IGEN-EA Calls For Budget Allocations To Industries That Support Women

On International Women’s Day 2023, the Inclusive Green Economy Network-East Africa (IGEN-EA) is calling on the Ugandan government to address barriers that are undermining women’s participation in the green economy. 

IGEN-EA is a network of civil society and private sector players whose main objective is to promote inclusive and sustainable green economic growth that addresses climate change and human rights concerns in Uganda and East Africa. IGEN-EA focuses on promoting green economic activities such as clean energy, natural resources, organic agriculture and fisheries as well as tourism. 

IGEN-EA members are especially asking the Ugandan parliament and ministries to ensure that 2023/2024 national budget drives women’s employment in the green economic sectors. IGEN-EA has made the above calls at a time when ministries are expected to submit ministerial policy statements for review by parliament. The statements, which are ordinarily submitted in April, accompany and justify the draft budget at the ministerial level. 

Ms. Diana Nabiruma, the coordinator of IGEN-EA, says, “In February 2023, IGEN-EA organised engagements during which communities were sensitised on the budget estimates and allocations to various green economic sectors. The budget estimates are contained in the 2023/2024 National Budget Framework Paper.” 

She adds, “The IGEN-EA members collected communities including women’s views on what the priorities for Uganda’s 2023/2024 national budget should be. We are calling on ministries and parliament to listen to these views, which are contained in this press statement.” 

Ms. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.from IGEN-EA notes, “The communities that IGEN-EA engaged with appreciated the government for prioritising the sustainable energy and agricultural sector in the 2023/2024 national budget. The sectors, which employ women, were allocated Shs. 1.499 billion and Shs. 1.22 billion respectively. However, challenges remain.”

Clean Energy  

Ms. Ireen Twongirwe of Women for a Green Economy Movement (WoGEM), a member organisation of IGEN-EA, elaborates, “In the 2023/2024 budget proposals that were approved by parliament in February, you find that a lot of emphasis is being placed on grid electrification. The generation and transmission votes account for over 90% of the allocations made under the sustainable energy programme.”

She adds, “Yet despite trillions of shillings being invested in grid electrification, women’s energy needs remain unmet. Women continue to suffer while looking for firewood and buying expensive charcoal.” 

Ms. Joan Atuha of the Guild Presidents Forum on Governance (GPFOG), a member organisation of IGEN-EA notes, “Renewable energy which has the potential to increase women’s employment in the clean energy sector while meeting women’s energy needs, was only allocated Shs. 5.46 billion. More budget allocations need to be made to renewable energy.” 

It should be noted that less women are employed in the renewable energy sector with a 2022 study showing that of the nearly 30,000 jobs in the Distributed Renewables Energy (DRE) sector in Uganda, only 28% are occupied by women. 

Mr. Rodney James Bukusuba of the Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Alliance (UNREEEA), a member organisation of IGEN-EA, says, “It is hard for women to do jobs such as installation of solar systems. However, women can be trained to occupy different roles within the renewable energy space. These could include solar system sizing, monitoring, and maintenance. These jobs are less skewed towards strength and agility. The national budget, especially the allocations made to the sustainable energy and education programmes, should respond to these needs.”


Mr. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., a small-scale farmer who also chairs the Eastern and Southern African Small-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) and a member of IGEN-EA, notes, “The agriculture

sector including forestry, livestock and fishing accounts for 69.4% of the jobs in Uganda. More women and youth than men are employed in subsistence agriculture. Agriculture is also driving and is expected to continue driving economic growth with the National Development Plan III noting that the sector will contribute 7.2% to real GDP by 2024/2025.” 

He however adds, “Despite the government committing under the Malabo declaration to allocate 10% of the national budget to the agricultural sector, government has never met this commitment. Since 2003 when the Malabo declaration was adopted, the agricultural sector has never received even 5% of the national budget. This under- funding affects women in the sector by hampering sustainable mechanisation and limiting access to farm implements as well as agroecological farm inputs. This must be remedied.”


