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Monday, November 30, 2015

A BOOK LAUNCH ON YOUTH AND PUBLIC POLICY IN UGANDA




83%  youths are unemployed
Youth problems remain a serious policy challenge in many sub-Saharan African countries, including Uganda. In 2013, youth (aged 15 to 24) in sub-Saharan Africa were twice likely to be unemployed compared to any other age cohort. For Uganda, in 2012, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics revealed that the share of unemployed youth (national definition, 18-30 years) among the total unemployed persons in the country was 64 percent. Given the rapid growth of the Ugandan population—three-quarters of the population are below the age of 30 years—coupled with the fact that the youth are getting better educated through higher access to primary and secondary education, a stronger focus on job creation for this cohort of people cannot be overemphasized.
Launching the book addressing youth issues
In order to bring the youth on board and to awaken them from sleep so as to turn them from hopeless brats to useful Ugandans, RIC-NET in collaboration with Society for International Development (SID) on 26th Nov. 2015 launched an eight-chaptered book entitled YOUTH AND PUBLIC POLICY IN UGANDA at cornerstone Hotel in fort portal addressing the issues of the youth among which include; unemployment, poverty and ignorance. This book was compiled by sitting down with the youth to identify the youth problems, that were put together to come up with the eight chapters of the book. Among those who attended the launch were University Guild Governments of mountains of the moon university, Uganda Pentecostal University, Kabarole District Information Officer Mr.Kobwemi Tanazious, youth leaders and civil society staffs, police among others who discussed a lot in regards to the findings of the book such as; youth being harassed by police when they are trying to demand for their rights, government only concentrating on the youth in urban centres and neglecting those in rural areas where the largest population lies, inadequate information to the youth, youth electoral caters for gender neglecting the youth, neglect of people with disabilities  and on other hand laziness was cited out to be a vice eating up the youth.
Mr.Muzinduki Patrick responding to issues raised by the youth
In response to the issues raised by the youth, RICNET asked the youth to make their voices heard by being U-reporters an opportunity to speak out their minds with no cost incurred. Through this platform they would cry out loud for help and be heard. The DIO Kabarole Mr. Kobwemi urged the youth to be vigilant because experience is not job based but skill based, he went further to call upon the youth to grab every opportunity that comes their way. Laziness was also criticized whereas they were also encouraged to put vision 2040 “A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years” as a pillar to guide them all their endeavors to have a transformed and youthful Ugandan youth.



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

RICNET ATTENDS THE 2ND ANNUAL REGION REFLECTION CONFERENCE 2015



Uganda, like many countries in Sub Saharan Africa continues to lag behind in poverty reduction, good governance and service delivery. This to some varying degree can be attributed to dysfunctional state institutions and departments. These have and continue to be scarred with corruption, poor financial management and governance challenges, which consequently decapitate their ability to ensure effective and efficient service delivery to the masses. It is a fair assessment that corruption and mismanagement as an obstacle to good service delivery in Uganda is condoned by the inaction and lethargy of the oversight authority-Parliament. Every year it appropriates funds to these entities to further their goals and objectives. The auditor general audits and reports back the manner in which these funds were used or misused. It is therefore incumbent upon accountability committees of parliament to report back to the house in a period of six months after the OAG lays the audited reports, as provided for in the National Audit Act, 2008.
However, parliament has not always delivered on this obligation in time. The fact that there is backlog on reports of accountability committees that spans over five years is a telling reminder. Some reports from accountability committees are tabled in Parliament but take years before they are adopted. This fatally disintegrates the audit cycle.
Improved service delivery is citizen’s desire to have a clear knowledge on how public funds were used in relation to provision of services. To reflect on this fact, Toro Development Network organized a two days 2nd annual reflection conference on public accountability for improved service delivery in the Rwenzori sub-region on 19th-20th November 2015 at St. Josephs Inn-Virika, Fort portal. The conference was attended by approximately 80 people among which were media practitioners under their umbrella network (Rwenzori Journalists Forum), leaders of Citizen’s Advocacy Forums, Civil Society leaders and staffs, District Information Officers, leaders of District-NGO Forums, both political and technical leaders from the seven districts in the Rwenzori region.
Rev.Fr.Dr. Kabura presenting during the conference
Among other things that were discussed in the conference were; the current electioneering process: what are the key concerns of public service delivery to influence elections outcome in the region. This was presented by Rev.Fr.Dr. Kabura Pascal who gave the History of Uganda and called upon people to stop blaming each other and appreciate our current life. He further pointed out that the 10 points programs excited people but instead, dreams have been shattered, promises repeated and failed to be fulfilled. In his conclusion he asked people to read Luke 19:41-44. The other issue discussed was ICT for democracy in East Africa: How it works  to promote democracy and human rights.
Ashnah discussing ICT4Democracy
This was presented by Ashnah Kalemera from CIPESA who encouraged people to use the available social media platforms like face book, blog reporting among others to hold leaders accountable. Report on the pilot ToroDev’s e-participation model and proposals for future scale up in Uganda and beyond, e-participation/ICT model to promote citizen’s democratic engagement with duty bearers/leadership, district LGs and CSOs Forums in the Rwenzori region: what their potential is to improve service delivery, mainstreaming gender issues in public accountability and democratic engagement for improved service delivery where they asked the people to make women a priority in the whatever decision they make, the role of Citizen’s Advocacy Forums in promoting public accountability and service delivery monitoring in the Rwenzori sub-region, the performance, challenges, impact of Citizen’s Advocacy Forums in the Rwenzori sub-region and Sustainability of Citizen’s Advocacy groups as socially and economically viable entities in the Rwenzori sub-region were all discussed in the conference. The conference ended successfully ended with the promise that they are going to according to what was discussed.
The new proposed participation model



