At least $25 million has been earmarked by Ford Foundation to bridge the gap of income inequality in East Africa for the next five years.
The announcement was made on Monday February 10, 2020 at Serena Hotel in a breakfast meeting that was attended by media and members of the civil society.
Speaking at the event, Maurice Makoloo, the Regional Director Ford Foundation, stressed that corruption and its impact on societies goes beyond finances but cuts across the fabric of society.
“The public is largely aware of the severity of the problem across the region and they have lost faith in government and public institutions.”
Makoolo said that the public is now extending the disengagement to the civil society who they now see as “unrepresentative of their interests and worse, self-motivated” which has huge implications on the strength of the societies to hold public officials accountable.
Makoolo said that Ford Foundation has now rolled out $25 million to fight against corruption and bridge the gap of inequality.
“We believe that in putting our money where our mouth is and it gives me great pleasure to announce that that we are committing to spend $25 million in East Africa over the next five years to support this goal.”
He said that with this investment, they hope to see governments in East Africa prioritizing the fight against corruption and seeing stronger and expanded civil societies.
Makoolo also emphasized that they would like to see coalitions across all sectors to provide better service to citizens and allow for more equity and equality.
Among other speakers at the event included a panel of stakeholders and grantees led by Anna Adeke, Dennis Pato the Director Vijana Corps, Sarah Bireete who is an Associate Director Center for Constitutional Governance (CDG) and moderated by Samson Kasumba.
The Ford Foundation Program Officer Linda Ochiel called upon citizens to continue engaging and not give into the hopelessness that seems to engulf the public.
Ochiel also asked for more collaboration to achieve the change that Ugandan’s are ultimately seeking.
The Ford Foundation was founded in 1962 to support visionary leaders and organizations working on the frontlines of social change worldwide.
Its East African offices are based in Nairobi, Kenya and this serves Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Ford Foundation is headquartered in New York City.