and the midwife-to-population ratio is 1:10,000. The ratios vary widely between districts. Recently, Ministry of Health technocrats reported a staggering shortfall of 2,290 nurses in government hospitals alone. There are only 29,000 medical personnel in a country of 31 million people, which has constrained efforts to ensure service delivery.
According to the performance of the national economy report for the financial year 2008/2009, remittances from Ugandans working overseas increased from $546million (about Shs983billion) in 2007/08 to $748million (about 1.42trillion).
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – AI Mahadi Senkabirwa
A partire dall’aprile del 2011, gli abitanti dell’Uganda che versano in situazione di estrema povertà riceveranno un assegno mensile dallo Stato. Il provvedimento si inquadra in un progetto pilota di durata quinquennale, per il quale l’esecutivo di Kampala ha sbloccato l’equivalente di 64 milioni di dollari.
Il direttore del dipartimento per la Protezione sociale del ministero per il Genere, il Lavoro e lo Sviluppo, George Bekunda, ha spiegato in conferenza stampa che oltre 600.000 persone appartenenti a 95.000 nuclei familiari beneficeranno del sussidio. L’assegno sarà concesso agli ultra sessantacinquenni e alle famiglie più vulnerabili, soprattutto quelle con orfani, vedove e disabili a carico.
Il presidente ugandese, Yoweri Museveni, ha annunciato l’invio di 20mila soldati per rafforzare il contigente di pace in Somalia. Secondo il presidente, che ieri ha ricevuto gli ufficiali militari dell’Unione Europea per discutere della crisi somala, le forze dell’Unione Africana devono essere composte da un certo numero di Paesi, con una forte presenza militare.
Il capo di Stato ha poi accennato ai ribelli integralisti spiegando: “Perchè questi stranieri di al Qaeda che vengono dall’Asia ci chiedono di andare via dalla Somalia? Sono loro gli stranieri che devono lasciare la Somalia agli africani, non noi“. Ha poi aggiunto un elogio ai caschi verdi: “Siamo partiti per proteggere le istituzioni e adesso controlliamo molte postazioni perchè continuiamo a frenare al Qaeda e i loro attacchi”.
L’11 luglio scorso 79 persone sono state uccise a Kampala in un attentato rivendicato dagli al Shabaab proprio per la partecipazione dell’Uganda alla forza di pace dell’Unione Africana, presente nel Corno d’Africa con 4.300 uomini.
Sarà operativo nel mese prossimo il primo traghetto veloce che collegherà l’Uganda al Kenya e alla Tanzania attraverso le acque del Lago Vittoria. Il traghetto, che potrà portare fino a 150 passeggeri, collegherà inoltre l’Uganda con alcune isole che fanno parte del proprio territorio e sono situate nel lago, tra cui Kalangala.
Lo ha reso noto Anthony Esenu, presidente del Consiglio di Amministrazione di EarthWise Ferries Uganda, la società che gestirà il collegamento. Esenu ha precisato che il tragitto dalla città di Entebbe a Kalangala sarà coperto in 45 minuti, al posto delle 3 ore di oggi.
I ministri dell’agricoltura africana, ricercatori, imprenditori, agricoltori e membri del settore privato si sono impegnati ad aumentare la produttività agricola africana del 70 per cento entro il 2050. È la risoluzione adottata al secondo Forum dell’ Agribusiness in Africa, che si è tenuto ai primi di ottobre a Kampala, capitale dell’Uganda.
“Dobbiamo ammettere che l’Africa ha registrato una diminuzione della produzione agricola che dobbiamo affrontare con urgenza” ha detto all’apertura dei lavori il Prof. Pierre Mathijsen, Presidente dell’European Marketing Research Centre, che ha collaborato ad organizzare la conferenza. Il Prof. Mathijsen ha detto che il forum, al quale partecipano anche diversi imprenditori, dovrebbe prendere in esame le opportunità di avvalersi degli investitori nel settore agricolo per rendere l’Africa un continente autosufficiente e un fornitore di cibo per l’intero pianeta.
Il secondo Vice Presidente del Consiglio dell’Uganda, Hajj Kirunda Kivejinja, ha affermato che il suo Paese, ha molte risorse non ancora sfruttate in campo agricolo, che potrebbero attirare gli investitori stranieri: “Se si guarda agli incentivi agli investimenti nel settore agricolo offerti dal governo, uniti alle nuove tecnologie sviluppate da parte del National Agricultural Research Organisation, alle risorse idriche locali e alla crescita del mercato agricolo, l’Uganda potrebbe fungere da modello per gli altri Paesi africani”.
Il Vice Presidente Kirunda ha affermato inoltre che è veramente assurdo il fatto che, mentre il numero degli affamati è in calo in Cina, siano in aumento nell’Africa sub-sahariana.
