AFRICAN CENTER FOR
TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT
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PROGRAMS
 
ACTADE  PROGRAMMES 

 

1. BUDGET ANALYSIS AND INFORMATION PROGRAMME (BAIP)

A number of challenges still face Ugandans in effectively participating and benefiting from national budget. These challenges include, inter alia: 
 

  1. Effective participation of stakeholders in the budget and planning processes to-date is still very low due to lack of appreciation and understanding of the implications of the budget on Uganda’s development.
  2. The budget process and development planning issues are complex, and often times are left to the government and its technical people yet they affect all stakeholders concerned with Development issues. 
  3. De-linking the political process from budget implementation process, and increasing the involvement of stakeholders at budget formulation stage.
  4. There is limited public awareness about the budget processes. 
  5. Uganda Civil society lacks human, technical and financial resources to effectively engage in the Macro economic issues and the budget and government expenditure issues. Most Public Policy Research organizations, Think Tanks, NGOs and other CSO are engaged mainly in HIV/AIDS campaigns, elections, Political  party issues,  Human Rights, Relief and Disaster management, and have paid less attention to [Economic] development parameters and the role of the budget in resource allocation and poverty reduction

ACTADE's BAIP programme   focuses on transparency and accountability in the budget process and establishing meaningful indicators by which to assess public spending. In a country struggling with the problem of corruption in government, ACTADE provides independent analysis of important economic issues in order to educate citizens, members of parliament and government of the implications of alternative policies being considered and to improve fiscal transparency and accountability in public sector institutions.

Principles proposed by the BAIP

The key to successful budgeting is adherence to sound principles that embrace foundations for institutional organization in the utilization of public resources in a country. Therefore in this programme, we propose the following principles as underlying the budget management;
 

  • Implement regulation that ensures equal opportunities access to essential services and contribution in economic development through better legislation, strong and independent institutions and less government in private sector business.
  • Introduce fiscal discipline that is characterized by efficient public expenditure management and responsible borrowing.
  • Link fiscal strategy to the poverty and inequality diagnosis  in the PEAP;
  • Promote policies that enhance private sector growth; and
  • Commit to increased development expenditure as a proportion of total government revenues.


 

2. NATIONAL TRADE POLICY AND ADVOCACY PROGRAMME : Putting Trade on Uganda's Development Agenda

Uganda lacks a national trade policy to effectively steer production, marketing and trade, and there is no policy on internal trade at hand.  Apparently, the MTTI is one of those under-funded ministries since - although political oratory emphasises the key role trade is playing in eradicating poverty - Government does not consider the MTTI a core or key ministry. Relatively to the role it should play, the MTTI is disadvantaged and has significant capacity problems, as it is not in a position to effectively provide the necessary trade-related support to small-scale producers and farmers in Uganda.

Moreover, Uganda's national poverty reduction strategies and related plans, such as the PEAP and the PMA, do not fully respond to the production-, trade- and marketing-related needs of Ugandan small-scale producers and consumers, and do not appropriately take account of supra-national dynamics – i.e. at the WTO and regional level - as they impact on production and trade in Uganda.

 Programme Purpose

The overall objective of this programme is to empower disadvantaged Ugandan stakeholders at national and district level - including policymakers, civil society, small-scale farmers and producers, as well as academia - through policy advocacy, information generation and dissemination, dialogue, capacity-building and well-targeted research, to take informed positions, and proactively engage, in relevant national trade policymaking processes so that these generate pro-poor pro-sustainable development results. Specifically, it aims at:

  • Sensitising Ugandan stakeholders in trade policy about the relevance of Ugandan trade policymaking for their livelihoods, food security, and development.
  • Empowering Ugandan civil society as well as small-scale farmers and producers to engage effectively in relevant trade policymaking processes – and to mainstream trade into their advocacy strategies.
  • Promoting the development of balanced and integrated policy recommendations supportive to sustainable development in Uganda – mainly through facilitating workshops and seminars where participants with different backgrounds come together to learn about, and discuss, key issues at the intersection of trade and development.
  • Helping to facilitate a smooth but efficient and proactive consultative process at the Inter-Institutional Trade Committee (IITC) by supporting its members through needs-specific research and its dissemination. 
  • Building capacity of District Commercial Officers and strengthening their understanding of relevant trade issues – for example, on the WTO, the 'Doha Development Agenda' (DDA), the East African Customs Union or the Cotonou Agreement - so that they are capable of giving quality advice to farmers and producers in their Districts.
  • Backstopping and building capacity of Ugandan trade policymakers at national level about key issues at the intersection of trade and development, enabling them to provide appropriate services to Ugandans.

 

WTO issues and Market access
“International trade can play a major role in the promotion of economic development and the alleviation of poverty” DOHA Declaration on WTO 2001

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and Market access 
     

Uganda faces a challenge of linking international trade negotiations with the local and national level trade and development agenda. Uganda has been involved in trade negotiations at different levels – regional, bilateral and multilateral- with no systems in place to ensure that what is negotiated at the international level reflects the requirements at the local level. Emphasis has been placed on international markets, ignoring internal trade/market issues. Uganda has no domestic trade policy and has no comprehensive trade policy. Most of the trade reforms took place without a National Trade Policy to guide the nation. This has led to trade negotiations at the international level not taking into account local and national developments concerns. These challenges have also been compounded by the limited/low participation by key stakeholders in trade processes at both local and international levels.
 

