WHO IS PATRICK OBOI AMURIAT ( POA) ?

AmuriatPatrick Oboi Amuriat now dubbed POA by his increasing number of supporters and admirers was born in Soroti, in the Eastern part of Uganda to the family of Mzee John Amuriat of Kogili, Kanyum, Kumi District and Elizabeth Aciro Amuriat (deceased) hailing from the present day Omoro District.

He was raised and had his early education in Soroti and later in Lango and Makerere University. POA is a holder of Dip. Educ.(MU), Bsc. Engineering (MU) and Masters in Engineering (MU). He prides in being a teacher, Civil Engineer, livestock farmer and progressive politician, with a great passion for Education and skilling of young people.

POA worked in a number of local and international Engineering Consulting firms and community development organizations and also had a stint in public service working with Kumi District for one year as District Engineer.

He joined active competitive politics in 1994 first contesting during the CA elections.
Encouraged by the strong views of the FDC founding father Col. (Rtd) Dr. Kizza Besigye in his 1999 communiqué, POA joined Reform Agenda, actively teaming up with the campaign teams which kept returning good results from his native Teso region. Later as MP, he was part of the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum, PAFO chaired by one of our most respected elders Hon. Augustine Ruzindana. It is during this time that he became part of the historic events that gave birth to what immediately became the most popular party, the Forum Democratic Change (FDC).

POA served as MP for 15 years from 2001-2016 during which he chaired the committees of Science and Technology; and Commission Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) and was a kingpin member of the Committee of Works and Transport for his entire time in Parliament. He exhibited exceptional management skills. POA always distinguishing himself as an opposition member and unreservedly spoke out against repressive policies of the NRM regime. He served his party diligently and consistently made a monthly financial contribution for ten (10) years towards the purchase of our headquarters.

In 2015 POA was called to the national campaign team of the FDC flag bearer as the National Field Coordinator and is a proud player of that team which secured victory for the FDC in the February 2016 Presidential elections. It is this victory that together with other progressive members of our society that he has continued to expend energy to reclaim through full time activism.

POA believes in DEFIANCE or non-violent struggle to ensure the removal of the military led establishment in Kampala and has spent the last over one year of his time working with networks for DEFIANCE Activities across the country as authorized and deployed by the Party.

It is upon this generated momentum and realization of the current difficulties that leadership of the FDC is experiencing that has turned the party to a shadow of its former itself, that POA offers himself for the leadership of what used to be the Great FDC as PARTY PRESIDENT.
POA and his robust team intend to infuse the following measures into the FDC that would ensure a more functional and dependable Party:

Return the much revered unity and harmony to the party that has evaded us in the last 5 years.

Lead the FDC party into activism and take advantage of the strength built in the Peoples’ Government (PG) DEFIANCE campaign to RECLAIM our victory, and indeed encourage the PG to occupy their rightful space in Najjanankumbi with the ultimate objective of closely working together to cause regime change in Uganda.

Returning the party to its owners, who are the grass root members by revitalizing our existing Structures and those to be filled and formed from being underutilized laid-back organizations to fully functional and action packed living foundation units.

Engaging the party membership in EARLY preparation of party candidates at all levels of competitive politics, and in so doing eliminate the stampede caused in candidate selection and minimize attrition in the number of elected FDC leaders, that has characterized the politics of our party.

Save the party the enormous amount of money spent in calling a Delegates’ Conference for the election of the Party President alone, by cutting short my term from five to three years to enable harmonization of the elections of all office bearers to happen in the year 2020. The funds saved will be sent to the Party branches for the running of party activities, thus highlighting his focus in the running of the Party in a more decentralized manner.

Introduction of a Business arm of the party that will operate in a pre-designed manner in order to generate funding and reduce the Party’s dependency on external funding.

As a priority ensure the commencement of the development of the Headquarters site into a Modern Trade Centre while housing the party. Business programs will also be rolled out to the party branches on request and merit.

Return our Elders and Founders and those who offered distinguished service to the FDC, into decision making positions by causing an amendment to our constitution to introduce accommodating structure to cater for them.

