Museveni launches civic education initiative

On the fringes on the ongoing “Africa-Now” summit at Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo, President Yoweri Museveni launched the National Initiative for Civic Education in Uganda (NICE-UG), the first structured collaboration between the Government of Uganda, the United Nations (UN) and Non-government actors to promote efficient and effective delivery of relevant, value-based, functional and inclusive national civic education to a rapidly expanding and predominantly youthful population of Uganda.

The Initiative responds to the lack of an inclusive and sustained coordination mechanism for civic education in the country.

As such, the Initiative’s key mandate will be to coordinate and harmonize provision of civic education by state and citizen-led frameworks.

It is a presidential initiative in the initial five-year phase to which Museveni has appointed a leadership team former deputy chairman of the Electoral Commission to chair the initiative’s board of directors.

The alternate vice chairpersons are, Barbara Katende of Makerere University and Med Kaggwa, the current Chairman of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).

The Coordinator of Citizens’Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), Crispin Kaheru has been appointed the substantive Secretary of the initiative.

“It represents an important step in collaborating efficient and effective delivery of civic education by both the government of Uganda and non-Governmental actors including the citizens of Uganda. I am optimistic that we can now collectively engage the challenge of low civic education in Uganda,” Kaheru said.

The Patron for the Initiative is Rosa Malango, resident coordinator of the UN System in Uganda. In addition, there will be an Advisory Board comprising representatives from Government, Civil Society, Cultural Institutions and the Private Sector.

The interim structure of NICE-UG includes a Programme Implementation Committee (PIC) comprising of civil society organizations (CSOs), arts industry, cultural institutions, business community, faith-based organizations, academia, media, government ministries, departments and agencies, political parties as well as the civic and voter education Constitutional mandate holders, Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) and Electoral Commission (EC).

NICE-UG will advance principled partnership and collaboration with relevant local and international frameworks in order to benefit from unique experiences and capabilities.

The Initiative sets out to innovatively harness the role of formal and informal institutions in civic education.