UNDP Coutsey

The Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Uganda, Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie on Tuesday 28th July 28, 2015 paid a Courtesy call to EPRC where she urged for close collaboration between EPRC and UNDP in positioning Uganda to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the  United Nations Development Action Framework (UNDAF).

While meeting EPRC management team, Eziakonwa-Onochie, said “The whole UN is moving towards delivering together and speaking together as one UN voice,”  emphasizing that the UNDP’s role is diverse and covers key areas like tourism which Uganda needs to improve on so as to gain a strong competitive advantage in the region.

Eziakonwa- Onochie, advised EPRC to study the UNDAF that describes the collective actions and strategies of the UN to achieve national development in Uganda and come up with possible areas for collaboration. She emphasized that the UN is now oriented towards supporting policy integration and advisory capacity, which makes EPRC a strong partner considering its mandate and experience in policy research and engagement.

Dr. Sarah Ssewanyana the Executive Director EPRC assuredEziakonwa- Onochie, that EPRC’s policy research has received wider acceptance by government. “In 2014 EPRC was in the lead on calling off the proposed imposition of 18% VAT on agricultural inputs.” Ssewanyana cited other important works by EPRC, such as corruption tracking, the 2013 Financial Inclusion study, the assessment of poverty trends in Uganda since 2003 and recently the coordination of the Uganda Human Development Report 2015 among others.

In response to the EPRC’s readiness to influence the SDG’s, Ssewanyana said that the Centre was working towards strengthening the capacity of its researchers to appreciate the 17 indicators and 167 targets of the SDGs as well as ensuring gender inclusiveness. “We are ready to understudy the SDGs and support government as it embarks on their implementation, once they are adopted in September”.

Dr. Ibrahim Kasirye a research fellow at EPRC said the centre intends to undertake collaborative research on minerals with South Sudan. Elizabeth Birabwa, the Programmes manger EPRC, affirmed this saying the Centre’s trade and regional integration department has done grass root surveys to ascertain the viability of possible regional joint policy research.

Dr. Ssewanyana also briefed the UNDP Representative about the EPRC rebranding exercise which will reposition the Centre asa key partner in the post 2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs) as well as broaden its scope to respond to emerging development issues at the regional level for deeper economic integration within the East African Community.

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