On October 27 and 28 2015, the United States government, in partnership with the Government of Uganda, hosted more than 600 participants at the National Forum on the State of the Ugandan Child to address the critical challenges facing children in Uganda. The two-day forum, held at Speke Resort Munyonyo, brought together participants from both the private and public sectors, including Members of Parliament, district and local government officials, child advocates, researchers, media, civil society development partners, and other key stakeholders.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, Patricia Mahoney noted: “The Ugandan Government’s Vision 2040 and its 2015 National Development Plan tell us now is the time to act. The Government sets ambitious goals for Vision 2040: a shift to middle income status. The 2015 National Development Plan also aspires to economic growth. Given Uganda’s progress in recent decades, these goals are not unrealistic. But they rely on a generation of young people who can successfully contribute to a productive society…” see photo gallery
In his speech, Prime Minister Rugunda commended Uganda’s efforts in partnership with all development partners to fight for the well-being of Uganda’s children. “To have a healthy, prosperous society, we need to raise happy, healthy children,” the Prime Minister said. “Our planning across the board should be evidence-based and should resonate around the need to empower adolescents to make the right choices.”
The U.S government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), called for more investment in child development and protection by policy makers, leaders and all stakeholders at various levels. Leslie Reed, the USAID Mission Director in Uganda, said, “We are determined the find new ways to support children to thrive, not just survive.”