Even though the multi-party system in Uganda was formally reinstalled in 2006 following decades of dictatorship and civil war, the country lacks independent actors and an efficient law enforcement system. The aim underlying political action by the governing elite is not to institute far-reaching democratisation and develop the country, but rather to preserve its power. This has been marked by the personalised, restrictive rule of President Yoweri Museveni since 1986 and based on a militarisation of politics and society. The "securitisation of development" underscores the illiberal nature of politics in Uganda. Military superiority in the region is also demonstrated by contributing troops to peace-keeping missions on the continent or to neighbouring countries such as South Sudan or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The semi-authoritarian regime carefully controls the space available for political and societal actors and political dialogue. The interests of the governing party, the NRM, in a socially just societal order and possibilities for political participation of large sections of the population are limited; diverging opinions in its own ranks are suppressed.
In this situation, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), which has been active in the country with interruptions since 1967, attempts to facilitate political dialogue in offering a platform for democratic forces and different positions. It seeks to analyse emerging public policy issues and develop an awareness that alternative strategies and approaches are necessary and possible, especially in the area of economic and social policy, and that these can only be achieved in a participative, democratic system. Work approaches in the area of labour market and social policy address issues such as the minimum wage and injustices in the growth agenda.
Learn more about our work in Uganda on the project's website.