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DGF exits Uganda

The farewell in Kampala attended by Vincent Waiswa Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Democracy Governance Facility-DGF has formally exited Uganda after nearly 12 years. DGF, a multi-donor Fund was established in 2011 to properly coordinate donor assistance and activities in Uganda.

The Fund has seven members including Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, and the EU, and together, they have been raising over 100billion Shillings that has been used to fund different civil society organizations and government institutions engaged in human rights and good governance activities.

In February 2021, President Museveni suspended the activities of DGF accusing its managers of operating such a mega fund without proper government oversight. Efforts to have the Fund reopened hit a dead end forcing the contributing partners to pull out of the arrangement.

Speaking at the wind-up function at the European Union Ambassador’s residence in Kampala, the EU head of Mission, Jan Sadek said that DGF had done a fantastic job in fostering democracy and accountability in Uganda. Sadek said everywhere including in Uganda, democracy is under attack and urged the government to embrace dialogue as means of solving political misunderstandings.

He added that while they regret that DGF had wound up, they will continue supporting democratic efforts in Uganda.

Sadek also reiterated the EU’s opposition to the Anti- Homosexuality Act that was assented to this week by President Yoweri Museveni. The Ambassador said Uganda has the obligation to respect the rights of all individuals living in it.

Speaking at the same function, Vincent Waiswa Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked DGF for the work it has done to strengthen the work of civil society organizations involved in good governance and democracy.

Bagiire said even when DGF was winding up its work the way it was, its contribution will always be remembered.

On Sadek’s comments about the Anti-homosexuality Act, Bagiire said he was not well-suited to make any comments about the issue because it was above his role as a Permanent Secretary.

For her part, Nicole Bjerler the head of the Facility Management Unit of the DGF said even when DGF was leaving, the government needs to continue engaging the local NGOs and other development partners if it wants to achieve the UN sustainable development goals and Uganda’s vision 2040.

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2 comments

  1. ÐGF’s work is commendable, though it failed in its representation of the indigenous on its Board level and also failed to honor the sovereignity of independent states under guise of ‘human rights’ violation.

    • The DGF was established in July 2011 by eight development partners (DPs) as a five-year governance programme aimed at providing harmonised, coherent and well-coordinated support to state and non-state entities to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda.
      When the Danish minister was in Uganda to close the facility, it was felt there was no basis to the allegations and that no competent authority would sacrifice the lives of ordinary Ugandans by denying them access to justice and welfare -free of charge at the point delivery via the various funded charities. In fact the Danish Minister went further- “The allegations of representation were for saving face. The Ugandan State could not sustain, with evidence, the allegations it was making. There was no basis.” It speaks volume on the lost opportunity (Sh 100bn) and the gain for our Swahili speaking neighbours Kenya and TZ.

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