Strengthen and ensure effective functioning of Youth and Women structures and establishing a Persons’ With Disabilities (PWG) Structures throughout the country.
POA has made sacrifices, some of which have seen him being jailed by the junta. Despite these personal challenges, he is prepared to make even more sacrifices for the sake of our struggle to free our country.
Make POA your candidate of FIRST choice as you seek for LEADERSHIP WITH ACTION.
One Uganda One People
#TEAMPOA17

FROM TATTERS TO A GREAT NATION THE ACHIVEMENTS OF RPF/KAGEME

When the genocide happened in 1994 almost the whole world gave up on Rwanda. All the pundits and those observing from the peripheral were saying Rwanda would never recover but it got an organised group of the RPF led by Paul Kagame. I see Paul Kagame in the right footsteps of Lee Kuan Yew, who was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for three decades. The long time in the scenario of Rwanda doesn’t matter to me because the three decades Lee finished were of delivering service and Paul Kagame hasn’t faltered the trend for Rwanda. I therefore call him the Lee Kuan Yew of Africa and we can talk about the consistence of RPF as regards to the following sectors that are essential to the development of Rwanda.
Agriculture I know like any other community during the genocide you lost a lot of your agricultural produce and potential this was both for crop and animal husbandry. I also know that animals were lost mainly cows however, following the implementation of the government’s ‘one cow per family programme’ in 2006, the cattle population has grown and milk production has more than doubled in the past years, triggering investments in milk collection and processing facilities. Milk production has more than doubled!
The traditional crops like Bananas, plantains, cassava, beans, maize, sweet potatoes, wheat and rice have also been improved. Tea and coffee growing are also improving and they make up make up the majority of export earnings, with quality improving in both sectors. We can’t forget Horticulture crops (avocado, tomato, cabbage, leek), pyrethrum, and skins are also exported. There are clear statistics and signs in the pockets of Rwandans that since 2007, agricultural production has doubled, improving food security, and the poverty rate has decreased from 57 to about 40 per cent.
All these are backed by a government that works for every one For example Rwanda is one of the few African countries that have really focused on agricultural development as a way to boost growth and reduce poverty. In 2007, for example, Rwanda was one of the first countries in Africa to adopt the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process, resulting in increased investment in the agriculture sector and subsequent increases in productivity and production
Rwandan leadership is doing the above with the knowledge that climate change is a problem therefore to ensure its stability and prosperity in a future of changing climate by 2050, Rwanda’s National Strategy for Climate Change and Low Carbon Development recommends actions that Rwanda can take. The Strategy calls for agricultural production to be increased through sustainable means, including the use of organic waste to improve soil fertility and reduce dependency on external inputs. To adapt to climate change and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services and Rwanda has proudly adhered to this.
Tourism As security in Rwanda improves, the country’s nascent tourism sector shows great potential to expand as a source of foreign exchange. Rwanda is beautiful and can offer offers tourists a one of a kind journey home to one third of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas, one third of Africa’s bird species, several species of primates, volcanoes, game reserves, resorts and islands on the expansive Lake Kivu, graceful dancers, artistic crafts and friendly people.
This can be backed by the fact that Rwanda is safe country with one of the lowest crime rates in Africa. All major attractions are located along within 1-5 hour drive from the capital therefore in a very short period tourists can go see volcanoes, rainforests, savannah, islands, lakes and the beautiful city of Kigali. In addition to the above and having a very good network the same RPF leadership has started an airline Rwanda air that feeds into this tourism sector and I am sure they can do much.
Health Healthcare in Rwanda was historically of poor quality, but in recent decades has seen great improvement. Rwanda operates a universal health care system, and is considered to have one of the highest-quality health systems in Africa I think that the leadership of the RPF has gained much as regards to health for Rwanda follows a universal health care model, which provides health insurance through a system called Mutuelles de Santé. The system is a community-based health insurance scheme, in which residents of a particular area pay premiums into a local health fund, and can draw from it when in need of medical care. Premiums are paid according to a sliding scale, with the poorest members of society entitled to use the service for free, while the wealthiest pay the highest premiums and are charged co pays for treatment
Education and ICT. I am joining the two that appear not be related because for Rwanda they are related which is the fact for ICT is the way to go and Rwanda gives it to its children right away from Primary school on wards. Minus free education at both secondary and primary level Rwanda is improving its quality of education. For example one laptop per child (OLPC) is a non-profit initiative established with the goal of transforming education for children around the world; this goal was to be achieved by creating and distributing educational devices for the developing world, and by creating software and content for those devices.
This automatically fits in its primary goal continues to be to transform education, by enabling children have access to content, media and computer-programming environments
This therefore equips the young children and generations to come to fit into Rwanda’s Vision 2020 and the Smart Rwanda Master Plan, Rwanda envisions becoming a cashless economy by 2020; with all government financial transactions done electronically and via mobile phones by 2018. This is being achieved because Rwanda has a good government in place.
Like any other economy that is well aware of the benefits that underlie a cashless economy, Government has for the past decade invested a lot to ensure that Rwanda’s vision of a cashless economy becomes a reality.
Rwanda continues to be one of the fastest growing African countries in ICT and there are several avenues for growth for the ICT sector – from e-commerce and e-services, mobile technologies, applications development and automation to becoming a regional centre for the training of top quality ICT professionals and research. A robust ICT industry can create wealth, jobs and entrepreneurs, something I expect that the RPF government with its able leadership will deliver.

