Kigezi Civil Society Forum Launched!

Published By UNNGOF |  February 25, 2022

24th February 2022 was a landmark day for Uganda’s civil society sector which saw the launch of Kigezi Civil Society Forum (KICSOF) in Kabale District at Cepha’s Inn.

KICSOF envisions a region where CSOs influence sustainable development agenda with the mission of promoting CSOs engagement in advancing sustainable development through advocacy and information sharing in Kigezi region.

Convened with the purpose of strengthening CSO’s voice in Kigezi region for improved service delivery, the hybrid launch brought together stakeholders like religious leaders, local and national civil society organization leaders, development partners, government leaders including RDCs, CAOs and the regional IGG as well as the media.

The launch was broadcast live on Voice of Kigezi from 10:00 AM – 01:00 PM with about 10,000,000 people listening in from Kigezi, Ankore, Tooro, Bunyoro, Eastern Congo and Rwanda.

“We have had this idea of forming KICSOF since 2018. After engagements with multiple stakeholders and communities, we are delighted that it has come to reality,” said KICSOF Chairperson Mr. Robert Kakuru Byamugisha.

KICSOF currently has 10 duly registered members who have agreed to host the Forum on a rotational basis for 5 years, saving on operational costs like rent.

Speaking during the launch about what awaits KICSOF in Kigezi, Dr. Moses Isooba said, Civil society specifically orient themselves to shaping the public sphere [meaning] that there is an enduring intention about [their] work and its effect on society.” He, therefore, urged them to build a strong foundation in the communities and societies they work in.

With his vast experience in the sector, Dr Isooba cautioned them about the pitfalls of many organisations including weak roots in the communities, bureaucracy and the negative narratives against the sector.

On the brighter side, the birth of Kigezi Civil Society Forum comes at an opportune time when the civil society sector is reflecting on its relevance and looking to re-energise, refocus and repurpose. The launch was a moment to discuss how to build a stronger and more interconnected civil society. This can only be achieved by a united civil society sector connected to the citizens and other formations while being compliant with the administrative and legislative requirements.

NGOs have a critical role to play in bridging actors within the civil society space, local and national governments. Using the analogy of many people coming together to hug a baobab tree, Dr Isooba urged CSOs to unite for the development of Uganda.

Mr. Stephen Okello, the Executive Director of the Uganda National Bureau for NGOs emphasized the importance of self-regulation, accountability and working with all the stakeholders in the districts of operation.

Your biggest success [as] the Kigezi Civil Society Forum and its members is the relationship with the leaders and communities – the most important people are those at the grassroots. Ensure you are working and having a good relationship with them,” he said.

“The NGO Bureau commits to working with the [Kigezi Civil Society] Forum and calls upon stakeholders to give support to the Forum,” added Mr. Okello.

Local government leaders committed to signing a memorandum of understanding with KICSOF to facilitate their work in the region.

Concluding the launch, Mr Robert Kakuru Byamugisha envisaged a connected civil society sector in Kigezi and invited all stakeholders to join them in advancing sustainable development.

With the added commitment for support from GIZ through the Civil Society in Uganda Support Programme (CUSP), KICSOF is off to a great start!

For more information about KICSOF, visit their website here —