Minister Brophy to visit vaccine centre as part of visit to Rwanda and Uganda
Press release24 October 2021
Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., will tomorrow (Monday, 25 October) begin a week-long visit to Rwanda and Uganda, where he will undertake a series of engagements including visiting a vaccination centre in Kampala where vaccines donated from Ireland are being administered.
Minister Brophy said:
“This is my first opportunity to visit Africa since my appointment as Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora. Vaccines have made travel possible, and I am particularly looking forward to seeing vaccines donated by Ireland being administered in Uganda.
“Over 90% of Irish people are now vaccinated against Covid-19, but only roughly 1% of Ugandans have been afforded that protection.
“Three weeks ago I oversaw the preparation of 335,000 vaccines for transport to Uganda. I look forward to visiting a vaccination clinic in Kampala to witness those vaccines being given to people to help keep them safe against this virus.”
Minister Brophy will be in Rwanda on Monday and Tuesday to participate in the second African Union – European Union Ministerial Meeting. This meeting will bring together EU and African Ministers to discuss cooperation in peace, security and governance, as well as boosting investment in human and economic development, ahead of the AU-EU Summit in Spring 2022
He will meet Irish business people in Rwanda to learn about the potential for increased trade relations. Minister Brophy will also present awards to the Rwandan finalists of Africa Code Week, a continent-wide computer coding event of which Irish Aid is a strategic partner. Africa’s biggest digital skills initiative has reached over 9 million children and trained more than 100,000 teachers in 40 countries since 2015.
Minister Brophy will then travel to Karamoja, the poorest region of Uganda, where Irish Aid is addressing key challenges across education, governance and social protection, before going to Kampala for a series of political engagements. Meetings with Ugandan government ministers and officials will include Uganda’s First Lady and Minister of Education, Janet Museveni; Minister of State for Health, Anifa Kawooya Bangirana; and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeje Odongo.
Minister Brophy will also meet with civil society actors working on human rights issues, and with members of the Irish community in Uganda.
Minister Brophy said:
“Ireland has a long history of cooperation with both Rwanda and Uganda. I look forward to seeing how that cooperation has improved the lives of those left furthest behind, and how it can be further strengthened in the future.
“Both countries have young, vibrant and dynamic populations. Ireland’s cooperation can help to foster the great reservoir of potential in the region. Our support for peace, security and governance is helping to lay the foundations on which young people can flourish.
“Supporting young people, particularly girls, to receive education is a priority for Irish Aid. Schools in Uganda remain closed due to Covid-19 and this is having a very negative impact on young people’s ability to learn, grow and develop. I look forward to engaging with leaders in both Rwanda and Uganda to see how Ireland can further contribute to improving people’s lives in the region.”
- A total of 335,500 AstraZeneca vaccines were donated from Ireland to Uganda in September 2021. Ireland also donated all the consumables necessary to support the administration of these vaccines. The vaccines landed in Uganda on 30 September, and were received by its Minister for Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, and officials from the Embassy of Ireland in Kampala.
- “Ireland is doing its part in the global fight against Covid-19. Irish Aid has invested over €200 million in global public health initiatives over the past two years, including responding to the virus. This includes €7 million so far to COVAX, the global vaccine initiative. We will invest another €100 million next year, and will send a further one million vaccines to developing countries.”
- Karamjoa is the least economically developed region in Uganda, with 61% of the region’s 1.2 million population living below the poverty line.
- In Karamoja, Irish Aid is working with UNICEF to improve the quality of education delivered to young children and ensure they learn in a safe environment; supporting vocational education and skills training including through the establishment of centres of excellence; supporting the expanding social protection programme through cash transfers to senior citizens; and supporting effective natural resource management and good governance.
- Minister Brophy will meet with Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeje Odongo, to discuss regional issues in the Great Lakes Region and Ireland’s priorities on the UN Security Council. Minister Brophy took part in a UN Security Council meeting on the Great Lakes on Wednesday, 20 October, when he stressed the need for regional cooperation to address the causes of conflict in the Great Lakes.
- Minister Brophy will also meet with Uganda’s First Lady and Minister of Education, Janet Museveni, to discuss the impact of the pandemic on Uganda’s education system and Ireland’s ongoing support for the sector and preparations for school reopening.
- A more effective, ambitious partnership between the EU and Africa is a priority of ‘Global Ireland: Ireland’s Strategy for Africa to 2025’. The AU-EU Ministerial Meeting in Rwanda will review progress since the AU-EU Summit in Abidjan in 2017, focussing on two key areas of the AU-EU partnership: peace, security and governance, and boosting investment in human and economic development. The Ministerial Meeting is an important step on the path to the AU-EU Summit in Spring 2022.