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German-Ugandan development cooperation dates back to 1964, two years after the East African state declared its independence. Currently 143 national and 40 international employees, 6 integrated specialists and 18 development workers are working in the country (as of 31.12.2017). These are complemented by eight integrated experts placed through the Centre for International Migration and Cooperation (CIM).

Uganda gained its independence from Britain in 1962. Following decades of power struggles, President Yoweri Museveni took over the country’s leadership in 1986. Since then he has pursued peace and reconciliation measures throughout much of the country. The impoverished northern districts, where until 2008 the Lord’s Resistance Army operated under rebel leader Joseph Kony, and which have been the scene of much ethnic conflict, have been the focus of reconstruction work since 2009.

The country has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall and sizeable mineral deposits of copper and cobalt, as well as untapped reserves of oil and natural gas. Its biggest potential lies in its fertile soil and warm, tropical climate with two rainy seasons a year. Agriculture provides jobs for more than 80% of the workforce, making it the single most important source of income. However, this sector is struggling to cope with outdated production methods and the threats of ongoing deforestation and climate change.

Despite its natural riches, Uganda remains one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2012, it ranked 161st of 186 countries in the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme, placing it in the ‘Low human development’ category. An annual economic growth rate of just 3.6%, coupled with high population growth and rising inflation further aggravates the situation for the almost 37 million Ugandans.

In 2007, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) declared Uganda a priority country for development cooperation. At the bilateral negotiations between the Ugandan and German governments, held in Kampala in May 2013, both sides agreed that this cooperation should focus on three main priority areas:

  • Renewable energies and energy efficiency
  • Sustainable economic development/rural and agricultural finance
  • Water and sanitation.

It was also agreed that good governance and adherence to human rights, including the rights of vulnerable groups and sexual minorities, were fundamental principles for Ugandan-German development cooperation.

Further projects are also ongoing in the areas of transparency and accountability, climate change mitigation, the preservation of peace in the country’s northern regions, and capacity development for evaluation and governance statistics. GIZ is also involved in five development partnerships with the private sector in Uganda, while HIV/AIDS control is an integral part of every programme.

Both nationally and internationally, we support the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in planning and coordinating the sustainable management of water resources in the Nile Basin. NBI regulates the equitable use of the waters of Lake Victoria and the River Nile by the ten riparian states. This prevents water-related conflicts and contributes to the socioeconomic development of these countries.