Despite several affirmative programmes implemented by government of Uganda with support from global partners after decades of Lord’s Resistance Army [LRA] Insurgency, Northern Uganda is yet to catch up with the rest of other regions in the country, the European Union has observed.
This was contained in part of a speech by Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, the European Union representative to Uganda during the launch of Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) at Rainbow Hotel in Oyam district on Monday.
“Not withstanding the substantial and sustained progress in human and economic progress in human and economic development made in recent times, Northern Uganda still lags behind compared to other parts of the country,” Ambassador Attilio observed.
He however noted that over the decades, programs like Northern Uganda Agricultural Recovery Programme , ALREP, Karamoja Livelihoods Programme -KALIP and Northern Uganda Peace Recovery Programme [PRDP] made a positive development stride in Northern Uganda, Mr Attilio was quick to add that more still needs to be done to transform it economically.
Development Initiative for Northern Uganda [DINU] is a proramme with a funding worth 2 Trillion shillings and will run for a period of six years, according to Pius Ongom Okello, its coordinator and the permanent secretary in office the prime minister.
Okello explains that the programme will cover 33 districts of Abim, Amudat ,Kabong, Nakapripirit, Kotido ,Agagao, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwo, Nwoya, Omoro and Pader amomg others, including the eight districts in Lango
Nelsons Adea Akar, the Oyam district Local Council V chairperson who hosted the launch applauded the European Union and her partners for proactively getting involved in the recovery process of Northern Uganda that went through turmoil.
Adea however asserted that some districts in Lango were either left out or allotted minimal finances in the past programmes on the basis that they did not suffer the adverse effects of the war and appealed to the OPM to adapt an inclusive approach in DINU.
In response, Grace Freedom Kwiyocwiny who’s a Minister in charge northern Uganda said all the districts in the greater North which comprises Lango, Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions will benefit from programme and urged leaders to ensure they sensitize their people to embrace the programe for imropoved livelihoods.
Rtd Col Charles P. Okello Engola Macodwogo, the state minister for defense, also Oyam North MP who was in attendance, said the coming of DINU should excite the people of Northern Uganda because it is a clear manifestation that the government and its partners are committed to transform Northern Uganda.
Okello Engola in a tough tone sounded aloud warning to the technocrats who shall implement DINU to desist from graft and said government would not hesitate to prosecute them.
Meanwhile the EU says through DINU, it will ensure an integrated territorial approach with the aim of linking all the sectors to achieve an inclusive and sustainable socio- economic development.
Apart from leveraging the agriculture for food security, the European Union says it will also encourage the development of commercial agriculture and agribusiness by supporting a selected number of key value chains.