Il ministro ugandese dell’Agricoltura, la signora Hope Mwesigye, ha detto che il suo governo è impegnato ad aumentare la produzione alimentare nei prossimi cinque anni per rendere l’Uganda autosufficiente e un fornitore di cibo per l’intera regione. “L’Uganda ha i suoli più produttivi tra i cinque Paesi dell’Africa orientale, che richiedono l’incremento solo dell’uno per cento nell’uso di concime per produrre più cibo” ha affermato il Ministro.
In Uganda le principali colture alimentari sono manioca, patate dolci, miglio, sorgo, fagioli e arachidi.
The government and the private sector need to invest more in training health workers and procure equipment to improve diagnostic imaging, a senior health practitioner has said. Uganda has only 35 radiologists against a population of 30 million people – meaning one radiologist treats 1.2 million people.
Speaking at the 10th Sheffield International Conference at Makerere University at the weekend, Dr Elsie Kiguli, the president Uganda Society of the Advancement of Radiology and Imaging, said there is growing demand for radiologists, radiotherapists and sonographers.
“There are few people in this field that are serving our country. We hope it will change.” Dr Kiguli said. Radiology and imaging is an investigative modality using X-rays and ultrasound machines by health workers to look at the inside of a person’s body to find out if there is a problem.
She added that because the machines are expensive and few in the country, patients have ended up paying high bills when they seek their services. “At the moment we have one CCT machine at Mulago Hospital. It is working on such a big number of people. Whereas if we had many, they would last longer because the work load would be divided” Dr Kiguli said.
The workshop attracted scientists from East Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Pakistan, UK and USA.
fonte www.allafrica.com – Patience Ahimbisibwe
Government will consider suspending the free primary education programme if parents continue to yield to pressure from head teachers’ to pay extra fees, President Museveni has warned. Mr Museveni said accepting to pay extra fees was an indication that parents can now meet all the educational needs of their children. “When we talk about free education we mean it. We don’t want to see people confusing others. So if parents are now capable of footing all the education bills for their children, let them tell us so that we use the money on other things like roads” the president said.
Over 7.5million pupils are currently studying under the UPE programme in which government pays Shs16,000 per pupil, while over Shs80billion is spent annually on UPE capitation grants. It also pays another Shs300,000 for each school to meet its operational costs per term.
Mr Museveni said government was spending a whooping Shs 700billion annually on free primary education which can instead be used deliver other social services. Going by the current cost of constructing a standard Ikm tarmac stretch (Shs1billion), Shs700billion can construct 700km.
The presidents’ reaction follows numerous complaints from parents accusing head teachers of demanding extra fees and when they fail to comply their children are chased from school. According to Mr Museveni, government only authorised schools in urban centres to charge as little as Shs800 for power and water. But many schools insolently demand money for medical care, phones, furniture, teachers’ salaries and transport.
The President says this undermines the universal free education programme since many cannot afford the extra charges. “This thing (of charging extra fees) is bothering me and I will soon call NRM leaders to discuss it and forge a way forward” the President added.
The president made the remarks last week at Makindye Court grounds during his four-day tour of Kampala District. Mr Museveni was in the area to assess the implementation of government’s ‘Prosperity For All’ programme commonly known as Bonna Bagagawale. He said free education was part of the government programme to eradicate poverty in the country since those educated can easily acquire skills necessary for self employment. Mr Museveni advised parents to be responsible by meeting the scholastic needs of their children like uniforms, exercise books and lunch so as to keep them in school.
Government introduced UPE in 1997 to reduce the cost burden of basic primary education on poor parents. However, the scheme has been laden by graft which has crippled the delivery of quality education. Last year, government slashed it’s allocation to UPE by 25 per cent.
fonte www.allafrica.com – Al Mahdi Ssenkabirwa and Patience Ahimbisibwe
Land tribunals should be re-instated to clear the soaring land cases that have overwhelmed magistrates’ courts, the ‘Uganda Women Land Rights Movement’ and judges have said.
The district land tribunals become non-functional in 2005 due to lack of funding from the Government. They had been introduced to solve the land cases at local level. The executive director of the movement, Esther Obaikol, said the justice ministry was planning to re-instate them. Obaikol added that the tribunals should replace the local land committees, which only facilitate the sale and acquisition of land.
Participants also accused the land committee members of corruption. A woman, who identified herself as Atazia from Pallisa district, said the land committees extort money from the people. “My husband died and some people want to grab my land. But the LCI land committee members are asking me to give them money so that they assist me or else my land will be taken by a rich person” she said.
The Lira district resident judge, Wilson Musene, supported the land tribunals, saying the 35 magistrates and three judges in the land division of the High Court could not dispose of the land Cases.
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – Pascal Kwesiga
Nel 2011 si stima che l’economia dell’Uganda compirà un lieve progresso rispetto al 2010 e registrerà una crescita del 6 per cento, rispetto al 5,8 stimato per quest’anno.
