Nada Andersen in conversation with the Hon. Alaso Alice - December 2022
This report highlights the major elements of the dialogue. The In Conversation With dialogue was moderated by Nada Andersen with Hon. Alaso Alice Asianut as guest speaker.
Hon. Alaso Alice Asianut’s recollection of her 2022 election process review
First, the election review meetings were meant to obtain feedback from those who volunteered to engage in the election process on the ANT ticket. Secondly, the review entailed getting to know candidates; knowing their aspirations, motivations, and their opinions on ANT. Also, to understand their challenges during the elections. The information collated contributed towards formulating the strategic plan, capacity-building aspects of leaders, and communication improvement.
On what policy dialogues entail
We begin by identifying a topic of interest based on a number of parameters. We then pick out experts in the area chosen. These experts come in and share their professional opinions and we all discuss. We frequently encourage the national leadership of the party to participate but the dialogue is sometimes opened to the public and their views are collected. In the end, all views are processed and the leadership of the party then adopts a policy position that becomes the guiding document for the party.
Opinion on achieving critical mass for ANT to make change
A critical mass is a vital aspect of mobilisation and that is what membership should be about. We are aware that Uganda has a number of people who are value-driven. The only challenge is that not many of them are keen on bringing their good values into the management of public affairs. This year, we made an effort to reach out to stakeholders; religious leaders, cultural leaders, professionals, and civil society groups. We believe there are good people among them as well and we want them to join ANT and politics as a whole with their integrity, hard work, and godliness.
Qualities of an “ideal party member” for ANT
These ideal people are Ugandans who are passionate about their country and those who believe in the values that we preach. Once they have a passion for a better Uganda, whether illiterate or not, they will endeavour to spread the message of the need for change. With passion, they will be able to commit to their little resources as well. The major focus of the ANT is the youth of Uganda who has a long journey in this country and that is why the youth league has been incorporated into the party’s national leadership.
Political activeness of Ugandan Youth
The youth in ANT and in this country need meaningful and impactful youth-focused engagement. The discourse concerning youth involvement in politics should begin with addressing the challenges faced by the youth. For instance, we have a government with so many youths in leadership but there is massive youth unemployment which is a contradiction. If we were mindful of the youth and empower them with meaningful employment opportunities, it will be a more promising future for them.
Viewpoint on who should be responsible for young people in Uganda
Everyone plays a role. Parents, the school, and family but more importantly, there should be an institutional environment governing every aspect of life in a country. The country needs functional ministries, institutions, and investment in the young people, empowering them to make sustainable living wherever they find themselves.
On the interaction between the People’s Front for Transition and ANT
ANT was present at the launch of the People’s Front for Transition and we expressed our joy at such an initiative. We went to them acknowledging that it was a good initiative and also requested that we be given time to raise leaders that will participate in the arrangement of the People’s Front for Transition as ANT is still being run on an interim arrangement. We are in touch with them and hope to actively get involved but we first have to put our house in order.
ANT’s plans and programs for 2023
The one major activity that we hope to find resources for is to continue building the party structures because everything revolves around that. Our strength as a political party is going to be dependent on our party structures which comprises of taking the party to the community and picking our leadership from the grassroots upwards.
On grassroots work
When we go into a community, we first make ourselves known and share with them what we stand for. We then go ahead to ask if any of them has developed an interest to be part of our team. If yes, we document them in the party register. Thereafter, we pick someone to be a team leader in that community.
On hypothetical achievements of 2023 which will make her fulfilled
I look forward to a peaceful political transition in Uganda which is heavily dependent on the ruling party. However, we pray and plead that this happens. For the ANT, I would be happy if we are able to put in place the necessary resources which will enable us to market the party throughout the country.
On her role as an advisor for the legislative arm of government in the 11th parliament
To the best of my knowledge, there is no such position as an advisor for the legislative arm of government. I used to be a parliamentary commissioner. I was identified amongst other people by the Institute of parliamentary studies in 2016 to facilitate the induction of new members of parliament. The role included explaining parliamentary rules and procedures, and mentoring and training new members of parliament.
Final remarks: My deep appreciation to our members, leaders, partners, and volunteers who have been committed to the ideas we believe in. I believe that next year will be a year where we put in our very best towards raising resources and taking the party to the grassroots level. I want to encourage all party members to give in their best. On behalf of ANT, we wish everybody a fruitful and prosperous 2023.
Report compiled by Priscilla Kwabea Fianko, Intern with ANT.