26 April 2013

Uganda: National Population Council in Offing, Says Government

The Government is to set up a National Population Council to streamline and manage population issues in the country.

The council shall be responsible for formulating policies "to give strategic direction on the implementation of the objectives of the national population policy".

It will also analyse, interprete and document demographic trends including fertility, mortality, migration and their impact on socio-economic development, besides advocating for population concerns in development planning.

Addressing a meeting on the national population council bill at Sheraton Hotel Kampala on Wednesday, parliamentary commissioner Chris Baryomunsi said the finance committee had finished consultations on the Bill and compiled a report to be tabled soon.

"I want to assure you that before the end of this session in June, Parliament will have passed the National Population Council Bill 2011 into law. As a commissioner, I will ensure that this bill is prioritised on the order paper so that it is passed," said Baryomunsi.

Baryomunsi who is the chairperson of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Food Security Population and Development and Robert Kasule, the chairman finance, planning and economic development committee, said they had also consulted on the bill both locally and internationally. He noted that they were only waiting to table their report for general debate.

"This bill should have been passed yesterday. We feel it has delayed more than it should have," said Kasule.

State minister for finance Jachan Omach who was the chief guest said government was committed to ensuring the quality of life of its people through progressive people-centred policies and programmes.

The bill which was tabled for the first reading, suggests maintaining the population secretariat as the secretariat of the council. It also seeks to provide for the council's composition, functions and administration.

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