La previsione è del Fondo Monetario Internazionale che, nel suo rapporto annuale (World Economic Outlook 2010), rileva che per i Paesi dell’Africa sub-sahariana “il rischio maggiore è costituito dal persistere dell’incertezza sulla ripresa mondiale“, una situazione che “mette in pericolo il flusso dell’export verso l’Europa, che attrae un terzo del totale“.
Le stime del FMI rivedono al ribasso le previsioni fatte dal governo ugandese, per il quale la crescita in quest’anno fiscale potrebbe raggiungere il 6,4%.
Agriculture and agri-business have been identified by as vehicle that offer the biggest transformational potential for Africa, with an even greater positive impact on ordinary people’s lives than the mobile phone boom.
At an investor forum organised by Africa investor, weekend, the world Bank Vice President for Africa Ms Obiageli Ezekwesili said “If you ask me what the next ‘big thing’ in Africa will be, I’d say without hesitation agriculture and agri-business. The World Bank is bullish on Africa.” Ms Ezekwesili told participants at the summit, which took place alongside the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Africa is “on the cusp of an economic transformation”, summit participants noted, suggesting that the continent is probably at the same point where India and China were 20 and 30 years ago respectively, just before their own economic take-off. “We can now boldly say with confidence that Africa has awakened” Ms Ezekwesili said. “Her time has not only come but that continent is actually the future.”
Mobile phones which today serve 450 million Africans more than the US, Canada and Mexico combined have proven the most liberating asset for the poor, who use it not only for communication but also as a social, economic, banking and even political tool. Its impact however, could prove to be minor, compared to the massive potential inherent in the agriculture sector.
Agriculture currently accounts for about 40 per cent of the region’s GDP and is a source of jobs and livelihoods for 70 per cent of Africans. With only one-fourth of its arable land currently in use, contributing a mere 10 per cent to global food production, it is clear that Africa’s enormous potential essentially lies fallow. The most dividends in agriculture and the agribusiness sector – as with mobile phones – will accrue for the “early bird” investors, Ezekwesili said.
A holistic approach is needed if the modernization of Africa’s agriculture sector is to raise productivity, ensure food security, expand exports, raise incomes and profoundly improves living conditions in rural Africa, she noted.
According to Ezekwesili, smallholder farmers must gain access, not only to more productive seeds and other farm inputs, but also to finance, irrigation, research and technology. Equally important are land reforms, the building and maintenance of adequate infrastructure (farm to market roads, for example), and the implementation of effective post harvest marketing strategies.
At another forum on Africa can trade with Africa in Which Tony Elumelu Former UBA Managing Director was a panelist, the panelist agreed that there is strong consensus among African leaders that regional integration is indispensable to unlock economies of scale and sharpen competitiveness. And promoting intra-African trade has emerged as a top priority, in recognition that the African market of one billion consumers can be a powerful engine for growth and employment.
According to them despite the introduction of free trade areas, customs unions, and common markets within the Region, the level of intra-African trade remains among the lowest in the world only about 10 per cent of African trade is within the continent, compared to about 40 per cent in North America and about 60 per cent in Western Europe.
The discussion at the seminar drilled into the actions that are required to accelerate intra-African trade. The most important message was the need for stronger implementation of political commitments under existing regional trade agreements. Pravin Gordhan, the South African Minister of Finance, acknowledged that governments have fallen short on some of the difficult political actions that are required to enhance regional integration, like the overlapping membership in regional economic communities.
There was a strong sense that African leaders need to be held accountable for their performance against agreed commitments as a result the participants urged Maxwell Mkwezalamba from the African Union to hold a summit with heads of state this year to agree on a time-bound action plan to fulfill their regional integration agreements.
The discussion also stressed the urgency to diversify economies beyond natural resource extraction and agriculture. But to break into manufacturing, countries will need to strengthen their competitiveness by enacting policy reform to ensure more competitive markets for transport and trade facilitation, improving the efficiency of government agencies at the border, and addressing behind-the-border trade constraints to promote value addition, increase productivity, and undertake infrastructure investments that reduce the costs of inputs.
Bill Egbe, the President of Coca Cola in South Africa, estimated that they would only need about half of the current 163 plants in Africa if internal trade barriers were removed and transport services were improved – think of the huge efficiency gains here that could be redeployed for investment in new areas. Given the central role of the private sector, the seminar noted the continued importance of improving the investment climate and reducing the cost of doing business, not only for large multinational and pan-African companies, but also for SMEs and the informal sector.
Tony Elumelu, who recently retired as Chief Executive of the United Bank for Africa, flagged the need for more innovative approaches to monetize the assets, build the capacity, and enhance the productivity of small and informal enterprises, particularly in the agriculture sector. Several panelists emphasized the synergy between intra-regional trade and global trade integration, particularly the critical importance of development-friendly trade agreements with global partners that provide broad and comprehensive market access.