Monday, November 9, 2015

RWECO HOLDS OUT A HAND TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN IN KASESE DISTRICT

RWECO coordinator addressing people

In the Rwenzori region, Violence against children is rampant as manifested in the way children are looked at as household tools for economic empowerment  leading to exploitation, provision of cheap labour in tea estates, and cotton growing and harvesting yet even the little they earn is taken away from them by their guardians or parents whereas those at the boarder sides of Kasese are exposed to smuggling practices and this puts young girls at high risks of acquiring HIV/AIDS, corporal punishments also common in school, use of abusive language ,exposure to pornography in society ,denial of education ,medical care among others making them to look at a future that is so bad and so hopeless .
RWECO members in the meeting
Women’s lack of empowerment is a recipe for violence against children in all its forms leaving the children at the mercy of GOD. The children in the Rwenzori region are often spotted crying on the streets, indulging in activities that are harmful exposing them to violence the only monster. They have no one to turn to; they have no medical care, they have no one to lean on. The children in the Rwenzori region have no proper guidance, they need information, and they need time and love.
 To give them a helping hand, Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) with support from the East African Children Fund (EAFC) has come up with a project “community-led mechanisms to prevent violence against children and adolescents”. The project aims at curb down the vice through a community-led approach through economic empowerment of women, strengthening capacity of school management committees and strengthening the capacity of communities living within the school environment
Mrs. Marget holds out computers to be given to the RWECO executive dirctors
The project will be implemented by the RWECO member organizations of Rwenzori Information Centres Network (RIC-NET), Karambi Action Life Improvement (KALI), Democracy Link- Africa (RIDE-AFRICA), Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development (GHFRD) and Kasese Guide Radio has been brought on board to do all the media activities. As an approach through which RWECO works, an inception meeting was held on 5th Nov. 2015 at Virina Gardens Hotel in Kasese Municipality geared at finding ways on how to implement the project in Kasese district. This pilot project is targeting eight sub-counties of Karambi, Kitholhu, Nyakiyumbu, Kisinga, Karusandara, Maliba, Kitswamba and Katwe Kabatooro town council and 16 schools selected from each of these sub-counties in Kasese district.
The project activities were distributed to member organizations and will be carried out by involving children in assessing their own problems and identifying critical issues in their lives which makes a major difference in addressing their problems. RWECO partners will rely on the baseline findings and informal interactions with the children for learning and community participation in form of drama innovativeness and household competitions on the prevention of violence against children. 
Group photo for RWECO members
RIC-NET as a partner organization was given the schools of Kanyatsi, Karambi, Kyabikere and Kamasasa primary schools to operate in, RIDE-AFRICA to operate in Kyanya SDA, Ngaiga, Kistwamba SDA and Ibuga primary school, GHFRD to operate in Kiburara, Karusandara SDA, Kenyange primary school and St. Thereza girls’ secondary school and KALI to operate in Mundongo, St. John’s Bukangara, Katwe and Katwe quarran primary schools whereas Kasese Guide Radio is carry out all the media related works in all its forms.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

STUDENTS APPLAUD RIC-NET FOR INRODUCTING THEM TO ONLINE CLASSES


As the wind of change sweeps around the Rwenzori region, RIC-NET takes education to another level of conducting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lessons online between US and Uganda in partnership with Level Up Village (LUV) as United States Company.
 The classes are conducted  weekly and  a class is held once a week and  3 Video letters are recorded and sent to the US  partners.
 the classes taught so far are: the doctor’s class (purely Science),the Mobile Application and the Video Game (animation videos). * students from Kabarole SS and  16 students from St. Charles are so far  participating in these classes.
Students attending the mobile application class
So far  the key challenges is  the slow internet connectivity around the school).
An appreciation letter from one of the students