Mbabazi appeals for support to halt school drop-out
Uganda could benefit from a UN pilot project where parents would receive cash incentives to keep children in school.
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now a UN special envoy on global education said this when he met Uganda’s Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi at this week’s 23rd World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
“We have about 9 million children enrolled in school but there are high drop-out rates and another 10% of school-age going children are not attending school,” Mbabazi noted. He appealed for international support to keep Ugandan children in school.
Gordon Brown said he was discussing with the Nigerian government to pilot a project where parents would receive cash incentives to keep children in school. He said the same could be replicated in Uganda.
“We are ready to support Uganda get and keep as many children as possible into school because you are a very important partner, and the United States is willing to fund up to one million children, some of whom can be Ugandans,” he noted.
Brown said other educational projects were being piloted in Bangladesh, India, Haiti, Malaysia, Ethiopia and South Africa. Under them, teachers were getting trained on-line and would be given mobile phones to access educational materials digitally instead of printed textbooks.
Prime Minister Mbabazi later held private talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, with whom he discussed bilateral issues. The two leaders sat one-on-one in the private meeting that lasted about 30 minutes at Westin Hotel on Friday.
Mbabazi and Kenyatta, together with 11 other heads of state and government were at the just concluded 23rd World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan also attended.
Presidents who attended the interactive Forum included Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania), Dr Thomas Yayi Boni (Benin), Jacob Zuma (South Africa) and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria. The three-day conference ran under the theme: “Delivering on Africa’s Promise”.
Mbabazi also held talks with President Jonathan, WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Gordon Brown.
Mbabazi also met Salah Al-Qahtani, vice chairman of the Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al-Qahtani Group of Companies headquartered in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the commissioner for rural economy and agriculture at the African Union in Addis Ababa.
The Prime Minister also met Frans van Houten, chief executive officer of Philips Electronics, a Dutch company. Philips, which would like to implement a lighting project in Uganda, was in the 1930s the world’s biggest supplier of radios. It invented the audio cassette in 1963, made the first videocassette recorder in 1972, and launched the compact disc in 1983.