Two innovative proposals to incentivize trade cooperation were floated. Rosa Whitaker, one of the original architects of AGOA, outlined a series of proposed US tax incentives to award investors who invest in Africa or retailers who source products from Africa. And Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion, made a very compelling case for a ‘Super AGOA’ that would grant Africa preferential market access across the entire OECD.
fonte www.afronline.org – Omoh Gabriel
Uganda has to increase its effort in the fight against poverty if she is to achieve the first goal of the Millennium Development Goals. “The Uganda government, though it has made remarkable progress, has got to redouble its effort in reducing poverty levels so as to half poverty by the year 2015” the World Bank Viee President for the Africa region, Ms Obiageli Ezekwe ili, said last week.
The current national poverty level in Uganda is 31 per cent. However, regionally, poverty levels vary with other regions having higher incidence of poverty levels such as Northern Uganda with 67 per cent well above the national level. Ms Ezekwesili revealed that it is only Cameroon, Kenya, Mauritania and Senegal that have already cut poverty by half.
On economic recovery and growth, she noted that the recovery in Sub Saharan African is continuing apace arguing that the region has shown remarkable resilience in the face of the gIobal recession and economic growth is projected to expand from 1.8 per cent in 2009 to 4.9 per cent in 2010.
Growth is likely to be sustained at about 5 per cent in 2011 and 2012, which is fair enough although below the pre-crisis trend rate. “While the recovery in economic activity is broad based, there is considerable heterogeneity in Sub Saharan African countries as a resuIt of the low income and lower middle income countries are growing at a much faster pace than upper middle income countries” she said.
Ms Ezekwesili explained that about 7 per cent of the region’s group of oil-exporting countries is seeing higher growth rates than non-oil economies. “On average, both oil and non-oil economies are showing a rebound in growth to sustainable levels” she said. An analysis of economic performance among African countries over 2008, according to Ms Ezekwesili, shows that countries with better policies and institutions also enjoyed higher GDP per capita.
The analysis suggests that better policies and institutions correlate well with economic and human development outcomes. Speaking on development aid, she said 39 Sub-African countries including Uganda received development through the World Bank soft window of the International Development Association.
To help countries realize tangible results from this development aid, she pointed out that the World Bank is focusing on the results of IDA loans, meaning that countries must use the money for the intended purpose.
She said when the results are good, progress is made in living conditions of citizens and economic development of a recipient country. “For instance, in Uganda, the IDA resuIt for the Bujagali power project is power coverage of the current 5 per cent to 24 when it is completed next year” she said.
fonte www.afronline.org– Martin Luther Oketch
The Government has rejected a controversial report, which says universal primary education is yielding illiterate students and that private schools are better than the Govemment institutions in teaching.
The Uwezo report, an initiative of the Uganda National NGO Forum, said: “Generally, children are not acquiring the necessary basic competencies at the appropriate level. There is a high inefficiency level and potential wastage throughout the primary school cycle.”
The report was based on a study conducted in April by a team of 1,620 village volunteers, who visited 16,200 households in 27 districts.
A sample Primary Two (P2) test in literacy and numeracy was administered to 34,752 children aged six to 16years. “About 19% of the children sampled in Primary Three (P3) in the 27 districts surveyed across the country could not read the alphabet and only 2% could read and understand a story text of P2 level” said the report signed by Uwezo country coordinator Richard Ssewakiryanga. “There were no major differences in reading skills at P3-P5 level. The 11.4% girls could not recognise letters of the alphabet compared to the 10.9% boys” added the report.
On numerical tests, based on P2 standard, Uwezo said four out of every five children sampled (79.9%) could not solve at least two numerical written division sums correctly. Only 17.6% of children sampled in P3 in government-aided schools compared to 32% in private ones could solve at least two numerical written division sums.
But the Government, through the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), has questioned the report, saying the purported P2 standard tests were far above the level. “Secondly, the report does not align the findings to the objectives” UNEB Secretary Matthew Bukenya wrote in a response. In its assessment studies, UNEB said the competency levels among pupils have steadily picked since 1999. The latest National Assessment of Progress in Education (NAPE) study conducted by UNEB shows that proficiency in literacy and numeracy among P3 pupils had risen from 44.7% in 2007 to 52.7% in 2008.
“Pupils demonstrated competence in the numerical concepts taught between PI and P3. They could, for example, carry out addition and subtraction of two-digit numbers although some of them found difficulty in applying these concepts in real life situations” the NAPE 2008 report said. “At P6, some 53.5% of the pupils were rated proficient, which is low, but relatively good, considering that in 2007, only 41.4% obtained a similar rating” the report added.
