KAMPALA – Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has said that the just-concluded 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) registered a number of tangible benefits for Ugandans, with many testifying to that effect.
Rt. Hon Kadaga made the revelation today during a live tweet chat held at Parliament, an occasion she used to answer a number of questions surrounding the event that was recently held at Commonwealth Resort Hotel in Munyonyo.
Responding to a question on whether there was value for money spent on CPC and how Uganda benefited from the conference, apart from the hotel and transport sector, Kadaga said the event was critical at showing our tourism features.
Kadaga said, “Value for money audits are done by the Auditor General and we shall wait for the AG to audit. But for the social and economic impact, a lot more people got to know about this country. There are people who had never come to Uganda, never come to Africa and they got to know about this country. Because of that publicity, our meeting was cast everywhere it was on BBC, CNN so everybody in the world got to know there was a meeting on Uganda.”
The Speaker added that there are a number of delegates who came and stayed longer than they had anticipated which means they are injecting money into Uganda’s economy.
She said, “We ensured that there was a market at Munyonyo and people are getting money I didn’t know that people were getting money but on the first day I was coming from the executive committee meeting, when a woman came and fell down in front of me, I thought she was sick but she told me; “madam I have come to thank you very much, I have got dollars, I had never seen dollars in my life but I have got 1,000 dollars.”
When asked how much the country spent on hosting the conference, the Speaker deferred the question for the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige to respond as the accounting officer because the Speaker is a political and not technical head of the institution.
On what Ugandans should expect from her as President CPA Kadaga said her first tenure would be used to highlight the work of the Commonwealth Parliament Africa especially within the African region.
“As President, my main work is to ensure that the rights of the African members of the Commonwealth are respected and that we are given our due place in the deliberations and recommendations but mainly the need to change the status of the CPA Constitution,” she said.
The Speaker promised to adopt some practices in the Commonwealth Parliament of Africa by meeting the leaders in various countries and hold discussions on how to improve the representation of women.
“We were really quite high up there and it was as a result of my work as Chair of the African Region first, and then as Chair of CWP International. It has now been adopted in all the nine regions of the Commonwealth and there are some improvements despite some existing challenges with some two countries still lacking women representatives,” the Speaker said.