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Uganda Encouraged to Increase Domestic Funding for SDGs in Response to Global Aid Reductions

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Media practitioners, civil society organizations, and government officials convened at a prelude event to Uganda’s 3rd SDGs conference, organized by the United Nations Association of Uganda (UNAUganda) at Forest Cottages Naguru. The gathering focused on accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through increased domestic funding amidst dwindling foreign aid.

Linda Asaba, program manager at UNAUganda, underscored the urgency of securing domestic resources following cuts in foreign funding linked to global crises such as conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. “We must harness domestic resources to empower our youth,” Asaba emphasized, pointing to high unemployment rates and the challenge of disguised unemployment among young people.

Asaba also highlighted concerns over labor migration to Arab countries, labeling it as a form of modern-day slavery and urging young people to take proactive steps in shaping their futures.

President George Muwanguzi of UNAUganda unveiled the Youth Voluntary National Review Consultation Report 2024, revealing that Uganda boasts a predominantly youthful population, with over 78% under the age of 30. The report stressed the potential of this demographic to drive SDG achievements through their energy, creativity, and passion.

Government commitments outlined in the report included integrating SDGs into national development plans and establishing a robust coordination framework since 2016, aimed at enhancing SDG implementation across sectors.

However, challenges persist, including staggering youth unemployment rates reaching 64% and limited access to education in rural areas, which hampers youth development efforts.

Emmanuel Kirunda, Secretary General of the Uganda Journalists Association, and Charity Ahimbisibwe from civil society organizations emphasized the pivotal role of media collaboration in SDG acceleration. They called for enhanced partnerships to amplify advocacy and awareness efforts.

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The report concluded with recommendations for youth empowerment and gender equality initiatives, stressing the need for inclusive policies to ensure equal opportunities for young women and girls.

The upcoming SDGs conference in Uganda promises to be a pivotal platform for stakeholders to strategize on sustainable development, with a renewed focus on leveraging domestic resources to drive national progress in the post-2030 agenda.

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