Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has named a new cabinet which includes his wife Janet Museveni as the education minister. The appointment has divided opinion and stirred strong emotions on social media. Is the appointment a good call? Can the First Lady push for major changes in the education sector?
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has appointed First Lady Janet Museveni as the new Minister of Education and Sports, in a cabinet with 81 members. Janet inherits a key ministry and she takes over from educator, Jessica Alupo, who has held the portfolio since 2011.
Museveni was sworn in for his fifth term as president on May 12, 2016, following controversial elections marred by political violence and alleged vote rigging.
Uganda spends a huge percentage of its budget allocation on education, but despite such heavy investment, the quality of education remains a major concern.
The First Lady has extensive experience working in different capacities in organisations and projects advocating for social justice, protection of the rights of children and women, and has been active in campaigns fighting poverty and HIV/Aids. She founded Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO), a private relief agency, committed to providing relief aid to needy children orphaned by the civil tensions of the early mid-1980s, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. She has served as a member of parliament and more recently, she was Minister for Karamoja Affairs.
While there are sentiments on social media that Uganda’s First Lady possesses the much needed aptitude and experience to push for major changes in the education sector, there are opposing views and many who remain cynical of the appointment.
Social media reactions:
@JanetMuseveni congrats upon yo appointment to the ministry of Edu we hope you will cause the much needed transformation.
— moses masamba (@MosesMasamba) June 7, 2016