kagame

RWANDANS VOTE KAGAME LEAVE THE MEDIA AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

I am Ugandan who was born about 90KM from Rwanda and about 15 Km from DRC. In my formative years I therefore lived with Rwandan and Congolese refuges who had escaped from insurgence. The Rwandans were later called upon to go back to their country and they returned in peace. Not to say much about my experiences with Rwanda I know everyone knows that our neighbors had the worst genocide of the 20th century!

I know in Uganda where I am a member the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and knowing its beliefs people who are used to me will ask why and how I come to support RPF which has spent in power 23 years. But I have said may times that let us not compare Rwanda to Uganda because these are two different countries. I have even failed to compare Singapore to Rwanda because when Singapore was chased from the Union by the Malaysians they didn’t have resources yes but at least they hadn’t been at war and worst of all a genocide. So Rwanda is a special case that faced a genocide and at the same time it was without resources about one million people died in the process another two million people fled their country to mostly Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, DRC.

With the above introduction let me introduce why I think that it’s better for the international media and the foreigners to keep quiet about the matters of the Rwandan election;
First of all world’s political leaders and opinion-formers failed Rwanda in 1994. Bill Clinton, then US President, and Madeleine Albright, then the US representative at the United Nations, recognized this and expressed regret for their part in withdrawing the UN force from Rwanda as the genocide started. Their British counterparts, John Major, the Prime Minister, Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, and Baroness Lynda Chalker, the Minister for Africa then can’t be spared for they neglected Rwanda when it needed them most. Today however these powers using international media after Rwanda has stabilised they are talking of overstay in power to a country that is trying to complete its healing and to the country that they had wished away as a failed state that could never recover but with the RPF leadership its one ofd the fastest growing economies in Africa.
In addition to the above in March 1998, on a visit to Rwanda, U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke to the crowd assembled on the tarmac at Kigali Airport: “We come here today partly in recognition of the fact that we in the United States and the world community did not do as much as we could have and should have done to try to limit what occurred” in Rwanda.
Four years after the genocide, Clinton issued what today is known as the “Clinton apology,” in which he acknowledged his failure to efficiently deal with the situation in Rwanda, but never formally apologized for any non-action by the U.S./international community. Therefore respecting such powers to determine the direction of those they confess to have neglected would be naivety.
The media especially the British editors thought that Rwanda was a small country far away in a continent so it could rarely hit the headlines, to them The words Hutu and Tutsi sounded funny, hardly names that an ambitious news editor or desk officer would want to draw to the attention of a busy boss and claim that they were of immediate and vital importance. Therefore as the people of Rwandan continued to perish these guys looked on and never told their story. What shocks me is that the people they never helped when they were in trouble when they see them celebrated in their party colours united across the ethnic lines the same media claims that the population is happy on the outside and inside angry. I can allow to their assertion and ask them why they report the anger inside people when they couldn’t report the visible anger. I therefore say that since they have achieved the visible happiness let’s not enter into their hearts because we have no power to.

