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Uganda: Yoweri Museveni appoints wife Janet Museveni as education minister

Uganda’s 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.

Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni delivers one of the keynote speeches to the International Christian Conference On HIV/AIDS 20 February 2002 at the Washington Hotel. Photo: ANP/AFP/Paul J. Richards
Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni delivers one of the keynote speeches to the International Christian Conference On HIV/AIDS 20 February 2002 at the Washington Hotel. Photo: ANP/AFP/Paul J. Richards

The First Lady’s appointment has strongly divided opinion on social media, with questions raised over the merits of President Museveni’s choice and whether the First Lady can transform the education ministry and bring positive change.

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 high number of dropouts and poor quality of education in parts of the country, particularly in rural areas remain a major concern.

Considering these challenges, there is need to improve access to quality education, equity, and improve efficiency of education service delivery in the country.

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:

Maybe now that we have a mother as an education minister ……. our children with special needs are going to blossom. Hon Janet Museveni please make a difference #Inclusion#

Geplaatst door Titi Pamela op Dinsdag 7 juni 2016

Mama Janet Museveni I know her as hardworking lady, she hardly disappoints when given a chance. The Ministry of…

Geplaatst door Nasa Tushabe op Maandag 6 juni 2016

All eyes on Madam Janet Kataha Museveni ,looking forward to see an improved Educational system .It is a test of time for…

Geplaatst door Nabwokye Ivan op Maandag 6 juni 2016

Other views on the appointment:

The ministry of education and sports suffered a big blow when first lady Janet Museveni got appointed to that docket,…

Geplaatst door Marvin Maniraguha op Maandag 6 juni 2016

Uganda: It is true there is nothing of public interest that cannot be critically discussed. When A President decides to…

Geplaatst door Oweyegha Afunaduula op Dinsdag 7 juni 2016

Taking the mickey out on the appointment:

King Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, one of the longest serving monarchs in Africa, has appointed Queen Janet Museveni the new minister for Education in a cabinet of 80 ministers. Long live the King!

Geplaatst door Nelson Guga op Maandag 6 juni 2016

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