Networking meeting for top politicians in Uganda

ICLD’s programme for politicians, Local Political Leaders – Capacitating Women in Politics, where round 3 has just been completed and round 5 is on the starting blocks, is about developed leadership that strengthens sustainable communities in a local democracy while simultaneously giving more women the opportunity to stay in politics and act as role models for others who wish to become involved.

“It’s brilliant when the delegates are forced to think outside the box of their own challenges, to reflect on what is really important and what they, themselves, can do about it. The delegates question each other’s experiences and learn from them, and the insights they gain are just fantastic!”

So says one of the eight Swedish politicians who attended the meeting in Kampala and who has followed the delegates’ development throughout the programme. The training is provided in close cooperation with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL), and the Swedish politicians acting as mentors in the programme have been recruited via SKL’s network. During the 18 months of the programme, the delegates and their mentors have met on four occasions, both in partner countries and as part of study trips to the mentors’ municipalities/county councils when the group visited Sweden in October 2015.

Part of the programme during the Kampala workshop was dedicated to Agenda 2030 and its global development goals. Professor Pamela Mbabazi from ICLD’s Advisory Board led a half-day discussion on how the 17 goals can be implemented at local level. Group work sessions concluded that the local level is incredibly important in gaining local support, but that the economic and manpower resources needed for successful implementation are sometimes lacking. Strengthening administrative personnel and politicians at local level, and integrating the development goals into steering documents and budgets, was regarded as a factor for success.

And that is precisely what the programme is about – strengthening women in leading positions so that they can develop their own leadership skills and remain in politics, and, equally importantly, enabling them to act as role models for others who wish to become politically involved. Grace Mary Mugasa, the Mayor of Hoima District and a previous participant in the programme, testified as to how her political leadership skills had developed, thereby increasing the influence of local people when it came to equal opportunities, participation, transparency and accountability.

“Women are often under-represented in decision-making bodies, which is why this programme exists. Many delegates talk about realising the global nature of patriarchal structures, and the fact that the realisation that other women may be facing the same challenges as them is a source of strength that they can use in attempting to change this situation,” says Kristin Ekström, Programme Director at ICLD, and adds, “That’s why it’s so great that we’re starting yet another round of the programme in the spring of 2017, and by the time the strategic period ends in 2018, 150 top politicians will have completed ICLD’s leadership programme!”

Click on the pdf below to read the report from the workshop held in Uganda in December 2016.