KAMPALA — Vice President Jessica Alupo has welcomed the idea of regional consortiums as a way of fast-tracking socio-economic transformation.
The Vice President was speaking during a meeting with a delegation of Busoga leaders under their umbrella body, Busoga Consortium for Development (BC), in Kampala yesterday.
She applauded the delegation for their shared development agenda aimed at improving the region’s socio-economic status.
Alupo commended her predecessor, Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, for establishing the Local Government-led Economic Development Initiative from which the consortium drew its lifeline.
She called for the need to consolidate regions and accelerate service delivery.
“I strongly welcome the shared interest for socio-economic transformation as well as forging partnerships among people who share a common heritage,” she said.
VP Alupo urged the leaders to strengthen the decentralization system of governance through encouraging cooperation among local governments to achieve common development interests.
The 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, who also doubles as the patron of the Consortium, gave a historical account of the body, detailing the earlier failed attempts to rally the Basoga.
She described the consortium as a rallying point for Basoga from all walks of life.
Kadaga said the Consortium had registered several achievements, including partnerships like the one between Jinja City and Shenyang City of China, Jinja School of Nursing and Shenyang Medical University in China and Busoga Consortium and Liaoning Province, among others.
She appealed to the Vice President to support Busoga Consortium through the Busoga Development Agenda workplan that will soon be launched.
Speaking at the same event, Local Government minister Raphael Magyezi rallied Busoga leaders to embrace the Parish Development Model alongside the Busoga Development Consortium.
Magyezi stressed the importance of cooperation among local governments on development-related interests, adding that consortiums are in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) III, which underlines the need for district programmes to be mainstreamed into the relevant government ministries, departments and agencies.
Magyezi also said his ministry is committed to supporting development initiatives at the local level across the country. He proposed that the Busoga Development Forum serves as a benchmark for establishing similar initiatives across the country.
The consortium was established in April 2017, two years after the Greater Masaka Consortium was formed.
The meeting was attended by Rt.Hon Rebecca Kadaga, who doubles as the Patron of the consortium, 3rd Deputy Prime Minister Rukia Nakadama, ministers Milly Babalanda (Presidency), Kyakulaga Bwino (State minister for Agriculture) and Persis Namuganza (State minister for Lands) as well as district chairpersons of the districts that make up Busoga sub- region.
The idea of consortiums is drawn from Article 178 (1) of the Constitution and the Local Government Act Cap243 Section 8, which encourage Local Governments to cooperate and work together for common development interests.