The Federal Question, Uganda

The year 2012 marks 50 years since Uganda’s independence, during which time the country has seen many changes politically, socially and economically. The debate about federalism, however, has been a constant that stretches back to the time of independence and remains on-going.

The year 2012 marks 50 years since Uganda’s independence, during which time the country has seen many changes politically, socially and economically. The debate about federalism, however, has been a constant that stretches back to the time of independence and remains on-going. 

Federalism in Uganda has been and continues to be a highly contentious issue. The conceptions and misconceptions about what federalism means, what it does and what it looks like are many, and emotions on the matter are strong. 

Despite the persistence of the federal issue and the conflict-laden nature of the debate, few attempts have been made to resolve it. 

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung hopes that this study will provide a basis for rationalizing the debate on federalism in Uganda by providing analytical and evidence-based examination of the issue. It investigates the meaning Ugandans attach to the term federalism, points out reasons for and against the adoption of federalism, examines different models of federalism, addresses challenges to the introduction of federalism in Uganda and makes recommendations on how to move forward. 

Experience shows that debates on such issues as federalism and related topics are rarely conclusive. Even established systems are continuously subject to discussion, scrutiny and sometimes modification; as the variety of federal and non-federal systems worldwide shows, there are many reasons for and against each arrangement. Every country has to have its own debate and define its own system of governance. So long as the debate is grounded in analysis, based on evidence rather than emotions, is transparent and held on level ground, it is a healthy debate worth pursuing. 

This book is meant to be a reference for political actors, policy-makers and scholars in and outside of Uganda who are interested in gaining insight into the debate surrounding federalism in Uganda and welcome the benefit of researched evidence on the matter.

 

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Uganda

September 2012

Olum, Yasin

The federal question in Uganda

Berlin, 2014

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