In his rebuttal, Bukenya said the report does not acknowledge the Government’s effort in enhancing the quality of education at primary level. “The study assumes that no useful contribution has been made before in assessing the learning achievements of children in Uganda. It shows ignorance about the Government initiatives aimed at improving education outcomes” he said . UNEB further said there was poor curriculum coverage by the instruments used, which raises a question over Uwezo’s “questionnaire validity, unorthodox method used in administration of instruments and wrong definition of competencies used.”
The board questioned “where Uwezo derived the empirical evidence on which it based the claim of high inefficiency and potential wastage.” It also said the study considered households as sampling units, yet the analysis and reporting are based on class. “Households do nor represent the known characteristics of c1asses of primary schools. Measures of quality assurance were also not clearly stated. All these compromise the reliability and credibility of the findings” argued Bukenya. He described the report as negative in that it emphasises what children cannot do other than what they are able to do. It also does not give explanations for the’ results and recommendations.
But like Uwezo, the NAPE report also indicates higher achievement levels in urban than rural schools. Both reports also show that achievement levels in private schools were higher than those of public schools. The report said over 94.8% of the pupils in private schools in P3 and P6 were rated proficient in numeracy and literacy compared to 70.2% of their counterparts in government-aided schools.
When contacted, Uwezo programme assistant Judith Tumusiime said they had taken the Government’s responses into consideration and made minor changes, but insisted the findings were true and no changes were made on the figures. “On the issue of the P2 tests used, we called our experts who set the tests and they maintain that it was okay. We have a justification for the test and will hand it over at the launch” he added.
The permanent secretary of the education ministry, Prancis-Xavier Lubanga, commended Uwezo for carrying out the study. But, in one of his communications to them, he said: “I feel there is a substantial amount of work you need to do if the exercise is to benefit the beneficiaries.”
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – Conan Businge and Francis Kagolo
Students of Bishop Cipriano Kihangire engaged prisoners in a debate on whether inmates deserve conjugal riqhts. Flavia Nalubega watched the teams lock horns.
Should prisoners be allowed to make love to their partners? Is incarceration and denial of conjugal rights double punishment? These were questions prisoners and students grappled with recently at a debate in Luzira Maximum Prison.
On Wednesday, inmates at the prison’s upper section took on students of Bishop Cipriano Kihangire SSS in a lively debate – where ironically – they were to make a case against conjugal rights, while the students pressed on that the men in detention should not be denied one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Davis Aleper, the lead prison debater, argued: “The government should first revise the laws to provide us with shorter sentences. This will enable us serve our punishments fast enough and go back home to meet our spouses other than providing us with conjugal rights which we shall not enjoy when locked up.”
With over 60 colleagues applauding, Aleper, who is serving time in jail for defilement, added: “Even then, conjugal rights can only be enjoyed if prisons are improved. We need more space for privacy, respect for prisoners and provision of finances to our families while we are in detention.”
This argument was taken up by the second speaker in the three-prisoner team, Julius Ogasi, who in fluent English said: “If our families are provided for, then our wives will be patient enough as we are locked up. They will not have to look for other men to provide for them financially in exchange for sex.” But how feasible an idea is this in offences of a capital nature that may have an inmate locked up for decades?
Edna Mushabe, an S6 student of Bishop Cipriano, reasoned that the only way families could keep together is by letting spouses make love to their incarcerated partners. “There is need for continuity in prisoners’ families and this can only be possible if they are allowed to meet and make love with their spouses” she said, as she, interestingly, got cheered by her school mates and some of the prisoners.
Gideon Kintu of S5 observed that denying prisoners conjugal rights could be a recipe for disaster. “For someone serving 10 years in jail living without sex is like living in denial. It could drive them into committing worse crimes.” The irony of teenagers making a case for jailed adults to enjoy sexual rights was not lost to many a watcher.
But for Mr Charles Rubongoya, the director of Bishop Cipriano School, the more striking thing was the articulate manner in which the prisoners made their case. “I came here on Monday and took them through the entire process of how the Karl Popper debate format works. I am surprised that they could argue this well and pull it off successfully.”
Another watcher dazzled by the prisoners’ eloquence was Mr Edgar Kangere, an official of the National Debate Council. “The prisoners are really amazing and intelligent. Had they taken part in our regional schools championships, I am sure they would have made it to the national contest.” Yes. Schools championship because actually the prisoners who debated are students – caged students.
The prison’s headmaster, Mr Anatoli Biryomumaisho, said the public should respect prisoners, adding that they are talented and the prisons service was helping them discover their potential. He told Daily Monitor that the prison provides full education to the inmates from primary to university level – the latter offering diplomas in entrepreneurship and small business management.
The prisoners might have carried the day – but the main celebration was not in the successful defence of restrictions on conjugal rights but rather – that they had proved jail does not mean failure to argue.
