Gov’t Takes Steps Towards Financial Inclusion with Braille and Audio Budget Guides for People with Visual Impairments

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The government of Uganda has officially launched the Braille and audio-visual versions of the Citizens’ Guide to the Budget for the Financial Year 2023-2024.

This initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, aims to provide equal opportunities for all citizens to comprehend and engage with the annual national budget, specifically targeting individuals with visual impairments.

With an estimated population of 2 million visually impaired individuals in Uganda, the government is focusing on reaching between 100,000 and 200,000 people who can read and comprehend English through these alternative formats.

During the official ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance, Commissioner of Infrastructure and Social Services, Paul Mwanja, highlighted the significance of this initiative in promoting budget transparency and accountability. He expressed his gratitude to all partners involved and their unwavering commitment to creating inclusive versions of the Citizens’ Guide to the Budget.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank all partners for their support in promoting budget transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in the budget process and for their commitments. And tireless efforts towards the creation of these inclusive versions of the Citizens’ Guide to the Budget,” Mwanja said.

The Braille version of the budget guide will enable visually impaired Ugandans, particularly those interested in budget transparency and accountability, to easily follow and comprehend the developments in the national budget. The Citizen’s Guide to the Budget is a simplified document designed to improve transparency and increase public understanding of the national budget for the year.

In collaboration with the Budget Transparency Initiative (BTI) partners, UNICEF and Uganda Debt Network, the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development successfully launched the Braille and audiovisual versions of the Citizen’s Guide to the Budget 2023–2024.

This production of the Braille guide is part of UNICEF’s initiative, which supports 21 countries across Eastern Africa in increasing access to information on the allocation and spending of public resources.

The government’s commitment to financial inclusion and accessibility for all citizens is evident in this latest effort to empower visually impaired individuals to actively participate in the budget process. With the introduction of Braille and audio-visual budget guides, Uganda takes a significant step toward building a more inclusive society.

As the nation progresses, it is expected that similar initiatives will continue to create avenues for all individuals, regardless of disabilities, to engage meaningfully with the government and exercise their rights as active citizens.

The Braille and audio-visual versions of the Citizens’ Guide to the Budget are now available to the public, ensuring that critical financial information reaches those who have historically been overlooked, reinforcing the principle that every voice matters in shaping Uganda’s future.

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