The Equator School for Alternative Development Model is a think tank and research arm of SEATINI Uganda. Equator School for Alternative Development Model has been informed by the failures of the current neoliberal policy ideology.
The term Equator is derived from the reality that its major focus is to ensure that the alternative development policy and practices which it strives to promote are propagated among the economies of the global south largely situated along the Equator.
SEATINI believes that there is need to push for a rethink, both at national, regional and global levels, of the free market paradigm given its adverse implications on the rights of the most economically vulnerable groups in society i.e. women, especially in the rural sector.
The Washington consensus, which advocates for liberalization, privatization and deregulation introduced the neoliberal ideology and it has been pushed through the Bretton Woods Institutions i.e. the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Since early 1980s, this ideology has informed development thinking permeating all the policies and policy actions in Africa and the global South.
Uganda has continued to register an impressive economic growth rate of over 6% per annum, a surge in foreign direct investment receipts, an improved performance in regional trade with Uganda registering a surplus in Common Market for Eastern Southern Africa (COMESA) region, and an increase in infrastructure and public services development in terms of construction of roads, hospitals and schools. While this is so, very low levels of industrialization, a growing trade deficit (USD 207.7 Million) and a large informal sector, characterize the country’s economy. The country’s high economic growth rate has been a jobless growth with increasing inequalities and vulnerabilities among the citizens, leaving women as the most affected. Moreover, the absence of strong production and market regulatory mechanisms such as sufficient storage facilities, climate change adaption mechanisms, the Minimum price, and the Minimum Wage, has created numerous vulnerable societies. Majority of these individuals are women engaged in production, informal trade, casual work. Consequently, within Uganda and the East African Community (EAC) region, women’s rights violations are rampant due to the fact that they are poorest, earn the least from the products they produce and the labour they offer, compared to their male counterparts.
SEATINI believes that there is need to push for a rethink, both at national, regional and global levels, of the free market paradigm given its adverse implications on the rights of the most economically vulnerable groups in society i.e. women, especially in the rural sector towards the realization of inclusive and sustainable development in Uganda and the EAC region.