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – Flavia Nalubega
Uganda is to export rice to East Africa by 2013, the agriculture state minister has said.
Aggrey Henry Bagiire said rice production in Uganda was growing steadily. “Uganda is projected to produce about 200,000 metric tonnes (MT) this financial year. Last financial year, Uganda produced 180,000 MT” he said. Bagiire was speaking at the launch of videos on rice at Kilimo Trust offices in Kampala on Monday. The videos are in eight languages, all on one OVD. The languages are English, French, Kiswahili, Ateso, Luganda, Lugbara, Luo and Runyakitara. About 20,000 OVDs are to be distributed across the East African Community countries. The OVD is aimed at boosting rice profitability in support of this year’s World Food Oay theme, ‘United Against Hunger’.
It contains 11 programmes outlining techniques which can boost incomes for rice farmers. Bagiire noted that Ambassador Phillip Idro had set up a modern rice milling machine in Jinja that would process rice to the required international standards. Idro said Kenya imports rice amounting to $0.5m everyday. “The OVO will help farmers to acquire knowledge and tap the Kenyan market.”
Dr. Ashura Luzi-Kihupi, the director of the Eastern/African Rice Centre, said rice was increasingly becoming a strategic crop for both food security and poverty alleviation in eastern, central and southern Africa. She noted that the actual yields obtained generally in Africa are far below than what would be attained under improved management. “Yields on average seem to be at only 30% per acre.”
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – John Kasozi and Prossy Nandudu
“Le donne agricoltrici sono coltivatrici ma anche pescatrici ed imprenditrici: custodi di identità etnica, saperi tradizionali e pratiche sostenibili. Svolgono un ruolo essenziale per lo sviluppo agricolo, per la sicurezza alimentare e la gestione delle risorse naturali”: così in un messaggio per la Giornata internazionale delle donne in agricoltura il segretario generale delle Nazioni Unite, Ban Ki-moon, descrive il contributo decisivo delle donne in un settore di attività che in Africa impiega ancora il 70% della popolazione.
‘Chiedi il tuo diritto per te e le tue figlie, il diritto all’istruzione’ è il tema scelto per la giornata odierna, organizzata dal 2005 da un gruppo di organizzazioni non governative e poi riconosciuta dall’Onu con una risoluzione votata nel 2007.
Per illustrare un paradosso socio-giuridico Ki-moon fa l’esempio della categoria femminile dei paesi in via di sviluppo: “Svolgono la maggior parte del lavoro agricolo ma spesso soffrono delle condizioni di lavoro peggiori (…) producono la maggior parte del cibo consumato a livello mondiale, eppure sono spesso escluse dalla proprietà della terra e dai crediti per migliorare la propria situazione socio-economico” si legge nel comunicato.
Nonostante il loro contributo vitale all’economia familiare, “raramente condividono equamente tali responsabilità con gli uomini, né hanno un potere decisionale all’interno della famiglia” aggiunge il segretario generale. Lo stesso, pur prendendosi cura delle risorse naturali, dell’ecosistema, “raramente hanno voce in capitolo nell’ambito delle istituzioni locali e nazionali” in materia di gestione di tale risorse.
Un ruolo essenziale ma anche dei diritti negati che spingono le Nazioni Unite a chiedere agli Stati membri di adoperarsi per garantire alle donne pari opportunità di accesso a risorse produttive, proprietà terriere, finanziamenti, tecnologie e formazioni: “In breve vanno considerate non solo come beneficiarie ma anche come partner” insiste il messaggio che fa riferimento agli Obiettivi di sviluppo del Millennio da raggiungere entro il 2015.
Oltre ai diritti strettamente legati alla propri attività professionale, spesso eseguita in modo informale, Ki-moon chiede maggior impegno per far accedere donne e ragazze a cure sanitarie e istruzione e proteggerle contro la violenza. In difesa dei diritti delle donne l’Onu ha creato un nuovo organismo, ‘UN Women’, che dovrebbe impegnarsi in modo particolare nel sostegno ai paesi poveri e in via di sviluppo che promuovono la parità di genere e lottano contro le discriminazioni.
As Uganda joins the word to mark World Food Day today, Isaac Khisa looks at Uganda’s strides in ensuring that every citizen has at least a meal a day Uganda today joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Food Day but with millions of its population still malnourished.
According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisations, nine million Ugandans are still facing hunger with many affording only one meal a day. Uganda population is now estimated at 31 million, meaning that about 30 per cent of Ugandans can hardly find something to eat.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation(FAO) Communication Officer, Ms Rachel Nandelenga, says, 15 per cent of the population is malnourished and 40 per cent of the child death recorded in the country are due to malnutrition. This year’s world celebrations will be held in New York, USA, under the theme ‘United against Hunger’. Uganda’s national celebrations will be held in Mukono at Mukono Zonal Agriculture Research Institute (Zardi) where President Museveni will be the chief guest.
