President Museveni pledges Ushs 1 billion towards construction of Amicaall Uganda headquarters

President Yoweri Museveni, while presiding over the 4th Urban Leaders Forum organised by Amicaall Uganda, has pledged that the government of Uganda will contribute Ushs 1 billion towards the construction of the organisation’s headquarters. President Museveni also launched the fundraising drive. The drive hopes to raise a total of Ushs3 billion.

His pledge comes at a time when Amicaall Uganda Chapter is implementing its new business plan. “We have realized that the model where we depend on donors and development partners to fund our activities is no longer sustainable,” businessman and Amicaall Uganda patron Patrick Bitature said. “Having our own home will save us money as well as make us money because the headquarters will have conference and accommodation facilities,” revealed Titus Twesige, Amicaall Uganda Country Director. Urban leaders such as mayors and town clerks have pledged to contribute Ushs68 million. Already, Ushs8m, raised from the Amicaall Uganda staff is on the bank account for this project. Access Country Director Twesige presentation here.

President Yoweri Museveni with leaders of Amicaall Uganda at the 4th Urban Leaders Forum at Imperial Royale. The President pledged Ushs1bn for the construction of the organisation's headquarters.

President Yoweri Museveni with leaders of Amicaall Uganda at the 4th Urban Leaders Forum at Imperial Royale. The President pledged Ushs1bn for the construction of the organisation’s headquarters.

The president urged urban leaders to foster infrastructure development in their areas. “If you want to know that a country is backward, you look at how many of its population live in rural areas,” he said. Using an example of how he planned to attack Kampala when he only had 27 fighters, the president said that “planning is key whether you have money or not.” “If you don’t plan, what will happen when you get the money?” the president asked.

The artistic impression of Amicaall Uganda headquarters

The artistic impression of Amicaall Uganda headquarters

Reflecting praises away from himself regarding his fighting against HIV/AIDS, the president said medical doctors played a great role. “Dr Sam Okware knew everything about HIV/AIDS but he was not communicating it properly,” he said. He recounted the story of when then Cuban President Fidel Castro took him aside during an international conference to let him know of the problem Uganda was facing. “I had sent 60 soldiers for training in Cuba and 18 of them were found with HIV/AIDS. That was a huge number. Almost 30 per cent, ” the president recalls. This led him to push for a solution towards the scourge.

Urban leaders including mayors and town clerks from across the country are converging at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala to deliberate on their roles in preventing HIV/AIDS in urban areas. “Prevention is key to fighting HIV/AIDS,” said Prof Vinand Nantulya, the chairman of the Uganda AIDS Commission. “Lets go and test for HIV/AIDS because that is the first step in prevention.”

UNAIDS Uganda country director, Dr Musa Bungudu decried the lack of treatment for the 650, 000 Ugandans who need HIV/AIDS treatment. “We need to urgently put these people on treatment,” he said.

Different speakers at the forum decried the lack of a national HIV/AIDS Trust Fund from which the scourge can be fought. “We need this urgently because there is no more money coming through the donors,” Prof Nantulya said. “We have sent a team to Zimbabwe to study how their national trust fund for HIV/AIDS is being run.”

A crosssection of Urban Leaders attending the forum

A crosssection of Urban Leaders attending the forum

The Minister of Health, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye promised to spearhead the establishment of the fund. “With oil revenues, this should be easy to establish so that we can locally fund HIV/AIDS efforts,” he said.

Three people were awarded for their role in establishing and supporting the Amicaall Uganda country chapter over the past 15 years. These are Dr Bungudu, Amicaall Uganda Country Advisor and founder Executive Director, Dr John Mugisa, and Sam Ibanda, a former UNDP Uganda staff.

On Wednesday July 29, 2015, Amicaall Uganda will hold its 12th Annual General Meeting at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala.

Follow live on Twitter @amicallug and #AmicaallUganda or http://www.amicaalluganda.org/uncategorized/amicaall-15/

About AMICAALL Uganda
Since its launch in the year 2000, the Alliance of Mayor’s Initiative on HIV and AIDS- AMICAALL Uganda Chapter will this July 2015 mark 15 years of existence. AMICAALL has made a significant contribution towards the decentralized urban response to HIV and AIDS in Uganda. The Ministry of Local Government, Uganda AIDS Commission and other relevant Government Institutions and Development Partners recognize AMICAALL as a unique structure and programme owned by elected Mayors with a niche in spearheading an effective HIV/AIDS response in the urban areas. AMICAALL Uganda is a Chapter of an Africa-wide Alliance of Mayors established in 1997 and with headquarters in Windhoek, Namibia.

Achievements since 2000
Over the years, AMICAALL Uganda Programme has implemented project interventions in 61 Urban Authorities in 46 districts in all the regions of the country. It has helped to establish and strengthen the decentralized urban response structures, which has strengthened coordination. It has engaged the Leadership and strengthened their commitment to HIV and AIDS. AMICAALL has also mobilized significant resources and implemented robust HIV prevention interventions reaching urban Most At Risk Populations who were hitherto hard to reach. It has thus contributed to the reduction of HIV prevalence in urban areas from 10% in 2005 to 8% in 2011 and averted new infections.

AMICAALL Sustainability
In an effort to ensure the sustainability of its programme achievements and the institution as a whole, the Ministry of Local Government supported AMICAALL to set up a Development Committee, chaired by the Permanent Secretary. With the guidance of this committee, AMICAALL plans to establish a “MAYORS’ FOUNDATION” and with financial support from UNDP, AMICAALL developed a business plan for construction of a building. This is aimed at cutting operational costs and raising income for its sustainability. The AMICAALL Patron, Mr. Patrick Bitature, who is a renowned businessman and investor, has advised AMICAALL to leverage on the highly respected and influential leaders (Mayors) and engage urban leaders to mobilize resources locally, nationally and globally for this noble cause.

AMICAALL @ 15; Urban Leaders Forum and AGM 2015
The gathering of about 500 urban technical and elected Leaders during the 4th Urban Leaders’ HIV/AIDS Forum and 12th Annual General Meeting 2014/15 will be presided over by the Hon. Minister of Local Government Adolf Mwesige and H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Urban Leaders will take stock of the impact of AMICAALL work in the urban response to HIV/AIDS over the years. They will discuss the question of the sustainability and devise strategies. This will also be an opportunity to launch the fundraising drive for Mayors Foundation and make the first financial contributions. The forum will also be attended by key representatives of government, Development Partners, Civil Society as well as well-wishers of AMICAALL.

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