Uganda holds conference on child poverty

Uganda is holding a 3 days Africa child poverty conference at Protea Hotel in Kampala. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Uganda having won the right to host the first ever conference on child poverty is a golden opportunity for Ugandans to learn and benchmark with global experts on how to end the predicament.

According to the programme accessed by PML daily on September 10, the three day conference at Protea Hotel in Kampala will have more than 50 presentations from experts around the world on what actions and programmes can improve the lives of Africa’s poorest children.

The conference will further hear collective insights and recommendations as an important step to help policy makers ensure the poorest children in Uganda and across Africa break out of poverty.

A statement by the organizers; the Economic Policy Research Centre, the University of Manchester and UNICEF says the conference will be held under the theme; What Works for Africa’s Poorest Children’.

“It is an incredible honour to have many of the world’s most prominent thinkers on child poverty in Africa here in Uganda for this conference”, said the Executive Director of the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Dr. Sarah Ssewanyana.


Dr. Ssewanyana says there could never have been a better opportunity to dissect Uganda’s economic challenge of child poverty than this one.

The theme of the 2018 conference on child poverty, being, What Works for Africa’s Poorest Children’ is primed to directly address the core issues that can help drive Africa’s children out of poverty and redirect them on the journey to development.

The conference includes presentations from over 50 experts from around the world on what actions and programmes can improve the lives of Africa’s poorest children.

In Uganda, 55% of children under 5 years of age – 3.7 million – are living in multi-dimensional poverty, deprived of many of the basic services and fundamental rights (health care, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, shelter and information) they require to develop to their full potential.

Furthermore, 38 per cent of all 6-17 year olds across Uganda are living in multi-dimensional poverty.

Dr. Doreen Mulenga, the UNICEF’s representative to Uganda said the examples of practical solutions that will be presented over the three days conference have transformed the lives of some of the most deprived and vulnerable children across Africa and that Uganda needs to use these and to find ways to urgently implement them.

She added that the conference is drawing on lessons and experiences from programmes and social policies across Africa that have worked, and demonstrate real potential to be scaled up and sustained.

“The effects of multiple deprivations on children are often significant and expose children to much greater risk of harm, abuse and exploitation,” said Dr Mulenga.

Dr. David Lawson, Senior Lecturer at the Global Development Institute in the School of Environment, Education and Development at the University of Manchester said they hope that the presentations at the conference will inform policies and programmes that more deliberately and robustly can improve the lives of the poorest children here in Uganda and across Africa.

He revealed that a collection of papers presented at the conference will form the foundation of a book, ‘What Works for Africa’s Poorest Children? Social Policies and Programmes for Children Living in Extreme Deprivation’.


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit

About Economic Policy Research Centre

The Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) is Uganda’s leading think tank in economic research and development policy. We provide policy analysis to support the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of government policies. For more information on EPRC, visit

About University of Manchester:

The University is one of the country’s major research institutions, rated fifth in the UK in terms of ‘research power’ (REF 2014). World-class research is carried out across a diverse range of fields including cancer, advanced materials, addressing global inequalities, energy and industrial biotechnology. Manchester is ranked 38th in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 and 6th in the UK. Visit for further information.





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