In his message to mark the day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said although the number of hungry people has fallen from last year’s one billion, there are still 925 million hungry people in the world, representing a real threat to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of ending abject poverty by 2015. “We are continually reminded that the world’s food systems are not working in ways that ensure food security for the most vulnerable members of our societies” Mr Ki-moon said. “This year alone, millions have been thrown into life-threatening hunger by the earthquake in Haiti, drought in the Sahel and floods in Pakistan. The food and financial crisis continue to affect the world’s most vulnerable. Food prices remain volatile and recently hit a two-year high.”
The continued inadequacy of food has led to an emergency of a campaign dubbed ‘1 Billion Hungry Project’ spearheaded by FAO, targeting at least one million signatures on a petition urging national and international leaders to move hunger to the top of political agenda during today’s celebrations.
In Uganda, the anti-hunger campaign targeted at least 5,000 signatures, according to Mr Percy Misika, the FAO country representative. Mr Ki-moon has urged everyone to work towards a comprehensive approach, so that countries can build on the progress in reducing the numbers of hungry people. “Let us unite against hunger and ensure food and nutrition security for all” he said. This year’s celebrations, however, reflects a welcome development since a growing number of governments, intergovernmental organisations, regional and sub-regional bodies, businesses and civil society groups have formed partnerships and implemented joint solution to fight hunger.
According to ActionAid, an international anti-poverty agency working in over 40 countries, global warming and biofuels expansion is likely to worsen the situation of hunger in developing countries, in addition to harsher, frequent draughts and shorter growing seasons that will reduce crops yields. “Although some regions may benefit from warmer weather, crop yields are likely to fall by 10 to 20 per cent in developing countries in the next two decades and by up to 50 per cent in some African countries” ActionAid, Hunger Free Scored report says.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that climate change could put 50 million extra people at risk of hunger by 2020, rising to an additional 266 million people by 2080. The most compelling argument for taking urgent action to reduce hunger, however, is very high cost of doing nothing, which ActonAid estimates at over $450 billion per year, or more than 10 times the UN estimate of sums needed to halve hunger by 2015.
Globally, hunger is the underlying cause of roughly half of 8.8 million deaths that take place every year but beyond this, it is responsible for a total loss of 91 million years of healthy, productive life. The State Minister for Agriculture, Mr Henry Bagiire, however, concedes that hunger has become a global issue that has been accelerated by global warming, increase in population, credit crunch and biofuels.
“The other problem is pests and diseases that have come up because of global warming” says Mr Bagiire. “There’s long dry spell, terrestrial rains but also reclaiming more land for agriculture.” He says Uganda’s population has increased over years from 10 million in 1960’s to over 31 million people who all depend on agriculture. Experts say the population growth rate that stands at 3.2 per cent and is predicted to be the third highest in the world, will grow to 91 million by 2050, increasing the number of Ugandans lacking food.
The world population currently stands at 6.5 billion, but projected to increase to nine billion by 2050. ActionAid’s Acting Country Director Specioza Kiwanuka says there is need for national plans to focus on supporting poor farmers, particularly women, in order to maximise poverty and hunger reduction impacts as well as expand social protection programmes that households do not experiance hunger when prices rise or harvests fail.
The Democratic Party president, Mr Norbert Mao, said the government should educate farmers about modernising agriculture and increase the agricultural budget. “We can’t be self sufficient if we rely on only natural rain. We need to carryout irrigation to supplement on the rain, support small scale farmers, stop displacement of peasant farmers by the rich and increase the national budget on agriculture to at least 10 per cent” Mr Mao said adding that majority of food in the supermarkets is imported.
The Deputy National Resistance Movement Spokesperson, Ms Karoro Okurut, said the government will introduce a policy to ensure that all farmers set up granaries in their homes. She says in 1960’s, farmers were forced to set up three granaries in their homes. “There should be a law that compels farmers to have granaries in their homes such that they can store the excess surplus during bumper harvest to be used during the period of scarcity” Ms Okurut said. She added that it is unfair for some regions like Karamoja to cry of food shortage when other regions are throwing away food. Mr Wafula Oguttu, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Spokesperson, agreed with Ms Okurut’s argument but added that the budget has to be increased or else the hunger problem will escalate.
However, the government has insisted that it is has been increasing the budget on agriculture over the years. During the Financial Year2010/2011, Agricultural sector was allocated only 5.4 per cent of the total budget. “We have been embarked on the construction of roads for easy transportation of agricultural products on the markets” Mr Bagiire said adding that the country is unable to carry out mechanization of agriculture due to land fragmentation.
According to the health experts, hunger leads to high infant-mortality rates and malnourished women are more likely to be sick, have smaller babies, and die earlier. And where infant and child mortality is high, birth rates are also high, locking these communities in a vicious cycle of malnutrition and death.