Trade and National Development Plan (NDP) in Uganda 

The main strategic objectives of ACTADE under this thematic area include establishing the link between trade and poverty reduction in Uganda; explain role of trade in fighting poverty; and disseminating information on trade. Uganda under the NDP has identified as an important component of poverty reduction. ACTADE believes that Aid cannot eliminate poverty – without production and trade. Therefore, ACTADE wants the government to put emphasis on the importance of domestic trade issue – apparently the government of Uganda has no domestic (internal) trade policy. The government will have to reduce the supply side constraints in order to boost production. 
 

The East African Cooperation (EAC) and The EAC Customs Union

The Treaty establishing the East African Cooperation was signed in Arusha on 30 November 1999 -between Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya- and the cooperation came into force on 7 July 2000.  The new EAC aims to be private sector driven, internationally competitive and people-centred.
 

The Protocol that established the EAC Customs Union was signed in March 2004 and came into force on 1st January 2005. The aims of the Customs Union are to widening and deepen co-operation among the member states through policies and programmes for their mutual benefit in the political, economic, social and cultural fields, research and technology, defence, security, legal and judicial affairs. In the economic sphere, the EAC focus is on the regional integration of trade and investment policy, monetary and fiscal policy, and labour and capital markets. The log term goal for the EAC is to eventually become a Common Market, a Monetary Union, and finally a Political Federation. The trade policy agenda of the EAC aims at turning the three partner states into a single investment and trade area, and to increase the volume of trade among themselves and with the rest of the world. 
  
 

 3. CLIMATE JUSTICE FOR POOR COUNTRIES
 

Scientific projections unequivocally indicate that Africa will be hit hardest by the impacts of climate change as compared to other continents. In Uganda, climate change will fundamentally affect agricultural productivity, increase the prevalence of diseases and poverty, increase water stress and trigger off conflicts and war. Africa’s development aspirations are at stake unless urgent steps are taken to address the problem of climate change.
 
Although Africa is least responsible for global warming, it is however suffering from the impacts of climate change. Therefore, Africa suffers most from the problem that it has not created!

 

 4. BASIC NEEDS BASKET FOR UGANDAN POOR
 

ACTADE, in the spirit of exposing the plight of the poor and raising their concerns, will be producing the basic needs basket (BNB) for Uganda. We have come up with project after recognizing that the average person is struggling to afford most basic of monthly commodities. The BNB aims to expose the household’s struggle to meet the basic needs by comparing the findings with average take-home wages and general household incomes.  It will be published on a monthly basis for 6 urban centres of Uganda and will be widely disseminated (published in newspapers, The Guide Magazine, and circulated in government offices, development partners and businesses).

 

 5. INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME
 

 “Understanding of Policymaking and implementation process is the first step to Poverty elimination”Understanding of Policymaking and implementation process is the first step to Poverty elimination”

Uganda has undergone a number of changes since the economic and market liberalization reforms that took place since the 1980s. As a result, our market is more open and competitive than it was before these reforms. However, Uganda still has a long way to go towards achieving the type of economy that creates more wealth and employment for its people. According to Uganda Poverty Status Report 2005, income poverty is still at 38%, as it was in 2003 with 42% rural 12% urban dwellers.  The Chronic Poverty Report, DRT 2005, ascertained that almost 20% of Ugandans have been locked in chronic poverty for the last decade.
Uganda has made the PEAP as the main National strategy and work plan document, with five pillars (which are also linked to the MDGS): Economic Management; Enhancing production, competitiveness and incomes; Agriculture and service delivery for agriculture and rural development competitiveness and trade; security, conflict resolution; good governance and; human development. 

However, Uganda does not have young professionals, with an all – round academic background who interested in the development aspects of Uganda. 


ACTADE is specifically seeking for five (5) young women and men aged 20 – 30 years Internship Programme. The internship programme is innovative and exciting programme for young women and men from the Eastern which will be held thrice every year from February to December – session lasting for three months.

The programme provides opportunities for learning, interacting and discussion policy and development issues with cabinet members, MPS, civil society and the press.  The programme provides opportunity to the interns to gain hands on experiences in working within a public policy research and information organization. They have the opportunity to bring their own perspectives into the work of ACTADE and partners CSOs, and to shape the Internship Programme. The programme will also shape their approach to gender issues and issues at regional and global level that impact on women and men especially international agreement related to trade, aid and development.

At the end of the Internship Programme, each intern is expected to produce a research report on an area of their choice but related to the work that ACTADE does, based on their experience at ACTADE. 

Applications for the Internship Programme will be invited from young women and men in Uganda who wish to take up such an opportunity. Applicants must posses a first degree in law, business, social sciences and agriculture and must demonstrate commitment to gender equity and equality. They must be interested in working on development and advocacy issues to stay with ACTADE for a period of three (3) months. 

 

 

 6. OTHER RESARCH ACTIVITIES ON  MACROECONOMIC DETERMINANTS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 
 

ACTADE also conducts research on the other Determinants of economic Growth and development. We also look at those factors and issues that influence development and poverty reduction.
We therefore will carry out research and disseminate information on:

Trade and Poverty
Aid, Debt and Trade
Good governance, income distribution and  economic development
The fiscal policies 
Price level and economic stability

 

 



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