Mr. Ben Ntale, a private sector player that belongs to IGEN-EA, says, “Women have broken barriers in tourism. They have taken up leadership positions and women compete favourably with men for jobs such as tour guiding. However, stereotyping and socio-cultural barriers are undermining women’s full participation in the tourism sector. At less than 1%, the national budget allocations made to the tourism sector also remain low.” 

Ms. Janepher Baitwamasa adds, “Moreover, tourist attractions such as national parks, forests and others that employ women are being destroyed especially in the Albertine Graben”.

Ms. Helen Lubowa, the Executive Director of Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA) asserts that “there is need to apportion a budget to empower more women at grassroots level to engage in tourism-related businesses such as community-based tourism and handicraft production among others. The funds can be apportioned under the Parish Development Model.”

IGEN-EA members are calling on the ministries of finance, energy and mineral development, water and environment and tourism to plan for the following in their 2023/2024 ministerial policy statements:

  • Increase budget allocations to the renewable energy vote under the sustainable energy programme. The budget allocations should go towards funding women’s access to off-grid solar energy and clean cooking solutions among. 
  • In addition, provide funding to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to ensure that the ministry undertakes stakeholder consultations including consultations with women to put in place Renewable Energy and Energy policies that meet the needs of women.
  • Further, ensure that trainings for women on distributed renewable energy are funded to increase women participation in renewable energy.
  • In addition, increase the agro-industrialisation budget to 10% of the national Priorities such as the provision of quality seeds, increasing funding to the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to ensure quality products on the market and others must be funded to address the challenges faced by women.
  • Further, emphasis should be placed on measures by the Ministry of Lands that are aimed at strengthening land security, especially for women, to support agricultural.
  • Finally, stop all activities that are driving deforestation and forest degradation in the Albertine Graben to promote tourism and other green economic

World Wildlife Day: Let Us Reject Economic Activities That Hurt Wildlife

By Ben Ntale and Paul Muwonge

On March 3, 2022, Uganda joined the rest of the world to mark World Wildlife Day. The day was celebrated under the theme, recovering key species for ecosystem restoration.

A February 17, 2022 press statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities notes that the theme of  the day “draws attention to the critical role that keystone species of plants and animals – many of which are threatened or endangered, play in ensuring ecosystem health and human survival.”

The statement adds, “[The theme] highlights the need to protect and conserve critically endangered species, support restoration of their habitats and ecosystems and promote sustainable utilisation by humans...”

The Inclusive Green Economy Network-East Africa (IGEN-EA) joins the rest of the world to mark the 2022 World Wildlife Day.

We would like to call to attention three species of concern that require more conservation efforts. These include: the grey-crowned crane (commonly known as the Crested Crane), vultures and chimpanzees.

The Crested Crane is of great significance to Ugandans because it is the country’s national emblem. The bird is also important for seed dispersal.

Due to industrial and farming activities in wetlands among other factors, this important bird’s population size has reduced. Wetlands are the breeding grounds for the Crested Crane.

Estimates show that in the past two decades or so, the population of Crested Cranes in Uganda reduced from “about 35,000 in the 1990s to less than 15,000 in 2015”. This is a decline of about 43%! Such a travesty!

Another bird of concern are the vultures, or ensega in Luganda. Vultures used to be seen even in places such as Kampala. In fact, Busega was named after ensega. Vultures and other scavengers play important roles such as the removal of waste and consumption of carcasses. This removes harmful bacteria from the environment to support the maintenance of animal and human health. 

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss and poisoning of animals that the vultures feed on, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) estimates that the vulture population in Uganda today stands at no more than 500 to 750 individuals. 

Chimpanzees are another endangered species which are even under more pressure due to destruction of forests for sugarcane, oil roads and other activities in the Albertine Graben. Chimpanzees play roles in seed dispersal, scientific research and others.

Birds and chimpanzees also play economic roles. For instance, in the US, birding is a $41 billion industry. In Uganda, birders spend more than other tourists.

Where a safari to a national park may cost $1,500, a birder may spend up to $5,000.

On this World Wildlife Day therefore, let us recommit ourselves to creating awareness and conserving wetlands, forests and other habitats to protect wildlife.  Let us reject economic activities that hurt wildlife.

The writers are members of the Inclusive Green Economy Network-East Africa (IGEN-EA).

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