KAMPALA —The African Development Bank Group’s new country manager in Uganda, Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, formally presented his letters of accreditation to Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa in Kampala on 19 February 2021.
Welcoming Mr. Ngafuan to Uganda at the foreign ministry in Kampala, Mr. Kutesa expressed optimism that the new country manager’s appointment would further strengthen the good relations between Uganda and the African Development Bank, which had been built over the years.
The minister said the Ugandan government was highly appreciative of the African Development Bank’s support for projects in Uganda, especially those in infrastructure. He especially commended the support that the Bank had provided for road projects. He said his government placed a particularly high premium on the Kampala-Malaba Meter Gauge Railway Project and looked forward to the Bank’s support for it.
Ngafuan expressed African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina’s personal commitment to strengthening the Bank’s cooperation with Uganda. He said the Bank considered Uganda a significant partner and was currently funding a portfolio comprising twenty-four projects worth approximately USD 1.87 billion. He explained that the majority of these were public sector projects, with nineteen operations amounting to USD 1.58 billion. He said the remaining five operations were private sector projects valued at USD 268.9 million. The transport sector, he added, comprised 62% of the Bank’s current total portfolio in Uganda.
The African Development Bank and the Ugandan Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development are soon to agree on a three-year lending program for Uganda. The program will target new projects during the 2021-2023 lending window. The Bank is also preparing a completion report on Uganda’s Country Strategy Paper (2017-2021). At the same time, it is developing the successor Country Strategy Paper (2022-2026), which will be aligned with the Uganda Vision 2040 economic transformation agenda. Country strategy papers assess a country’s development prospects and challenges, as well as a government’s strategic options.
The new country manager revealed that the African Development Bank would soon sign new financing agreements with the Ugandan government. One of these, he explained, would be a financing agreement for $229 million for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway Project. He expressed the Bank’s appreciation for the Ugandan Cabinet’s recent approval of the Bank’s $33 million COVID-19 Crisis Response Support package, and said he looked forward to the ratification of the budget support by the Uganda Parliament.
Ngafuan said he was honored to be accredited as the African Development Bank’s country manager to Uganda and promised to build on the good work of his predecessors. He assured his host that he would further strength the Bank’s strong partnership with Uganda with the goal of positively impacting development outcomes for the people of Uganda.
Foreign Minister Kutesa wished the new country manager a fruitful tour of duty in Uganda.