SWITCH AFRICA GREEN UGANDA NATIONAL NETWORKING FORUM
14 – 15 SEPTEMBER, 2017
THEME: Sustaining Uganda's resources through promoting Green Business Production
Switch Africa Green held the Uganda National Networking Forum from the 14 -15 September 2017 in Kampala, Uganda under the theme of “Sustaining Uganda’s Resources”. The key objective of the forum was to foster open information and knowledge sharing among stakeholders on the transition towards and inclusive green economy. The forum brought together about 150 participants including government officials, civil society, Members of Parliament, development partners, academia, researchers, cultural institutions, private sector among others.
In his opening remarks, Polly Mugisha, representing the UNDP Country Director, Ms. Almaz Gebru, applauded the cost savings achieved and investments made in Ugandan MSMEs in assisting them in integrating resource efficiency and cleaner production in their operations.
Patrick Mwesigye (UN Environment) highlighted the importance of holding the networking forum as part of the networking component of the project, which provides a platform for knowledge sharing and distilling best practices to be shared among the beneficiaries. This would drive replication and scaling up to realize more results. He also reiterated that the Switch Africa Green project aims to provide compliance assistance to ensure MSMEs increase their profits but also conserve the environment. Notably, he stated that Phase 2 of the project was approved by the EU and is set to run from 2018 – 2021.
(Right) Mr. Pavlos Evangelidis (Head of Inclusive Green Economy, European Union delegation to Uganda) in his opening remarks.
“An Inclusive green growth economy with a brilliant private sector is a very good opportunity to make a long-lasting economy while safe guarding environment” - Mr. Pavlos Evangelidis
He further noted that the EU had committed to support the second phase of the project which would include Ethiopia in addition to the 6 countries already implementing the current phase. He noted that one of the keys issues of focus would be information sharing.
(Left) Mr. Paul Mafabi (Director, Environment Affairs, Ministry of Water and Environment on behalf of the Minister), while delivering the keynote address welcomed participants noting that the perception and attitude of people needed to change in order to embrace the green growth initiative.
"Uganda is endowed with rich natural diversity that necessitates incorporation of sustainable and consumption practices into the economy to ensure the sustainability of natural resource capital" - Mr. Paul Mafabi
He thanked the EU for funding the SWITCH Africa Green programme and UNEP, UNDP and UNOPS for partnering to support Uganda’s transition into an inclusive economy.
Mr. Edward Odipio, on behalf of the Executive Director of NEMA welcomed participants to the Networking Forum, urging the stakeholders to integrate green growth policies in the national development plans to ensure green growth and the advancement of Uganda’s economic status.
(Right) Silver Ssebagala (UCPC) made a presentation on ‘Cleaner Production Practices as a Tool for Green Growth’ where he noted among other things that there was a need to green all industries to become more resource efficient and resilient without necessarily slowing them down stating that they can progress from cottage to medium and eventually to large scale. This would lead to the creation of a green path with sustainable consumption, hence achieving huge impacts with long term focus on more employment opportunity and increased revenues while decoupling economic growth from negative environmental degradation.
Norah Mugita (UN Environment) responded to questions and feedback on how laws, policies and standard across the region and beyond work to ensure there is compliance to the green growth strategy noting the progress the country had made in developing a green growth strategy.
While making a presentation of the Uganda Draft Green Growth Strategy, Kaggwa Ronald (National Planning Authority) stated that there was effort to mainstream green growth budget into national budget as well as influence the budget policy and advocacy towards green growth. While incentive packages for greening is encouraged, he noted that some projects, like the Uganda Investment Authority, are collaborating with various entities to promote green growth. The draft strategy emphasizes the need to green all sectors to become more resource efficient and resilient without necessarily slowing them down. Simon Etimu (Directorate of Water Resource Management) emphasized on the importance of Water conservation and Water Audits to ensure sustainable water use in industry and even in the tourism and agricultural sectors.
In his presentation, His Worship the Hon. Godfrey Kabbyanga (Mayor Kasese Municipality) noted that there was a need to invest highly in technology and research to clean other cities, develop modern cooking stoves to consume 100% of the fire wood and discourage charcoal use. Through an initiative by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) being implemented by NEMA, Kasese Disctrict converts municipal waste into compost for agricultural use. Being the first district to develop a District Renewable Energy Strategy report, they are now encouraging the communities to use cooking stoves; they give free tree seedlings to the communities, and they are conducting a beatifying campaign for the streets which has led to improved waste management.
Joshua Mutambi (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives) focused on sustainable manufacturing where he said that greening initiatives are bringing Uganda innovation and investments. George Owoyesigire (Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities) was optimistic that the reform of the Tourism Act 2008 to include eco-tourism, sustainable management of touristic sites and community tourism would raise Uganda’s tourism sector and earnings during his presentation on “Sustainable Tourism Development and Green Practices.” Peter Beine (National Agricultural Research Organization) noted that Uganda was moving into organic agriculture which has the potential of increasing revenue.
While giving his closing remarks, Patrick Mwesigye (UN Environment) stated that the Grantees will present their progress in implementation during the Joint Steering Committee meeting due to be held Ghana giving Uganda an opportunity to showcase its achievements over the last four years. He encouraged investors to register for the UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) exhibition due to take place in Nairobi and thanked all the participants and organizers in particular NEMA for holding the forum.
On behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Joshua Mutambi thanked the organizers and the forum participants for active participation. He further thanked the sector for sharing their experiences, learning, and networking amongst each other. “This is an opening for more investments,” he said.
Uganda has 6 grantees working with about 400 enterprises helping them green their businesses with a focus on Agriculture, Manufacturing and Tourism as the priority sectors.
The overall objective of SWITCH Africa Green is to support 6 countries in Africa to achieve sustainable development by engaging in transition towards an inclusive green economy, based on sustainable consumption and production patterns, while generating growth, creating decent jobs and reducing poverty. SWITCH Africa Green is developed and funded by the European Commission and implemented by UN Environment in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).