By: Pascal Kwesiga
In a bid to localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SDGs Secretariat in the Office of the Prime Minister held regional festivals and forums.
The regional festivals and forums or barazas were held in Mbarara, Jinja, Lira and Mubende between May and June. The Kampala People’s Festival took place at the Kampala Capital City Authority grounds in Lugogo in August. They were preceded by the Second SDG conference which was held to further popularise the Sustainable Development programme and assess the progress made in the implementation of the 2030 agenda – adopted seven years ago.
The festivals and forums were designed to mobilise and engage local leaders and communities about the SDGs and create awareness around sustainable development aspirations. The regional festivals included walks, tree planting, citizen parliaments (barazas) and stakeholder consultations, among others.
The Kampala People’s Festival was used to mobilise the people and organisations to contribute towards realising SDGs.
The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, said these activities, especially the conference, which featured innovation and skills-building workshops and exhibitions, also fostered collaboration to accelerate the implementation of the sustainable development agenda.
The Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Justine Kasule Lumumba, said the festivals offered the Government and partners an opportunity to showcase the actions they have taken to realise the SDGs.
Dr. Albert Byamugisha, the Senior Technical Advisor and Head of the SDG Secretariat, said the regional and Kampala festivals allowed the Government and development partners to discuss SDGs with several Ugandans.
“We had an opportunity to reach as many people as possible including young people, women and elders,” he added. “The barazas allowed us to inform people what the Government is doing in education, health, environment and agriculture, among others, to realise the SDGs,”
Byamugisha explained that the festivals also created an opportunity for Ugandans to express their ideas about the sustainable development agenda.
“We also had an opportunity to engage the local governments which are implementing the Government’s flagship programme, the Parish Development Model,” he said. “We planted around 20,000 trees and got many people informed about the SDGs. We also informed people about what the International Community is doing to realise SDGs,”