The Republic of Uganda has been sapped by a long-standing conflict, pitting rebels and the government and causing widespread insecurity in the north, as well as in neighboring countries. Although, it is relatively peaceful today, Uganda continues to face a slow economic growth, with high rates of youth unemployment and very low incomes in rural households. Weak governance capacity at the local level, and a poor investment climate are adding to Uganda's challenges.
How We Are Helping?
UNCDF supports Uganda by facilitating the creation of functional planning and financial systems for sustainable and inclusive local development. Using the approaches developed during the District Development Programme, jointly supported by UNCDF, UNDP and the Government of Uganda in 2008-2012, UNCDF is engaged with the local governments in the Karamoja region to strengthen the capacity of local authorities, to promote economic development, and to coordinate the activities of service providers. The project is also working to strengthen the local business environment through targeted investments in economic infrastructure and support catalytic investments to revitalize the local economy. As part of its Global Local Finance Initiative aimed at unlocking national financial markets for sustainable and inclusive local development, UNCDF is supporting the development of a major catalytic project consisting of a dairy processing facility in Northern Uganda worth about US$12 million.
Increasing access to energy is critical for sustainable development. UNCDF, through its global CleanStart programme, plans to invest US$1.3 million (secured funding) over a period of four years (2013-2017) to develop replicable business models for scaling up microfinance for cleaner and more efficient forms of energy for poor people. By the end of the programme, more than 40,000 low-income households and micro-entrepreneurs in Uganda will have access to modern energy. CleanStart will be anchored in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) which is mandated to lead all energy programmes in Uganda.
UNCDF is also working to strengthen the capacity of local government institutions and civil society in planning and budgeting taking into account gender issues.
Implementation is subject to the agreement with the Government of Uganda. UNCDF is also in the process of implementing two regional programs: Youthstart, which aims to improve access to financial services for youth and the International Joint Training program (international ICLD-UNCDF), which aims to strengthen capacity of local government to support local development, poverty reduction and the MDGs.