Uganda has made strides over years to increase access to education for all citizens. As of 2015, the adult literacy rate for Uganda stood at 73.8 %. Historic imbalances and cultural attitudes have long locked women and girls out of formal education. Measures like free primary education and awareness of importance of equal access to education opportunities for both girls and boys worked to improve enrolment at primary level. However the enrolment and retention of girls in school beyond primary school remains a challenge. Some reports show that only 22 out of the 100 girls aged 13 to 18 years access secondary education which leaves a wider gap even with the existence of the limited Universal Secondary Education.
The percentage of girls joining secondary is lower than that of boys and females without formal education double males. To compound the kind of challenges still faced, recent figures from Uganda Bureau of Statistics show that 25 percent of adolescents age 15-19 in Uganda have begun childbearing.
Continue reading “‘Do the science but it must be communicated’ – Dr. Florence Mutonyi D’ujanga on science and lessons from Stephen Hawking.” →
I read this article and realised the loss is not unique to the Congolese. Everywhere in Africa even as governments fight second hand clothes, we are still far away from seeing policies that facilitate local industries to be competitive. From the farm to the industries, heavy reliance on imports while exporting less finished goods has many countries in debt.
While i do not have answers, this good feature by Quartz documents how lives have been changed in Lubumbashi. A combination of insecurity and instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the mushrooming cheap Chinese cloth has left devastating impact on families and communities that once held up the Congo glory of textile production.
Continue reading “How the Congolese lost their Cultural Heritage and Business to Chinese Textile Industry” →
This week I joined Uganda writers, editors, authors, bloggers, publishers, curators, literary activists, scholars and colleagues in the creative sector have called on the Government of Uganda, to drop charges against Stella Nyanzi, for the good of our literary culture and the country.
We are concerned that the imprisonment of Dr Stella Nyanzi, may open a floodgate for the criminalisation of creativity in Uganda.
Here is why our voices matter; attack on free speech and free thought is an attack on society and our ability to advance. You can also add your voice here
Continue reading “Stella Nyanzi: Why our collective voices matter” →
I kicked off this year well and in first two weeks I spent time with media colleagues trying to wrap our heads around early childhood development. Through various engagements with UN foundation and UNICEF, I was both fascinated by the work and research around first six years of a child’s life and also taken aback at how much work we need to do as a nation to set our children on the right path.
Key focus was on poverty and it’s impact on children in Uganda. Although the proportion of the Ugandans living below the national poverty line declined from 31.1% in 2006 to 19.7% in 2013, according to the 2016 Poverty Assessment, many children still live in poverty. The proportion of the total number of poor people who live in the Northern and Eastern regions increased between 2006 and 2013, from 68% to 84%. Between 2005 and 2009, for every three Ugandans who were lifted out of poverty, two fell back.
These are the highlights on child poverty and the uphill task Uganda faces.
1: More than 50% of Uganda’s population are children. Uganda is the world’s second youngest nation after Niger.
2: Sadly, about 55% of Uganda’s children below five and 38% between 6-17 years live in poverty.
Continue reading “Uganda’s child poverty problem” →
Last saturday, the Maisha Gardens under the Maisha Moto initiative hosted Dr Sylvia Tamale one of the top Ugandan academics and the first female to hold the post of Dean of Law Faculty at Makerere University. Her passion for justice and equality is well known and her work on African Sexualities confronts the narratives that try to downplay the diverse and complex sexualities on the continent and the tendency to paint conversations around gender as an import into Africa.
Note the title ‘African Feminisms’ because there’s no one feminism. And to understand this is to go to the very description of feminism that Dr Tamale gave.
Continue reading “Talking African Feminisms with Dr Sylvia Tamale” →
Today I wrote my first post for AfricanFeminism, a great initiative by my friend Billene Seyoum. AfricanFeminism (AF) is a collaborative writing project between African authors/writers with the long-term ambition of bringing on board at least one feminist voice from throughout the continent. It’s an online feminist platform that encourages open discussion and dialogue on feminist issues throughout the continent.
Billene started out with EthiopianFeminist back in 2011 after her move back to Addis Ababa. Billene and I spent a year in graduate school in Costa Rica at the UN mandated University for Peace in 2010. She has been a great inspiration and Africa has and needs many more women like her. Information sharing and collaborations on the continent among storytellers is very key to our own understanding of our interconnected lives, struggles and achievements. Follow AF for stories from writers from various countries as we try to tell stories of women through different prisms.
My first post is on Ugandan women creating online spaces to have an impact on national discourse and debates. It is derived from a recently concluded second annual Uganda Social Media Conference which I worked on with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
Read more here
Follow Billene on Twitter @BilleneSeyoum