Isaac Shinyekwa, a Senior Research Fellow with the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) shared his understanding of global regional and national trends, challenges, risks and opportunities, their implications for Uganda and UN system in Uganda as well as strategies for management of risks and opportunities.

He was speaking as panelist on the first day of the Uganda UN country Team Annual Retreat held from 28-29 June 2018 at Protea hotel Entebbe, 

He told the officials at the retreat that African countries are developing the continent through regional integration while maintaining the National Development Plans.

On matters of trade, Shinyekwa alluded that the UN supports the establishment of Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) for Africa citing good progress made in other continental blocs (EAC, SADC and ECOWAS) and the tripartite being negotiated.

UN Ug country team retreat 2018 June

At the global level, he said there is a shift from multilateralism to unilateralism and bilateralism.

The US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNCHR) was a big shake for common global goals.

Shinyekwa told the gathering that Sub Saharan Africa is facing high population growth; urbanization, growing ICT use, and investment in social protection with the latter becoming a priority since most governments have in recent years focused more on infrastructure.

He reminded the summit that climate change is still a big global challenge. He called for investment in energy saving technologies to reduce reliance on fuel wood.

He also highlighted the social inequality, raging poverty in some parts of Uganda with most youth having no jobs despite being educated. To develop impoverished countries, Shinyekwa called for targeted industrialization and utilization of technology to improve productivity and production.

Regarding immigrants, he opined that conflicts among refugees with cases of kidnap are a common thing. Agriculture productivity was still low and this sis coupled with unending land conflicts.

On matters health, he said the HIV/AIDS scourge has been contained in some countries and that Non Communicable Diseases such as cancer and diabetes are a threat.

He concluded by reminding African governments of the need to build resilient citizenry to avoid dependence on foreign assistance.