Uganda offers help in education


VP Faure with the Ugandan delegation. Also in the photo is Assembly Speaker Dr Patrick Herminie and clerk Azarel Ernesta

The seven-strong delegation headed by Oywelowo Odoi Fox, Member of Parliament for the Tororo district and chairman of the parliamentary committee on rules, privileges and display, were also accompanied at the State House visit by National Assembly Speaker Dr. Patrick Herminie and clerk Azarel Ernesta.

After the meeting Mr Fox told the press that the talks had focused on strengthening good parliamentary practices and exchanges between the parliaments of Uganda and Seychelles.
He noted that both are Commonwealth member countries, still very much influenced by British laws and regulations.
He added that the two parliaments can learn from each other.

Mr Fox said that Uganda, with a population of 35 million, has a parliament of 375 members – of whom 126 are ladies, including the Speaker. She is the only lady Speaker in Eastern Africa.

Talks with Vice-President Faure also touched on the possibility of Uganda sending science and mathematics teachers to Seychelles to help beef up our education sector.
He noted that Ugandan teachers are already teaching in several African countries, including South Africa, Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda.

The possibility of Uganda purchasing Seychelles tuna for its armed forces, who have a peacekeeping role in Somalia, was also discussed. Uganda, in the centre of Africa’s Great Lakes region, is entirely landlocked.

Responding to a question from Seychelles Nation concerning allegations that Uganda is interfering in the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr Fox said both countries share common borders and after the 1995 genocide in Rwanda, many of those responsible fled to the Congo.  It so happens, he said, that Uganda also has problems with a rebel movement called ‘Allied Democratic Forces’ hiding in the jungles in Congo.

Mr Fox said Uganda is seeking to protect its own security and territorial integrity, but in no way undermining that of the DRC.

Speaker Herminie said that while this is the first visit to Seychelles by a Ugandan parliamentary delegation, there has always been a good relationship between the parliaments of the two countries.

He said some staff from the Seychelles National Assembly have been trained in Uganda and he has travelled there himself on a familiarisation visit.
He said the present visit is to establish a benchmark on how the Assembly’s standing orders are applied.  He noted there is special interest in the government assurance committee, which in some other countries such as Uganda is called the public accounts committee.

Dr Herminie also praised Uganda as “a modern democracy”, also underlining the fact that it is the first east African country with a lady as Speaker.
The seven-strong delegation was made up of five MPs – including two ladies – the deputy parliamentary clerk and a Brigadier from the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces.