Article By Romie Musiimenta
Uganda’s Parish Development Model (PDM) was fronted at the Africa High-Level Forum of South-South Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development 2023 as an initiative in Uganda geared towards helping its citizens escape the helm of poverty.
“30% of the money goes to women, 30% goes to youth, 10% goes to people with disabilities, and 10% goes to the elderly,” SDG focal point Minister Justine Kasule Lumumba told global participants at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
“We serve the furthest first and leave nobody behind,” she explained how the NRM kept power by serving the person at the bottom of the distribution chain and leaving no one behind in the shackles of poverty.
While Lumumba confirmed the money was being given to Ugandans to lift them out of poverty, she argued that it was nearly impossible for citizens who grow the same food to trade with each other.
“These people are growing the same commodities, so they cannot sell to each other, we have to look to you who do not produce these commodities to offer the market,” she told global participants.
Currently, Africa takes a mere 1.9 percent of global manufacturing, with most member states still forging partnerships on how to trade among themselves, with the global south, and with the rest of the world.
During the high-level discussions, member states were exposed to the need to trade not only raw materials but manufactured goods to accelerate industrialisation.
The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), whose entire membership is from the global south, outlined its support through the exchange of expertise and transfer of knowledge from various sectors since the inception of south-to-south cooperation, urging member states to intensify cooperation amongst themselves and the rest of the world.
While Uganda may not have a cooperation agency like the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, Rwanda Cooperation Initiative, Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation, Tunisian Agency for Technical Cooperation, or Palestinian International Cooperation Agency, which all were in attendance, President Museveni has since appointed the SDG focal point Minister Justine Kasule Lumumba to spearhead the expected outcomes in conjunction with the Africa review peer mechanism.
Lumumba also argued how the government has three ministers to help push south-to-south cooperation and the sustainable development goals, which include developing a plan not to leave anyone behind in poverty.
When asked what Uganda is doing to introduce institutions that are targeted towards south-to-south cooperation, Lumumba admitted that the country may not be at the heart of matters but that the pandemic contributed towards the slow possibility of more cooperation agreements for Uganda.
“Uganda has signed cooperation but Covid-19 pushed us into issues of hygiene and sanitation,” she responded.
Lumumba pointed out that the construction of roads to the DRC to create social and economic transformation is not only for the region but the continent as well.
“We are looking at this conference to find a market for these products because once production is done, a market must be found,” she said.
She further explained how Uganda had removed some nontariff barriers on key export commodities like milk, sugar, fish, maize, and eggs to access the east African region and COMESA markets.