It also exacerbates chronic and acute diseases and speed the onset of degenerative diseases among the elderly. World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945.
fonte www.monitor.co.ug – Isaac Khisa
L’Esercito di Resistenza del Signore (Lord’s Resistance Army, LRA) non sarà più classificato come “gruppo ribelle” ma come “movimento terroristico”. Lo hanno stabilito i governi dei paesi interessati dalle scorribande del gruppo ugandese guidato da Joseph Kony al termine di una riunione svoltasi in questi giorni a Bangui, in Centrafrica. Questo, hanno precisato i partecipanti all’incontro, consentirà alle regioni più colpire dagli attacchi di usufruire di fondi internazionali e di una maggior cooperazione a livello giudiziario.
I rappresentanti di Uganda, Congo, Centrafrica, Sudan e Kenya hanno deciso inoltre la creazione di un centro operativo e di una task-force incaricati di contrastare il diffondersi della sfera d’influenza dell’LRA. La task-force, in particolare, sarà composta da squadre per il pattugliamento congiunto delle zone di frontiera.
“Al momento abbiamo almeno quattro provincie che fanno fronte ad attacchi regolari, compresi saccheggi, stupri e sequestri”: ha sottolineato nel corso dell’incontro il presidente Francois Bozizé, aggiungendo che “bisogna trovare soluzioni durevoli al problema dell’LRA, che non possono prescindere dalla condivisione degli sforzi di tutti”.
Il mese scorso, al termine di un incontro organizzato a Yambio, in Sudan, per discutere dell’impatto delle violenze LRA nella regione, i leader religiosi degli stessi paesi avevano ricordato l’importanza di istituire meccanismi di protezione per le popolazioni civili. Tra le misure invocate, i religiosi evidenziavano la necessità di migliorare le comunicazioni telefoniche e radio e costruire un maggior numero di strade asfaltate per agevolare gli spostamenti.
I religiosi avevano inoltre sottolineato la necessità di riattivare colloqui diretti con i vertici del momento per convincerli a deporre le armi. Secondo le Nazioni Unite negli ultimi due anni l’LRA ha causato oltre 2000 morti e lo sfollamento di 400.000 persone, la maggior parte delle quali nelle provincie settentrionali del Congo.
Il numero di cittadini ugandesi che vive in stato di ‘povertà assoluta’, ovvero secondo gli standard internazionali con meno di 1 dollaro al giorno, è sceso dagli 8,4 milioni registrato quattro anni fa agli attuali 7,1 milioni. Lo riferisce l’ultimo rapporto diffuso dall’ufficio nazionale di statistica, utilizzato come strumento ufficiale per valutare i progressi del paese verso l’ottenimento degli Obiettivi del Millennio fissati dalle Nazioni Unite per il 2015.
Il documento, che viene realizzato ogni tre anni, è stato messo a punto tra il maggio dello scorso anno e l’aprile 2010 coprendo 80 distretti del paese e raccogliendo informazioni su ogni settore della vita delle famiglie ugandesi. Nel dettaglio, l’analisi statistica mostra come il Nord Uganda resti la zona del paese con una maggiore diffusione della povertà, il 46,2% della popolazione; un dato comunque in forte flessione rispetto al 60,7% del precedente rapporto (2006/2007).
Secondo il nuovo studio, la forte riduzione nel Nord è legata al ritorno della pace nella regione – con la fine del conflitto contro i ribelli nord ugandesi dell’Esercito di Resistenza del Signore (LRA) – e il progressivo ritorno della popolazione ad attività agricole e commerciali.
Subito dopo il nord si piazza l’est dell’Uganda con il 24,2% della sua popolazione in uno stato di povertà assoluta, un dato inferiore al 35,9% della precedente registrazione. La zona centrale del paese risulta, invece, essere quella con il dato più basso (9,7% dei suoi abitanti in stato di povertà rispetto al 16,4% di alcuni anni fa) mentre l’area occidentale del paese ha fatto registrare i progressi minori con un calo del numero di poveri di solo il 2,3% in tre anni, dal 20,5% del 2005/06 al 18,2% dell’ultima rilevazione.
Tra gli altri dati interessanti contenuti nel documento spicca quello sull’età media, secondo cui il 50,8% dei 30,7 milioni di ugandesi censiti ha un’età inferiore ai 15 anni e solo il 3,1% degli ugandesi è ultrasessantacinquenne. Lo studio mostra inoltre un aumento del tasso di alfabetizzazione, passato dal 69% di tre anni fa al 73% attuale.
Cambio valuta: in data 29/10/2010 1 dollaro USA è pari a 2290 scellini ugandesi, 1 Euro è pari a 3162,1099 scellini ugandesi
UgandAbout è un servizio dell’Associazione Italia Uganda Onlus a cura di Simona Meneghelli