EUROPEAN UNION INJECTS 150 MILLION EUROS IN DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE F0R NORTHERN UGANDA

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A participant debating the DINU program in Gulu recently

“UNCDF/DINU is financed by the European Union as part of the EU development assistance to Uganda; designed in close consultation with Uganda government and non-government partners who will also play leading roles in its implementation”

“Agriculture has taken a move and we produce a lot but lack value addition. We need to promote local investors which are able to support local investments which can supply value added products to the regional market”

GULU-UGANDA: The European Union has injected 150 million Euros whose sole objective is to reduce the development gap between Northern Uganda and the rest of the country.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) will implement selected component of the program code named: “Development Initiative for Northern Uganda” (DINU).

This is a four year development program designed to consolidate stability, eradicate poverty and under-nutrition and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development meant to benefit 33 districts with a total population of 7 million people.

The benefitting districts are; all the eight districts in Acholi, West Nile and Lango sub-regions, all the seven districts in Karamoja and two districts in Teso; namely Amuria and Katakwi districts.

“UNCDF/DINU is financed by the European Union as part of the EU development assistance to Uganda; designed in close consultation with Uganda government and non-government partners who will also play leading roles in its implementation”, reads part of a statement.

The program was unveiled to the district leaders of the Acholi sub-region during a consultative workshop organized by the Private Sector Foundation-Uganda (PSFU) on June 4, 2018, held at Acholi Inn-Gulu.

PSFU was founded in 1995 as a focal point for private sector advocacy as well as capacity building and continues to sustain a positive policy dialogue with government on behalf of the private sector.

Speaking while opening the workshop, a local leader from Nwoya district, Mr. Okello Alfred Okot, noted with concern that although the region produces a lot of diverse types of crops, the people still lack value addition skills and access to regional markets.

“Agriculture has taken a move and we produce a lot but lack value addition. We need to promote local investors which are able to support local investments which can supply value added products to the regional market”, says Mr. Okot.

The program offers a funding facility for agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) involved in value addition to improve access to finance for agro processors through development grants, loans and guarantees to promote increased food production and better food security.

It supports capital intensive businesses that use proven technology, example post-harvest handling equipments/technology, small scale irrigation systems, storage chains, solar and other types of green energy and digital technologies to handling, processing and storage.

Such a business must be a registered agribusiness entity, a cooperative, trade association legally established in Uganda which is located or operating in northern Uganda.

It supports such businesses with funding ranging from US$10,315 - US$103,150 dollars (40-400 million Uganda shillings) whereby the developer contributes at least 25% percent of the total cost of the project.

Such a business must aim at a tangible and demonstrable social and economic impact and it must show how the project will generate revenues adequate for loan repayment.

It provides technical assistance and grants to local governments to mobilize local resources and improve their development planning and implementation to enhance local service delivery for citizens.

The program strongly promotes socio-economic empowerment of women and youths, creating conditions for their meaningful engagement in local development planning and monitoring. It offers concessional finance for women and youth-owned or empowered businesses.

“UNCDF/DINU demonstrates that local economic development should be driven by the private sector assisted and supported by local governments”

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