President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday launched the National Initiative for Civic Education in Uganda (NICE-UG). The launch took place on the margins of the on-going ‘Africa Now’ Conference at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, Kampala.
NICE-UG comes as the first structured collaboration between the Government of Uganda (GoU), the United Nations (UN) and Non-Government actors to promote efficient and effective delivery of relevant, value-based, functional and inclusive national civic education to a rapidly expanding and predominantly youthful population of Uganda.
The Initiative responds to the lack of an inclusive and sustained coordination mechanism for civic education in the country. As such, the Initiative’s key mandate will be to coordinate and harmonize provision of civic education by state and citizen-led frameworks. NICE-UG is a Presidential Initiative in the initial five-year phase.
Therefore, His Excellency the President has appointed a leadership team of eminent personalities with diverse expertise and experience as Executive Board of Directors for the Initiative. The Chairman, Board of Directors is Mr. Joseph Biribonwa, a former Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC). The Alternate Vice Chairpersons are: Ms. Barbara Katende of Makerere University Kampala, and Mr. Med Kaggwa, the current Chairman of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).
The substantive Secretary is Mr. Crispin Kaheru, the Coordinator of Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU). The Patron for the Initiative is Her Excellency Rosa Malango, Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Uganda.
In addition, there will be an Advisory Board comprising representatives from Government, Civil Society, Cultural Institutions and the Private Sector. The interim structure of NICE-UG includes a Programme Implementation Committee (PIC) comprising of: Civil society organizations (CSOs); arts industry; cultural institutions; business community; faith-based organizations; academia; media; government ministries, departments and agencies; political parties; as well as the civic and voter education Constitutional mandate holders, Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) and Electoral Commission (EC).
NICE-UG will advance principled partnership and collaboration with relevant local and international frameworks in order to benefit from unique experiences and capabilities. The Initiative sets out to innovatively harness the role of formal and informal institutions in civic education.