The language used by the press to describe Rwanda during the genocide reinforced the impression that what was going on there was an inevitable and primitive process that had no rational explanation and could not be stopped by negotiation or force. I can ably say that the RPF stopped it and enforced order without the influence of the media and the international community. But now that Rwanda is stable these guys think they Rwandan must give in to their thoughts that are ungrounded. I can ably say that the biggest opposition to RPF is the media that neglected the people of Rwanda when RPF helped. They can’t claim to love you now when they didn’t care about you 23 years a go!
When the massacres began in Rwanda more than 20 years ago, a French-led humanitarian mission was sent to create a safe zone, but the French actually allowed some Rwandan Hutus behind the killings to escape, France continued and dragged its feet over prosecuting people suspected of taking part in the killings.
In 1994, genocide occurred, massive exodus of the population took place, the former regime with its population and military camped few meters across the border with all sorts of arsenals ready to attack and continue the genocide agenda that had been halted by RPF. On the issue regarding the settlement of refuges in acceptable distance in a host country was totally ignored, separation of military elements from civilian’s refugees also seemed to be a no concern to UNHCR. Therefore the international community turned a blind eye and this was a total disappointment to the then fragile state of Rwanda. Despite the call by Rwandan government to relocate the refugees far away from the border, no effort was made to respect the international law in settlement of refugees. In addition thousands of them died in epidemics of diseases common of refugee camps, such as cholera and dysentery without help. When the RPF settled these later returned to Rwanda.
I therefore think that since Rwanda wasn’t of importance during troubling times those who have tried to put it together should be allowed to take their matters as a citizenry and I believe that there are no people that can be abused as they smile and dance if that ever happens any where I know people will always resist. I wish Rwandans well and I pray that they remain on the good trajectory to prosperity. I can ably tell our neighbours to put cotton wool in their ears and refuse manipulation of the selfish media and follow their hearts to the ballot.
Atuheire Brian Batenda
Co-director African Initiative on Food Security And Environment

A DELEGATE’S VIEW ON 9TH COMMONWEALTH YOUTH MINISTERS MEETING

I am one of the youth delegates that are representing Uganda at the 9th commonwealth youth meeting in Kampala. As a delegate at this meeting that is going to spend the whole week I think I need to put my views to the whole commonwealth not only my country Uganda since we live in a global world. The conference is under the theme Resourcing and Financing Youth Development: Empowering Young People.

As everyone knows Young people, regardless of their socioeconomic, demographic or geographical situations, face some degree of difficulty or uncertainty as they transition to adulthood. Youth have great challenges for they are disconnected from viable pathways to prosperity, because of the high rates of unemployment Caused by lack of skills, low quality education, high corruption rates, lack of marketable skills , social exclusion, nepotism and early pregnancies for the girl child that have ravaged the world hence finding the youth in economic deserts.

The results that come out of the above impediments include high crime rates (petty theft sexual abuse etc), gambling and in some instances extremism like terrorism is as a result of these exclusions. In these economic deserts Youth often remain there because of lack of financing and often excluded from access to formal financial services. Reasons include legal restrictions, high transaction costs and negative stereotypes about youth.

This has excluded young people from participating fully in their societies and their economies both socially economically and politically yet they make a high portion of the populations and citizenry in the world (Including commonwealth youths/countries). The most important consequences of youth unemployment extend beyond the impact of temporary labour market fluctuations. The experience leaves a permanent imprint on both individual life outcomes and on national development trajectories.

High rates of youth unemployment also represent a wasted resource for developing economies. Poor youth labour market participation limits the inputs available for urgently needed growth and makes it harder for developing countries to realize the benefits of labour-intensive growth strategies. It’s clearly known that the consequences of this effect has been worthlessness and the drift into anti-social behaviour and crime which has resulted in the public continuously stigmatizing the youths and hence the youths feeling that they are minority group which they are not for they have high numbers This leads to what I call a “majority with a minority mentality.”

