The Danish Ambassador to Uganda, Nicolaj Hejberg Pedersen and Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija Tuesday signed a grant agreement worth Shs19 billion that will contribute to the Government of Uganda’s efforts in ensuring more effective, efficient and accountable use of resources.
For close to three decades, Denmark has partnered with both state and non-state institutions to support programmes that contribute to achieving Uganda’s goals. The current country programme runs up to 2022 and focuses on poverty reduction through inclusive and sustainable economic development as well as democracy, good governance and human rights.
This support of DKK35,000,000 (Danish Kroner Thirty Five Million Only) equivalent to Shs19 billion will go towards the Resource Enhancement and Accountability Programme (REAP), a programme coordinated by the Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development and focuses on improving the management of public funds with the aim of impacting service delivery.
REAP will achieve this through a strong focus on checks and balances in the full budget cycle, including economic planning, budget preparation and execution, accounting and reporting, and auditing at both central and local government levels.
“Denmark is a long-standing development partner to Uganda and remains committed to supporting programmes that will build better lives. It is no secret that corruption and inefficiencies are huge obstacles to the development of this country. It is therefore only sensible to support REAP, a programme that strengthens accountability and administration of services at central and local Government levels. We want Ugandans to have access to public services,” said Ambassador Petersen.
Uganda has seen significant achievements as a result of implementing reform programmes like REAP.
Amongst the most visible achievements is the roll out of the automated financial management systems, which enhance efficiency and transparency. Pensions and salary payrolls have also been cleaned up to eliminate “ghost” workers and “ghost” pensioners, resulting in plugging leakages estimated at about Shs300 billion. In addition to this, there has been support to training and capacity building for members of Parliament and as a result they have actively engaged in scrutiny of cases where public resources were misused.
“Government of Uganda is pleased to partner with Denmark to further strengthen Public Financial Management. Today’s signing of Shs19 billion by the Danish Ambassador will ensure further support to the institutions implementing REAP. This is essential to ensure that all Ugandans benefit from improved service delivery,” said Finance Minister Kasaija.
REAP is further supported by the Government of Uganda, the European Union, and KfW (the German Development Bank).