Induction of elected local government leaders in the beneficiary local government on the greening Uganda’s urbanization and industrialization project

On May 2 to 6, 2021, the National Planning Authority with technical support from the European Union and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) will conduct an induction of elected local government leaders from four (4) newly established districts, and beneficiary local government on the Greening Uganda’s Urbanization and Industrialization project. The induction will include a highlight on how cities can be engines of growth; Local Government Planning Guidelines by the Ministry of Local Government to enable the incoming leaders understand the management dynamics in local governments as well as understand the urgency of administering the new cities as green cities.

The facilitating team for the induction workshops will come from NPA, GGGI, Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. The planned dates for the induction are as follows: Arua on May 3; Gulu on May 4; Soroti on May 5, and Mbarara on May 6 at Esella Hotel in Kampala.

The topics to be presented include: NDPIII and its implementation; City councils as engines of growth; Local Government Planning Guidelines; Greening Uganda’s Urbanization and Industrialization Project; Local Government Administration; and Role of an MP in City Administration.

Uganda’s Vision 2040 aims at making the country a transformed society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years. Vision 2040 states that review of the development paths of developed and emerging economies shows that, except for a few oil-exporting countries, there is a strong positive correlation between industrialisation and rapid development. A strong and competitive industrial base is important to create employment, advance technology and create a resilient economy. Industrialisation also offers more export earnings, wider tax base, increased purchasing power, increased integration with agriculture, product diversification, greater efficiency, and technical modernisation and higher productivity throughout the whole economy. In this regard the Vision targets having some major industries by 2040 in Phosphate manufacturing, Iron and Steel and Oil Refinery and Associated pipeline Infrastructure among many others.

Furthermore, Vision 2040 aspired to have 5 regional cities of Kampala, Gulu, Arua, Mbale and Mbarara and five strategic cities of Hoima, Nakasongola, Fortportal, Moroto and Jinja. The realization of these cities needs proper planning of various aspects including physical layout, waste management, infrastructure, energy needs, housing, and employment among others.

The third National Development Plan (NDPIII), 2020/21-24/25, identified industrialization and urbanization among the key components to be harnessed to achieve the desired economic transformation. The government is aiming at working towards creating employment for the current population and at the same time achieve economic transformation and development by 2040. Specifically, the theme for NDPIII is “Sustainable Industrialization for inclusive growth, wealth creation and employment”. Additionally, it has the Programmes of Agro-Industrialization, Mineral Development, Sustainable Development of Petroleum Resources, Manufacturing, Integrated Transport Infrastructure Services and Sustainable Urbanisation and Housing specifically articulating the issues of urbanization and industrialization.

The industrialization agenda comes with the accompanying high rate of urbanization, with Uganda’s currently standing at 5.4%. Effective planning for the growth and development of cities and towns facilitates liveable and decent environments, environmental protection, reduces crime rates and enable the achievement of national and international development targets especially the SDGs. To ensure sustainable development and realization of the Vision and NDP targets, Uganda developed the Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (UGGDS), which document guides the greening aspects of Uganda’s development agenda.

To boost the efforts of realising the industrialization agenda and the sustainable development of the planned cities, government received funding from the European Union (EU), to implement a project titled ‘Greening Uganda’s Urbanization and Industrialization’.

The EU is partnering with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in delivering this three (3) year project, which is running from 2020 to 2023. The project aims to promote sustainable development and inclusive green growth in Uganda by focusing on green city development, green industrialization, efficient waste management and green growth integration into planning and budgeting. This is to ensure Uganda is achieving maximum benefits from a green growth pathway.

The project’s Impact objective is: “Uganda achieves strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth”, which GGGI measures through its Strategic objective indicators of; 1) GHG emission reduction, 2) Creation of green jobs, 3) Increased access to sustainable services, 4) Improved air quality and 5) Enhanced adaptation to climate change. This will be delivered through a set of activities all aimed at the acceleration of green investment (public and private) in Uganda.

Several government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are involved on the project under the different components plus the Local Government of Gulu, Arua, Packwach, Soroti, Jinja and Mbarara. The project components include:

  1. The development of four (4) Green Growth compliant Masterplans for the selected municipal/Secondary Cities
  2. The development of four (4) Investment Plans for the municipal/Secondary Cities including the key priority sectors.
  3. Identify and develop a long list of 12 Bankable Project Concept Notes (4 for each city)
  4. Support the stakeholders with the selection of, and the development of, 6 priority projects and their teasers.
  5. Undertake capacity building for municipal authorities, local leaders, private sector and other stakeholders on the use, implementation, compliance and enforcement of the masterplans.
  6. The development of four (4) Green Growth compliant industrial design for the selected sites
  7. Develop capacity of stakeholders on green industrial park management and enforcement.

Induction of Political Leaders

In August and November 2020 field missions were conducted to the 6 Local Governments that are involved on the project. The purpose was to introduce the project to both the political and technical leadership, seek project ideas and conduct fact finding missions to the proposed sites for industrial parks development.

In January 2021, Uganda went to the polls to elect new political leaders that will assume office in May 2021. It is well known that for any project to succeed in implementation, irrespective of the technical input, the will of the political leadership has to be there. With most Local Governments receiving new leaders, different from those that the project team met, National Planning Authority (NPA), the government’s coordinating institution, advised that it is prudent to bring the incoming political leaders on board about the project and its strategic ambitions, in order to ensure a smooth transition and avoid disruption of the project activities.

We have ambitions to see the new Cities as the Local development engines of growth. The Transition to the program approach is very key for the Cities. In the past we have had challenges with the Political leadership in the Urban Local Governments, giving a very hard time to the technocrats and this has affected service delivery. Some have gone to the extent of shutting down the Local Governments because of disagreements in the planning and budgeting process. Therefore, there is need for them to appreciate the transition process to the program approach right from the start, otherwise we are headed for challenges from them as drivers of Local Economic Development.

Thus, we now have the ambition to see city councils as the principal driver to their city’s development, harnessing all the players in the city-building process. As such, city councils retain the holistic perspective of their cities, helping to temper the sectoral concerns of central government – overcoming the silo mentality, to which NDPIII’s program approach is a major step forward. Central government has the crucial role of establishing national priorities and supporting policies. Spending ministries, departments and agencies should be encouraged to heed the spatial and reinforcing trunk infrastructure needs of cities, these dominating their investments. This is a plea for sound town planning and supporting urban management, to which our new Local Government Political Leadership will have a crucial role to play!

Jinja Local Government Leaders Induction

NPA conducted the Jinja LG first induction of elected political leaders from Jinja city. The workshop took place at Esella Country Hotel in Wakiso from 12th to 14th February 2021. On top of the project presentation, the workshop was also used to present the NDPIII and Physical Planning Guidelines to the leaders.