“Investing in the Uganda Democracy Academy is a deliberate and strategic endeavour aimed at nurturing the next generation of democratic leaders within our country.” Primus Bahiigi, Director of NIMD Uganda.
On 21 September 2023, NIMD Uganda marked a momentous occasion: the inaugural graduation of the first cohort of the Uganda Democracy Academy. This academy serves as a unique platform, uniting individuals from diverse political backgrounds and regions to hone the skills and knowledge required to become exemplary democratic political leaders. The rigorous 18-day program commenced in July and concluded in September, with an impressive 38 participants emerging as graduates.
The graduation ceremony was graced by the esteemed presence of the Minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development as chief guest and ambassadors/Head of mission and delegation of; the European Union, Sweden, Germany, UK, and Ireland. The Graduation coincided with celebration of the International Democracy Day and was orchestrated by NIMD Uganda in collaboration with the Swedish Embassy and the European Union in Uganda.
Throughout the graduation festivities, the young political leaders actively engaged in conversations that delved deep into the perspectives of anacross-party consortium of young, elected officials. Together, they scrutinized the current state of democracy, its challenges, opportunities, and the impending evolution of democratic governance in Uganda. The discussions emphasized the pivotal role of inclusivity in the political landscape, advocating for a more representative democracy that mirrors the rich diversity of Uganda’s population, including women, minorities and marginalized communities.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Maria Håkansson of Sweden underscored her nation’s unwavering belief in the fundamental importance of democracy as the bedrock of a sustainable society. She reaffirmed Sweden’s steadfast commitment to supporting democratic processes in Uganda.
Ambassador Maria Håkansson of Sweden giving opening remarks
At NIMD, we firmly believe that a thriving democracy is rooted in the belief in people’s power to effect positive change. Our graduates embody this belief by dedicating themselves to fostering a more democratic Uganda. One where every voice Is equally important.
Primus Bahiigi, Director of NIMD Uganda, stressed the need for nurturing a democratic culture that values the social contract. This is a culture where political leaders diligently serve the people who elected them while upholding the principles of social justice.
Primus Bahiigi, Ag Country Director NIMD Uganda giving remarks
EU (European Union) Ambassador Jan Sadek noted, “Building, sustaining, and enhancing democracy is an ongoing endeavour. The enthusiasm from the young leaders in this room today is a heartening indication of the vigour and innovation required to chart a democratic course for Uganda’s future.”
EU Ambassador Jan Sadek addressing the graduates
In her closing remarks, Hon. Betty Amongi, the Minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, expressed her gratitude to the organizers of the event for their steadfast support in fortifying democratic values and principles in Uganda. She highlighted the government’s recognition of the importance of youth and the existence of structures aimed at promoting youth participation in governance, spanning from the local level in the villages to the national stage.
Our gratitude extends to all the facilitators and guest speakers at the Uganda Democracy Academy. Their unwavering support and invaluable insights were instrumental in turning our vision into a reality and a resounding success.
At NIMD, we eagerly await witnessing our graduates implement the lessons learned and values acquired at the Uganda Democracy Academy. The future holds promise as these emerging leaders embark on their journeys to shape a more democratic and inclusive Uganda.
The Uganda Democracy Academy is implemented under the WYDE-Civic Engagement project, led by the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), and funded by the European Union and co-funded by Akina Mama wa Africa.
This project is funded by the EU.