UNCDF has been present in Uganda since 1982, supporting the Government to create a functional planning and financial system for sustainable and inclusive local development.
Today, together with the larger UN Country Team, UNCDF in Uganda supports the Government effectively implement the Second National Development Plan and realize its vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2020, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
UNCDF uses its financial tools and technical expertise in public financial management, SME development, and financial services development to incentivize actors across different economic value chains to think differently, break from their silos, and incubate new ways of serving the “last-mile”. Together we look for, and invest in, high-impact opportunities that can boost productivity, economies of scale, and above all, development impact, especially for women and youth.
Some of our areas of engagement are:
- Sustainable finance for local infrastructure to boost public and private investments in local infrastructure development and service delivery and to foster equitable economic growth (Local Finance Initiative and Joint Programme on Equitable Economic Growth in Cities).
- Agricultural value chain development through digital financial services and digital innovations that facilitate financial flows between various value chain actors to empower people’s lives (Mobile Money for the Poor).
- Promotion of clean energy through introduction of early stage clean energy business models so that modern energy solutions are made accessible and affordable for a larger population (CleanStart).
- Access to finance for small and medium enterprises to allow more SMEs in Uganda to source growth capital locally for infrastructure investments (Local Finance Initiative).
- Connect sustainable sources of capital financing with local governments struggling to address problems arising from rapid urbanization (Municipal Investment Finance - MIF)
- The Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU), a flagship programme designed to consolidate stability in Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty and under-nutrition and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.
- The International Training Programme is a joint venture between the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Swedish International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD) which focuses on local financial development using principles of equity, participation and transparency. The programme offers training in public financing and Local Economic Development and is targeting five countries namely; Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
- Building Inclusive Digital Economies: UNCDF is implementing its global strategy of “Leaving no one behind in the digital era” with a goal to equip one million Ugandans by 2024 with access to innovative digital services that will empower them and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme focuses on establishing digital infrastructure, innovation ecosystems and enabling policy framework that will accelerate the growth of a digital economy that is inclusive and sustainable. We work with the government, private sector and academia to develop and scale digital solutions to reduce the digital divide and empower key customer segments (smallholder farmers, women, youth, refugees and MSMEs). Through a market systems development approach, we leverage digital technology as a catalyst to address market constraints in key sectors namely finance, agriculture, energy, education, health and transport. Using the Inclusive Digital Economy Scorecard, we work with government ministries, departments and agencies to identify key market constraints hindering the development of an inclusive digital economy and set the right priorities to foster the growth of digital economy that leaves no one behind.
With a programmatic portfolio in Uganda of over US$10 million and growing, UNCDF is confidently looking into the future; planning to double its portfolio in the next two years. Some next generation initiatives include: the use of technology to improve the visibility and efficiency of public and private financial flows across key sectors such as agriculture, energy, water, education, and transport; and improving the resilience of local governments and communities disproportionately affected by conflict, climate change and the influx of refugees into Uganda.