However with these challenges there can’t be anyway how the world can develop without taping into the youth resource for they have enormous potential which brings us to the theme of the conference i.e. Resourcing and Financing Youth Development: Empowering Young People. For its only resourcing and financing youth development that the world can move on smoothly for the majority of its people would be empowered and integrated in both the national and global agenda.

The first step to solving youth problems which to me are caused by the current high rates of unemployment and therefore lack of livelihood, we simply have to agree that traditional job for life career paths are scarce and therefore new strategies have to look at to solve this huge problem.

The youth like any other group of people must be consulted when making decisions that affect them which requires youth to mobilise through National Youth Councils, Youth Leaders and youth-led organisations to advocate for the implementation or enforcement of national legislation, action plans and policies that enable youth to have good working conditions with government interventions to help them with the means of production these can include, regulatory frameworks and inclusive policies that are both youth friendly and are protective of youth rights in the job market and increasing youth financial inclusion.

Should the youth via lobbying achieve some sort of financial inclusion, then skilling them with entrepreneurial education will be the next step to help youth develop new skills that can be applied to other challenges in life. Non-cognitive skills, such as opportunity recognition, innovation, critical thinking, resilience, decision making, teamwork, and leadership will benefit all youth whether or not they intend to become or continue as entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship would provide an additional way of integrating youth into today’s changing labour markets and improving their economic independence. (For millennial entrepreneurs may be more responsive to new economic opportunities and trends than the old folks) This would provide, self-employment provides income, self-reliance and a dynamic path for growth and the development of human capital.
There should be identification of young people who have smart and achievable ideas to design enterprise projects that will make a social and environmental difference. For example here is a problem yet an advantage that can be used in this particular time where we need the young people who are still versatile and flexible to lead the world and therefore innovations that are spearheaded by the youth could include youth-led climate-smart agriculture, low carbon and social enterprises which when the youth are aligned with expertise, skills, innovation and competence towards low-carbon and ‘green’ economies in agricultural transformation, climate change mitigation and adaptation and development can be of great importance in reducing food insecurity and destruction of the earth, this will lead to economies and agricultural communities based on equitable, resilient and vibrant economic systems . This can be achieved if only there is resourcing and financing of the youth that are engaged in agriculture to improve on their mechanisms and tools.
Young people have more advantages and opportunities that when they are financed and skilled they have a likelihood of uniquely using communication channels that are not easily used by old school workers with the coming of developed ICTs. Harnessing the power of ICT, media and innovation to best utilise resources and enhance youth development and participation this technology permeates their social networking and their fluency with online video technology, blogs, podcasts, and collaborative software makes it easy for them to integrate these productivity-enhancers into their work and as companies seek to more proactively manage their reputation in online media, they can find value in making themselves an attractive and challenging place for Millennials to work.

Sport cannot exist and develop without financial resources. Often, the office holders of national athletics federations do not feel they have the capability or the experience to solicit the funds which their organisation requires. They would rather be spending money on developing athletics than raising significant sums on a regular basis. However, the task of generating revenue is vitally important and it must be given the priority and attention required for success since youths are the most engaged in this sector it’s important to fund these activities and identify the best talent leading to an empowered group of youth. This is required for other arts like music, comedy etc that employ young men and women.

We can talk about young people and being helped however the decisions to help the youth are on the political radar and therefore it’s important that youths are engaged in politics and take political decisions. Youth must be encouraged and trained to occupy civil spaces and form the active and most vibrant civil society for their voices to be heard. They should engage in governance for tomorrow the countries will be left to them and for today they have to have representation for their well being in a challenging environment and if they miss today tomorrow will be hard to get to.

In conclusion therefore I need to make it clear that its politics that determines who gets what and how, whether its use of ICTs, Entrepreneurship agriculture etc we must note that in resourcing and financing youth development governance is paramount which requires countries to put national youth services for their young people to learn more about their countries and be civically engaged in the development agenda of their countries and the world to have a holistic and sustainable world in the future to come.
Brian Atuheire Batenda
An Ethnobotanist, Farmer, Politician, Human rights activist And a climate change combatant. I am also a Co- Director at African Initiative on Food Security And Environment (AIFE)