The Civil Society Organization’s two day fair ended Friday, with stakeholders calling on Ugandans to exercise their civic, political and economic rights even as many feel that current economic pressures continue to undermine the enjoyment of their human dignity.
Themed under ‘’Our Country Our Dignity Our Duty’’ , the fair brought together different CSO exhibitors the Academia , Media, the Private Sector and Donor Community to appreciate the work of civil society in Uganda, at the same time question if Ugandans were consolidating their citizen’s dignity.
At the end of the forum, the CSO’s drew a communiqué which called on all players to foster political and economic change. But as they debated on these issues, most participants wondered if the ideals mentioned could be translated to reflect the life of ordinary Ugandans.
For example, Lucy Ajok Woman Member of Parliament in Apach District explained that women in her constituency have to walk long distances in search for water and health care services, some of these services were essential for any citizens to live a dignified life.
However, responding to some of these concerns, Job Kiija Coordinator Citizens Mobilization at the Uganda National NGO Forum defined human dignity as a sense of wellness, in terms of economic and health endowment.
Kiija argued that dignity can be realized if citizens took an active role in demanding that the Government as the duty bearer accords them access to political, social and economic rights.
While Leonard Okello, Executive Director of the Uhuru Institute an institution focused on harnessing National Development argued that basing on the current economic status, where most Ugandans earn less than a dollar per day, amid vices like corruption and other economic crimes, achieving dignity is a farfetched goal.
This is the 3rd National CSO Fair, following the 2nd edition last year and the 1st edition in 2011.This year forum attempted to capture the Ugandan mood in view of the vision 2040, as the country continues to reflect on the achievements and failures that characterized 50 years of Uganda’s independence.