arrow-circle arrow-down-basicarrow-down arrow-left-small arrow-left arrow-right-small arrow-right arrow-up arrow closefacebooklinkedinsearch twittervideo-icon

ESA Regional Hub: Uganda Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Strengthening National-Local Cooperation in the Prevention of Polarisation, Hate and Extremism

— 2 minutes reading time

On 24 – 25 April 2023, Strong Cities East and Southern Africa (ESA) Regional Hub hosted a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Strengthening National-Local Cooperation in the Prevention of Hate, Extremism and Polarisation in Entebbe, Uganda. The workshop brought together 32 representatives of local governments, national government, as well as civil society, multilateral institutions and embassies in Uganda. This dialogue, which featured Mayors and Town Clerks from ten municipalities, followed a one-day National-Local Cooperation (NLC) workshop by Strong Cities organised for Ugandan stakeholders in October 2022.

The two-day workshop was organised in collaboration with the Alliance of Mayors and Urban Leaders for Community Action at Local Level (AMICAALL), Urban Authorities Association of Uganda (UAAU) and Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA), with funding support from the EU STRIVE Cities initiative. Strong Cities used this occasion to announce two new members, both present at the dialogue: Masaka City (represented by Mayor Florence Namayanja) and Nansana Division Town Council (represented by Mayor Joseph Matovu).

Dialogue featured an overview of the Ugandan National P/CVE Strategy (which has yet to be publicly released), a presentation on findings and recommendations of the Strong Cities Uganda NLC Mapping Report, as well as perspectives of national government, cities, civil society and multilateral stakeholders on the state of P/CVE-related NLC in Uganda. Participants exchanged views on the mechanisms for and, more broadly, the state of coordination and cooperation among relevant national and local P/CVE actors, and levels of trust between security and non-security, government and non-governmental stakeholders. Participants also touched upon the opportunities the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) good practices offer for strengthening coordination, cooperation and building trust to allow for more effective and sustained P/CVE efforts in the country. The event also allowed the Regional Hub to introduce Strong Cities’ mission, including the Hub’s five pillars: Peer-to-Peer Learning; Cooperation; Capacity-Building; Elevating Local Voices; and Youth Engagement.

In his presentation on the violent extremist threat landscape in Uganda and its national P/CVE, a representative from the Ministry of Internal Affairs shared that it was important to recognise that violent extremism, with all its manifestations — including hate speech — does not take place in a vacuum but within the communities.  He said that this underscores the importance of an inclusive and a whole-of-society approach to prevention.   With this objective in mind, he stressed the need to involve local leadership at grassroots’ levels in this approach as it would enhance early detection efforts and catalyse the development of local solutions that are tailored to the local environment. He further highlighted the need to put in place mechanisms and measures to facilitate coordination around and ensure accountability for the implementation of the strategy.  He also pointed to the need to raise the awareness of the national framework with local governments and other community-level stakeholders if one hopes to see its localised implementation.