Ireland’s new Country Strategy for Uganda 2016-2020 was launched by the Minister of State for International Development and the Diaspora, Joe McHugh T.D., during his visit there in July 2016. The Strategy outlines how Ireland’s Embassy will promote Irish interests and values in Uganda over the next five years, in line with our foreign policy as set out in The Global Island, and Ireland’s policy for international development, One World, One Future.
The Country Strategy brings together the broad range of work undertaken by the Embassy in Uganda, including implementing Ireland’s development assistance programme; promoting trade between Uganda and Ireland; providing consular assistance and visa services; deepening political relations; promoting Irish culture and reaching out to the Irish diaspora in Uganda. It builds on the Embassy’s continuous efforts to develop and enhance Ireland-Uganda links since opening in 1994.
One area of growing importance is the deepening of trade and business links between Uganda and Ireland. Uganda is a vital emerging market in East Africa, and holds many opportunities for Irish businesses. The Country Strategy includes a commitment to support the development of these business and trade links, both in Uganda and across the East Africa region.
Also central to the Strategy is the Embassy’s work to tackle poverty and social exclusion in Uganda. The Irish Aid programme will see an investment of over €83 million in Uganda over the five year period 2016-2020. This investment builds on the impressive impact of the aid programme to date, with an external evaluation finding that the Irish Aid programme had delivered “tangible and widely acknowledged results” in Uganda. The investment will be focused on HIV prevention, education, governance and human rights, social protection and humanitarian support – with a particular focus on Karamoja, the poorest region in Uganda.
Minister of State McHugh saw first-hand the work of Irish Aid during his visit to Uganda, travelling to Karamoja, as well as Adjumani near the border with South Sudan, and meeting with beneficiaries of the Senior Citizens Grant programme which is jointly supported by Ireland and the UK.