Uganda lags behind in key MDGs as 2015 deadline closes in – report (Published by the Newvision on Friday, October 18, 2013).
Inspite of the fact that Uganda got a lot of funding to see to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), the progress report by the Ministry of Finance and United Nations Development Programme of 2013 revealed that goals such as achieving Universal Primary Education, Improving Maternal Health and Combating HIV/AIDS were ranked slow, stagnant and reversed respectively. Mr. Albert Musisi of Economic Policy and Research Department said, “HIV /AIDS prevalence among the 15 – 49 year olds had increased from 6.4 to 7.3% between 2004 and 2011.
It was estimated that 353 new infections occur daily and that while there was improved access to ARV treatment, 60,000 Ugandans died from HIV/AIDS annually. It was also realized that Uganda’s maternal mortality ratio was among the highest in the world (estimated at 438 per 100,000 live births), while the primary school dropout rate was also on the increase.
It is sad to note that talk about MDGs is no longer part of what the policy makers chat about in Uganda today. This may mean that on realizing that the country was not making a worthy headway in achieving the MDGs, these people got resigned!
The report indicated that Uganda had made considerable progress towards achieving goals such as promoting gender equality and empowering women (may be this comes as a result of realizing that women saw it as an NRM initiative, hence Government emphasized it as a vote winner – observation by Kituuka), other progress has been in reducing child mortality, ensuring environmental sustainability (highly doubtable given the encroachment on the forests and swamps – observation by Kituuka), and developing a global partnership for development ( this is a bit tricky as in some instances Uganda has ventured into other countries as a liberator, and it is possible that there are personal interests here though some national benefit as the case was before the Sudan civil war – personal observation by Kituuka).
The report further said that according to the scorecard, Uganda had already achieved the first goal – eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and achieving debt sustainability, (this to me is a lie – Kituuka). Statistics in Uganda have time and again been doctored to suit the intentions of Government, and those relying on them are bound to make wrong deductions at times, what one needs to do is go down to the grassroots and see the biting poverty there is – people who yearn for getting shs 500 and others have been killed for shs 200, yet politicians can get votes on a mere shs 1,000 bribe to a voter). You cannot talk about debt sustainability when the amount of money the people of Uganda demand from Government is increasing at an increasing rate, and no clear avenues to see to the sustainable reduction of this debt. Not long ago, the suppliers to Uganda Police were in arms for over shs 45bn unpaid. Not long ago, water was cut off at Mulago hospital for shs 6.5bn unpaid; all this is local debt, and constrains the economic undertakings of these entities. The country continues to borrow as funds are diverted to non – productive areas, including dishing out of cash to please voters, hence keep the NRM in power as well as a huge administrative expenditure which could be cut.
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund report that was released in May 2013 indicated that Uganda will only be able to achieve two MDGs – that is halving poverty and promoting gender equality and empowerment of women.
I am of the opinion that Uganda will only achieve one MDG that is promoting gender equality and empowering women.