- Published on Thursday, 19 July 2012 11:55
- Written by Nkwasibwe Geofrey
- Category: news
- Hits: 350
By Henry Mukasa
Outing going British High Commissioner, Martin Shearman has said that Uganda is progressing well on the democratic path despite several challenges.
Shearman who visited the Vision Group head office in Industrial Area also saluted the open debate in Uganda society on politics saying "its intangible but debate is healthy." The High Commissioner toured the New Vision print factory, radio and TV stations.
"There has been a huge progress. In 1986 things were really low… huge progress and that is politically important," Shearman said during a meeting with New Vision senior editors led by the CEO, Robert Kabushenga.
The envoy who began his four-year tour of duty in 2008 will be replaced in early August by Auson Black Burne. Shearman observed that six years after the transition from the Movement system, multiparty politics in Uganda "is still settling down."
"The ruling part is still integrated with the state. The opposition political parties seem no to have organized strongly on policy," he commented. "Uganda has still not had a peaceful political transition. That's an important phase to pass," he added.
On challenges the country faces, Shearman listed; the need to create more jobs and exports as critically essential. He named the need to improve infrastructure and the business environment as another.
"You need to continue building institutions of the Government to provide stability or withstand changes," he advised. "Ugandans need to get access to better healthcare and education," he added.
The envoy said although Europe is facing a financial squeeze UK is increasing its development cooperation assistance to Africa, Uganda inclusive. He said he would put the "right" messages to the people of UK that there is potential in Uganda and Africa to invest.
Commenting on the media environment in the country, Shearman noted, that the roles of the fourth estate in fostering debate is important. He said there is a lot of "reporting of what happened and discussing it but less investigative journalism."
"In the UK ministers spend more time talking to the media to put their views across. I hope the politicians here, government and the opposition, will continue to see the role of the media," he stated.
Shearman said he was impressed by the expansion and circulation of Vision products, especially upcountry.
CEO Kabushenga disclosed that Vision Group had entered a partnership with BBC to exclusively relay the TV-version of the Focus on Africa programme in its television channels.
Source: New Vision